Fred Thompson, former US senator who acted in TV and films, dies at 73

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Star of Persecuted,The Good Wife, Law and Order Fred Thompson speaks onstage during a 'Fireside Chat on Persecuted' panel during Variety's Purpose: The Family Entertainment and Faith-Based Summit in association with Rogers And Cowan at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on June 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Variety)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Fred Thompson, a Republican U.S. senator for eight years who also acted in feature films and on television, has died, his family says in a statement.

The statement says he died in Nashville after a recurrence of lymphoma at 73.

Thompson, a lawyer, alternated between politics and acting much of his adult life. Once regarded as a rising star in the Senate, he retired from the seat when his term expired in January 2003, saying he didn’t “have the heart” for another term.

He announced a bid for president in 2007 but dropped out in 2008 after faring poorly.

Thompson, 6-foot-6 with a booming voice and folksy demeanor, appeared in at least 20 motion pictures. His credits include “In the Line of Fire,” ”The Hunt for Red October,” and “Cape Fear.”