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Lea Thompson

Mostly Credited As: Lea Thompson
Birth Name: Lea Katherine Thompson
Date Of Birth: May 31, 1961 (Age 53)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Rochester, Minnesota
Height: 5' 4" (1.62 m)

Lea Thompson


Lea Katherine Thompson was born May 31, 1961, in Rochester, Minnesota. She is the youngest of five children. Her parents are Barbara and Cliff Thompson. Since all her siblings were much older than she, Lea says it seemed like she had more than two parents. The family lived in the Starlight motel, all the kids sharing a room. Things began to look up for the family when Lea's father got a job in Minneapolis, where the family moved.


Lea's parents divorced when she was six, and her mother decided to maintain the family. This wasn't the easiest job considering her mother was alcohol-addicted at the time. When she found the strength to quit drinking, she took a job playing the piano and singing in a bar to support Lea and her siblings. When Lea was seven, her mother remarried. Ever since Lea was little, she loved to dance -- specifically, classical ballet. She would practice three to four hours every day. Her first role was a mouse in The Nutcracker. After Lea turned fourteen, she had performed in more than 45 ballets on stages such as The Minnesota Dance Theatre, The Pennsylvania Ballet Company, and The Ballet Repertory. She won scholarships to The American Ballet Theatre and The San Francisco Ballet. At age nineteen, she auditioned for Mikhail Baryshnikov, who later told her that she was "a beautiful dancer... but too stocky." Lea knew her dreams had been crushed. At that point, she decided to turn to acting.


She began working as a waitress, also making 22 Burger King commercials and a few Twix commercials. She was perfect for these parts simply because she was the average girl-down-the-street, from the Midwest. Everyone who knows her can't believe she was and still is so completely different...trying to be independent and fight against the system. In 1982, Lea made some type of a computer game or interactive movie known as Murder, Anyone.


Her first role was in the movie Jaws 3-D (1983) as a water ski bunny, although she couldn't swim or ski, which she still can't! There she met Dennis Quaid, who became her fiancée and acting coach. Her next role was in All the Right Moves (1983) where she acted opposite Tom Cruise. Director Michael Chapman was so disappointed with her performance, that he almost fired her. Between 1983 and 1984, Lea appeared in other "teen" movies such as Red Dawn (1984), The Wild Life (1984), and Going Undercover (aka Going Undercover (1988)), and believes it was lucky that in these movies they were able to use anyone who could walk and talk!


Lea's biggest known accomplishment, and her big break, came from the first Back to the Future (1985). It was the biggest hit of 1985, and Lea was suddenly the most wanted actress. She could have her pick of any role she wanted to take on. She did -- and made the worst choice of her life, Howard the Duck (1986). Although it was a George Lucas production, the critics turned the movie, and Lea, down. Afterwards, director Howard Deutch offered Lea a part in his movie, Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), but she refused. After he urged her to do it, she reconsidered. She won the Young Artist Award for best young actress. During filming, Howard and Lea fell in love, and she called it off with Dennis. She then went on to film The Wizard of Loneliness (1988), which was her first movie as a woman, rather than a youngster. Lea went on to film Back to the Future Part II (1989) and an episode of "Tales from the Crypt" (1989). She then married Howard Deutch. She continued filming Back to the Future Part III (1990), Montana (1990) (TV), and Article 99 (1992). Lea then took a break to stay home with her first born, Madeline.


She jumped back into acting in Dennis the Menace (1993), where she says she just played herself. Then it was on to The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), Stolen Babies (1993) (TV), The Little Rascals (1994), and The Substitute Wife (1994) (TV). In 1994, she had her second child, Zoey. Lea then went into filming The Unspoken Truth (1995) (TV). It was then that she was first given the script of a new NBC sitcom, "Caroline in the City" (1995). It was probably the best decision Lea ever made. She won a People's Choice Award for best actress in a new sitcom. Unfortunately, with all of NBC's problems, "Caroline in the City" (1995) kept being moved to a worse and worse time slot, giving it horrible ratings. The show ended after only four seasons. Bad ideas from the creators (Julia, etc.) didn't help either.


Lea quickly went onto The Right to Remain Silent (1996) (TV), The Unknown Cyclist (1998), and "A Will of Their Own" (1998). She also guest-starred in "Friends" (1994) in The One with the Baby on the Bus as Caroline Duffy, and on "The Larry Sanders Show" (1992). Lea also did some stage work, including starring as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. The show toured and also appeared on Broadway. She then did The Vagina Monologues in L.A. She had a stint in a dramatic role as a Chief Deputy Assistant District Attorney, Camille Paris, on "For the People" (2002). It lasted less than a year. She later went on to appear in Stealing Christmas (2003) (TV) and Haunted Lighthouse (2003).


She still lives with her husband, the director Howard Deutch. And... she still acts.


Doesn't really dance anymore...

