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Lea Thompson as Susan Frost in
Lea Thompson as Lisa Litski
Lea Thompson in The Beverley Hillbillies
5. Christine Paley in Right to Remain Silent (1996)
4. Amy Hightower in Substitute Wife (1994)
Lea Thompson as Ms. Roberts in Little Rascals
Lea as Anita in The Wild Life
2. Sybil in The Wizard of Loneliness (1988)
Lea Thompson in a Twix commercial
As Brianne Hawkins in Unspoken Truth
With Lea after she had signed a
photograph for me
I was really pleased to meet Lea Thompson at Collectormania in Milton Keynes in 2008, as the Back to the Future film trilogy is a great favourite of mine.
She signed two photographs for me, and also my Howard the Duck dvd cover.
Lea Katherine Thompson, the youngest of five children, was born in 1961, in Rochester, Minnesota. The family were poor and, for a while, they lived in a room at the Starlite Motel in Minnesota, before eventually moving to Minneapolis. Lea's parents divorced in 1967, and she was brought up by her mother Barbara (a bar singer) and her stepfather Rob Hanson (a musician).
Lea went the Marshall-University High School in Minneapolis and was determined to become a ballerina (her older brother, Andrew, went on to become a professional ballet dancer). She won scholarships to the School of American Ballet,
Ballet, and The San Francisco Ballet, and was dancing professionally on stage when only fourteen years old. She danced in more than forty ballets but was advised by ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov that she was really "too stocky" for ballet so, aged nineteen
Lea Thompson in her teens
nineteen, she decided to turn her hand to acting instead.
She moved to New York, and was first noticed on screen doing commercials for Burger King and Twix. From these, Lea earned enough money to buy her mother a house. ahou
Lea Thompson & Dennis Quaid
Lea as Kelly Ann Bukowski in Jaws 3-D
Her first film role was as water-skier Kelly Ann Bukowski in Jaws 3-D (1983). Here on set, she
she met actor Dennis Quaid, and he became her acting teacher and then her fiancÚ until 1987.
in All the Right Moves
Lea was next cast as Tom Cruise's girl friend, Lisa Litski, in All the Right Moves (1983); the following year she played Erica, a young guerilla fighter in Red Dawn (1984) and also appeared as Anita in the teen-romp The Wild Life (1984).
Jennifer Grey & Lea Thompson in Red Dawn
6. Annie Beales in Stolen Babies (1993)
Lea then had her big break - playing Lorraine Baines McFly, in Back to the Future (1985). This film, starring Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd, became the biggest hit of the year and brought Lea Thompson much public recognition. In the film she plays both the young and the much older versions of her character.
Lea as the young and older Lorraine
McFly in Back to the Future Part 1
With Michael J Fox in Back to the Future Part 1
With Michael J Fox in Back to the Future Part 2
Of the trilogy, Lea says, "When I read the script
script to the first film, I thought the story was terrific and very interesting. When they told me that I would be
be playing both young and old Lorraine, I knew it would be a tremendous challenge, so of course I wanted it immediately."
Lea Thompson with Michael J Fox in
Back to the Future Part 3
Lea reprised the role in the successful follow up Back to the Future Part II (1989) and again in the Wild West-themed Back to the Future Part III (1990) where she also plays Marty's great,
great, great grandmother, Maggie McFly.
Lea Thompson as Maggie McFly in
Back to the Future Part 3
Lea as Kathryn Fairly in Space Camp
Lea Thompson as Amanda Jones in
Some Kind of Wonderful
The late 1980s proved to be a very busy time for Lea. She played Kathryn Fairly in the space shuttle drama Space Camp (1986) and starred as Beverly Switzler in George Lucas'
Lucas' comedy Howard the Duck (1986). This film drew much criticism, but she bounced back with her character Amanda Jones in the romance Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), winning her the 'Young Artist' Award for Best Young Actress in 1987. The film
Lea as Beverly Switzler in Howard the Duck
Lea has signed my Howard the
Duck dvd cover
was directed by Howard Deutch, for whom Lea Thompson left her then fiancÚ Dennis Quaid in 1987. She married Deutch in 19
in 1989, and they have two daughters, Madelyn (b.1991) and Zoey (b.1994).
Lea with her daughters Madelyn and Zoey
Between babies, Lea was seen as Alice Mitchell in the film Dennis the Menace (1993); Laura Jackson in The Beverley Hillbillies (1993) and as ballet teacher, Ms. Roberts, in the comedy The Little Rascals (1994).
Lea with Robert Stanton in Dennis the Menace
Lea Thompson's portrayal of Caroline Duffy in the NBC series Caroline in the City (1995-2000) won her a 'People's Choice' Award for Best Actress in 1996. Caroline is a success
successful Manhattan cartoonist whose comic strip Caroline in the City became a big hit. The series ran to 97 episodes, but low ratings eventually led to the series finishing after just 4 seasons.
Lea as cartoonist Caroline Duffy
Lea Thompson in Friends
As Melissa Cavatelli in The Unknown Cyclist
Further TV work at this time included
Lea as Camille Paris in
For the People
included a starring role as Melissa Cavatelli in The Unknown Cyclist (1995); Brianne Hawkins
Hawkins in The Unspoken Truth (1995) and Amanda Steward in the mini-series A Will of Their Own (1998). Lea also made guest-star appearances in Tales From the Crypt (1989); Friends (1995) and The Larry Sanders Show (1998).
Since 2000, it has been virtually
Lea as Kathy Davies in
The Jane Doe Mysteries
Lea Thompson as Sylvia Vane
in Tales From the Crypt
virtually all TV work for Lea. She played Deputy District Attorney Camille Paris in eighteen episodes of the drama For the People (2002-03) and then went on to play an ex-government agent and 'soccer mom', Kathy Davies (aka agent Jane Doe) in eight different Jane Doe mystery movies for television
television between 2005 and 2008, two of which she also directed.
Lea Thompson's latest TV roles include starring in two comedies - as Abby Wells in Uncle Nigel (2010) and Lily MacDougal in The Cabin (2011). Her most recent big-screen starring roles have been as Susan Frost in Splinterheads (2009); Jo Ann Prohaska in The Convincer (2011)and Mary Maroni in Mayor Cupcake (2011).
10. Laura in Adventures of a Teenage Dragon Slayer (2010)
8. Maudie McMinn in Exit Speed (2008)
9. Sophie in All I Want for Christmas (2008)
1. Stacy in Casual Sex? (1988)
7. Erica in Red Dawn (1984)
3. Dr Robin Van Dorn in Article 99 (1992)
In 2006, Lea took part in the American TV show Celebrity Duets, a competition where celebrities from different backgrounds team up with professional singers. Lea sang duets with Randy Travis, Michael Bolton and Belinda Carlisle, but she was eliminated from the competition in the second round.
Lea has signed this photograph to me
Lea in Celebrity Duets
Although much more well known for her film & television work, Lea has also performed in a number of stage plays. She appeared at Broadway's Studio 54 in 2000, playing the demanding role of Sally Bowles (a club singer in 1930s Berlin) in the musical Cabaret.
Lea has signed this photo for me
I met Lea again at Olympia where she was a guest at Collectormania London in July 2011. I gave her a printed copy of her page of my website, and she gave me this below.
With Lea Thompson at London's Olympia in July 2011
Lea gave me this signed photo as a 'thank you'