Jack Thompson Biography
Born: August 31, 1940
Birth Name: Jack Payne
Date of Birth: August 31, 1940
This Sydney, Aussie native became an Australian icon long before he was known to American audiences.
The adopted brother of television producer Peter Thompson, Jack was educated at the University of Queensland. He first gained prominence as the star of the Australian television series, Spyforce. His feature film debut was in Fever Heat (1968), but he did not become well known as a movie actor until he appeared in Sunday Too Far Away (1974). Thompson went on to star in hit films like Caddie, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The Club, Burke & Wills and The Man From Snowy River.
For his many contributions to Australian cinema, Thompson was awarded an Order of Australia and named the country's Good Will Ambassador to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a post he served for several years.
In 1980, Thompson was first honored as Best Actor from the Australian Film Institute and Best Supporting Actor from the Cannes Festival for his performance in Breaker Morant. He was honored again by the Australian Institute in 1994 for his performance in The Sum of Us.
He eventually landed roles in American productions and became best known to television audiences for roles opposite Sally Field in A Woman Of Independent Means and Ingrid Bergman in A Woman Called Golda.
In the '90s, Thompson landed work in a number of Hollywood productions such as Broken Arrow (1996), Excess Baggage (1997), Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997) and Original Sin (2000). He has even garnered work from George Lucas, playing the role of Cliegg Lars in 2002's Star Wars: Episode II.
Jack's most recent roles include Dr. Walter Perkins in the 2013 reboot The Great Gatsby, Peter in the Australian dramedy Ruben Guthrie (2015), and Ralph Addicott in the romantic drama The Light Between Oceans (2016), which stars Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender.
He has one child with his wife, Leona King.