I saw Fred Thompson on TV speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and that evening I saw him on Law & Order. He did well in both roles. How did he manage his schedule to do both before leaving the Senate?
—George M., New Mexico.
Law & Order worked around the senator's schedule. Thompson, 60, told the show's NBC producers that his portrayal of District Attorney Arthur Branch was contingent on the Senate schedule, Press Secretary Harvey Valentine says. He taped during the August recess and weekends in September. Thompson, who announced in March of 2002 that he was leaving the Senate for personal reasons, has other irons in the fire, too. He hopes to teach and will be the president of the Federal City Council, a nonprofit group dedicated to making Washington a better place to live. Thompson, who grew up in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., and lives in Nashville, began his acting career playing himself in Marie, a movie based on a cash-for-clemency scheme in Tennessee. He has appeared in 18 movies and was elected to the Senate in 1994. Thompson has two sons and five grandchildren. He married Jeri Kehn, a political and media consultant, in June 2002.