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Fred Thompson, U.S. Senator and Law & Order Star, Dies at 73

He played DA Arthur Branch

Tim Surette

Fred Thompson, who served as a United States Senator and appeared on several television shows and movies as an actor, died Sunday at the age of 73, The Associated Press reports. His family says he died of lymphoma.

Thompson was best known for playing Manhattan District Attorney Arthur Branch on Law & Order from 2002 to 2007. He also made appearances on Law & Order sisters series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Trial By Jury and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

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His acting career got started in 1985 with an appearance as himself in Marie, and he would go on to play parts in The Hunt for Red October, Die Hard 2, Cape Fear, In the Line of Fire and Secretariat. His other TV credits include The Good Wife, Life on Mars and Matlock.

Thompson, who was a Watergate investigator, served as a Republican senator for Tennesee from 1994 to 2003, and briefly ran for president in 2007.