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TV Appearances

Main cast 
Switched at Birth (2011)As: Kathryn Kennish
A Town Called Malice (2009)As: TBA
Celebrity Duets (2006)As: Contestant (S01; Second Eliminated)
Dancing With the Stars (2005)As: Herself (S19 – Eliminated 8th - 10 Nov 2014)
Jane Doe (2005)As: Cathy Davis aka Jane Doe
For the People (2002) (2002)As: Chief Dep. Dist. Atty. Camille Paris
Caroline in the City (1995)As: Caroline Duffy
Episode Cast Credits 

Good Morning America (1975) 
  Season 39, Episode 267 39x267: (Nov/11/2014) As Herself, [Interviewees]

A To Z (2014) 
  A is for Acquaintances 01x01: (Oct/02/2014) As Herself, [Special Guest Stars]

The Queen Latifah Show (2013) 
  André Benjamin, Lea Thompson, Outkast 02x11: (Sep/29/2014) As Herself 

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) 
  Under a Cloud 14x07: (Nov/06/2013) As Jennifer Rhodes 

Family Guy (1999) 
  Finders Keepers 12x01: (Sep/29/2013) Voiced  Lorraine McFly 

Robot Chicken (2005) 
  Major League of Extraordinary Gentlemen 05x06: (Feb/13/2011) Voiced  Various Characters 

Daybreak (2010) 
  October 26, 2010 01x37: (Oct/26/2010) As Herself 

GREEK (2007) 
  Camp Buy Me Love 03x18: (Mar/15/2010) As April, [Special Guest Stars]

The Tony Danza Show (2004) (2004) 
  Carlos Bernard, Rocco Dispirito, Lea Thompson 02x80: (Jan/13/2006) As Herself 
  Ron Eldard, Sylvester Stallone, Lea Thompson, Michael de Georgio 01x117: (Mar/08/2005) As Herself 

I Love the ‘80s: 3D (2005) 
  1982 01x03: (Nov/04/2005) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  1981 01x02: (Oct/24/2005) As Herself, [Interviewees]

The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (2005) 
  Nikka Costa, Tommy Hilfiger, Lea Thompson 01x98: (Jun/06/2005) As Herself 

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999) 
  Birthright 06x01: (Sep/21/2004) As Michele Osborne 

Ed (2000) 
  Pressure Points 04x15: (Jan/23/2004) As Liz Stevens 
  Hidden Agendas 04x14: (Jan/16/2004) As Liz Stevens 
  Back in the Saddle 04x13: (Jan/09/2004) As Liz Stevens 

The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (1999) 
  7/18/2002 04x18: (Jul/18/2002) As Herself 

Intimate Portrait (1993) 
  Lea Thompson 04x17: (Aug/16/1998) As Herself 

The View (1997) 
  Season 1, Episode 38 01x38: (Oct/01/1997) As Herself, [Interviewees]

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (1996) 
  Lea Thompson 02x64: (May/12/1997) As Herself, [Interviewees]

The Late Show with David Letterman (1993) 
  Lea Thompson, Natalie Portman, Stone Temple Pilots 04x58: (Nov/28/1996) As Herself, [Interviewees]
  Laurence Fishburne, Lea Thompson, Me'Shell Ndegeocello 03x192: (Jul/16/1996) As Herself, [Interviewees]

Friends (1994) 
  The One With the Baby on the Bus 02x06: (Nov/02/1995) As Caroline Duffy [uncredited] 

Tales from the Crypt (1989) 
  Only Sin Deep 01x04: (Jun/14/1989) As Sylvia Vane 
Crew Credits

Show Crew



Episode Crew


Switched at Birth (2011) (Credited in 2 episodes from this show) 
 
Your Body Is A Battleground 03x02 Jan/20/2014 As: Director
Prudence, Avarice, Lust, Justice, Anger 02x17 Jul/22/2013 As: Director
Jane Doe (2005) (Credited in 1 episodes from this show) 
 
The Harder They Fall 02x02 Mar/04/2006 As: Director
Trivia

Wanted nothing more when she was at the American Ballet Theatre than to dance with the star dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was stunned when he remarked that she was "a beautiful dancer, but too stocky." She realized that this meant that being a professional ballerina was out of the question. Shortly after, she left the company.

She won scholarships to the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. While at the Theatre, she danced in more than 45 ballets with them.

Her brother, Andrew Thompson, was also a ballet dancer. They both took ballet classes throughout their youth, and he helped her pay for her classes later on in life. He eventually went on to dance with the Colorado Ballet.

Was briefly engaged to Dennis Quaid.

Claimed that she left professional ballet due to not only not having the proper body, but accumulating little injuries. Her vertebra was severed (but eventually fused).

Has appeared in "Friends" (1994) as her character from "Caroline in the City" (1995). "Friends" star Matthew Perry has appeared in "Caroline in the City" as his character Chandler Bing.

Claims she was one of the few ballerinas at the American Ballet Theatre that didn't have an eating disorder.

She is 5-foot, 4-inches tall.

She has size seven feet.

Lea began studying dance at the age of 9 years old. She began dancing professionally at the age of 14.

More Trivia
Lea Thompson Quotes

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