When an actor dies of a drug overdose, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth among Hollywood elites over the tragedy, as they jockey for attention when they express their sorrow. Of course, the deceased is usually a bleeding-heart liberal, but when a conservative actor dies of cancer, no one on the “left coast” seems to care.
After Fred Thompson passed away from lymphoma this past week, the former Tennessee senator was lauded on both sides of the political aisle as a man of principle and a true statesman. A senator from 1994 until 2003, Thompson also ran for President in 2007.
Thompson, however, also had a long, distinguished career as a character actor, most notably appearing in over 100 episodes of “Law & Order,” as well as films including The Hunt for Red October, Die Hard 2, and Secretariat. Hollywood, however, took little notice of his passing, including the creator of “Law & Order,” at least initially.
While Hollywood usually unites in mourning when they lose one of their own, the only tributes Thompson received from the entertainment industry came mostly from fellow Republicans, including James Woods and John Ratzenberger. Even entertainment news website TheWrap.com, which has a decidedly liberal mindset, noted what it called the “shocking silence” from Hollywood over Thompson’s death:
The death of Fred Thompson, former Republican U.S. senator from Tennessee, drew an outpouring of reaction from the Washington, D.C. political establishment Sunday. But the death of Fred Thompson, longtime “Law & Order” actor, has drawn comparatively little response from Hollywood, particularly those who also worked on the NBC procedural.
Some of Thompson’s co-stars on “Law & Order” noted his passing, including Chris Meloni, Stephanie March, and Diane Neal, but they were the exception. “Law & Order” creator Dick Wolf didn’t even acknowledge Thompson’s passing until over a day later, and only then after being confronted by TheWrap.com about it. Wolf issued the following statement to TheWrap.com:
“Fred was one of the only people that I’ve met who was truly a renaissance man. Prosecutor, politician, actor, raconteur – no matter what he did, he did it incredibly well. And he was simply a great guy. He will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.”
Gee, thanks for finally getting around to that, Dick. I could have watched an entire season of “Law & Order” before you decided to pay tribute to one of your own.