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Jack Thompson (actor)

Jack Thompson
Jack Thompson in 2014
Born John Hadley Payne
(1940-08-31) 31 August 1940
Sydney, Australia
Occupation Actor
Years active 1968–present
Agent DPN
Spouse(s) Leona King
Awards Inductee into the Australian Film Walk of Fame 2011
Chauvel Award 2006
Inside Film Living Legend Award 2005
Film Critics Circle of Australia Award For Contribution to Australian Cinema 1998
Logie Hall of Fame 1995
Raymond Longford Award 1994
Australian Film Institute Award Best Actor "Breaker Morant" 1980
Cannes Award Best Supporting Actor Breaker Morant 1980
Hoyts Prize for Best Performance Sunday Too Far Away 1975

Jack Thompson, AM (born 31 August 1940) is an Australian actor and one of the major figures of Australian cinema. He was educated at University of Queensland, before embarking on his acting career. In 2002, he was made an honorary member of the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS). He is best known as a lead actor in several acclaimed Australian films, including such classics as Sunday Too Far Away (1975), The Man from Snowy River (1982) and Breaker Morant (1980). He won Cannes and AFI acting awards for the latter film. He was the recipient of a Living Legend Award at the 2005 Inside Film Awards.


  • Acting career and celebrity 1
  • Personal life 2
  • Filmography 3
  • Awards 4
  • Discography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Acting career and celebrity

Thompson's career began with the soap opera Motel (1968), and guest appearances on Homicide and Matlock Police. He then took the lead role in spy drama series Spyforce (1971), playing the role of "Erskine". He eventually moved into feature film lead roles. He has also acted in television miniseries and appeared as the host of the Channel 7 factual series Find My Family.

Thompson was the first nude male centrefold in Cleo magazine in 1972. He has also appeared in television commercials, including as the face of the Bank of Melbourne for a decade,[1] and for Claytons. Thompson is featured in a series of recordings of Australian poetry, reciting poems by Henry Lawson, Banjo Paterson, C.J. Dennis, Patrick Joseph Hartigan (aka John O'Brien) and John O'Grady. (see Discography below).[2] Interviewed in the Sydney Morning Herald he explains his love of poetry, noting that 'Poetry is sometimes seen as too arty and perhaps not a suitable interest for blokes.'[3]

Personal life

Born John Hadley Payne in Manly, a suburb of Sydney, Thompson was educated at Sydney Boys High School.[4] Thompson was 4 years old when his mother died, leaving his father, a merchant seaman, unable to care for him and his brother, David.[5] He was sent to a boarding school by his father and was subsequently adopted by John and Pat Thompson and changed his surname.[6] The film reviewer Peter Thompson is his adopted brother.[7]

Thompson featured in the first episode of the Australian version of Who Do You Think You Are?, which was televised on 13 January 2008 on SBS, with Thompson discovering that his great-grandfather was Captain Thomas Pain, and his great-great uncle was Alfred Lee, a prominent figure in Sydney society, who donated the journal of Joseph Banks, from Captain Cook's navigation to Australia in the 1770s, to the Mitchell Library in Sydney.[8]

Thompson married Beverley Hackett in 1963 and the five-year marriage produced his son Patrick Thompson. He then entered into a 15-year polyamorous relationship in the 1970s and 1980s with both Leona King and her sister Bunkie. He stayed with Leona following the birth of his second son, Billy.[9]

Thompson used to own Hotel Gearin in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. He sold the hotel in June 2011.[10]


Year Title Role Notes
1969 Personnel, or People?
1971 Wake in Fright Dick
1973 Libido Ken Segment: "The Family Man"
1974 Marijuana: Possession and the Law
1974 ‍ '​Jock' Petersen Tony Petersen
1975 Sunday Too Far Away Foley
1975 Scobie Malone Scobie Malone
1975 Lady from Peking, ThatThat Lady from Peking Flunky
1976 Caddie Ted
1976 Mad Dog Morgan Det. Manwaring
1976 Jeremy and Teapot Narrator Short film
1978 Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, TheThe Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith Rev. Neville
1979 Journalist, TheThe Journalist Simon Morris
1980 Breaker Morant Maj. J.F. Thomas
1980 Earthling, TheThe Earthling Ross Daley
1980 Club, TheThe Club Laurie Holden
1982 Man from Snowy River, TheThe Man from Snowy River Clancy
1982 Bad Blood Stan Graham
1983 It's a Living Passenger
1983 Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence Group Capt. Hicksley
1985 Flesh and Blood Hawkwood
1985 Burke & Wills Robert O'Hara Burke
1986 Short Circuit Party Guest
1987 Ground Zero Trebilcock
1992 Turtle Beach Ralph
1992 Wind Jack Neville
1993 Far Off Place, AA Far Off Place John Ricketts
1993 Ruby Cairo Ed
1994 Sum of Us, TheThe Sum of Us Harry Mitchell
1994 Resistance Mr. Wilson
1995 Der Flug des Albatros Mike
1996 Broken Arrow Chairman, Joint Chief of Staff
1996 Last Dance The Governor
1997 Excess Baggage Alexander
1997 Under the Lighthouse Dancing Harry
1997 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Sonny Seiler
1999 Feeling Sexy Magazine Vendor (uncredited)
2000 Magic Pudding, TheThe Magic Pudding Buncle (voice)
2001 Yolngu Boy Policeman
2001 Original Sin Alan Jordan
2002 Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones Cliegg Lars
2004 Assassination of Richard Nixon, TheThe Assassination of Richard Nixon Jack Jones
2004 Oyster Farmer Skippy
2005 Man-Thing Frederic Schist
2005 Feed Richard
2006 Tryst Cosmos Storyteller Short film
2006 Good German, TheThe Good German Congressman Breimer
2007 Manual, TheThe Manual Professor Grey Short film
2007 December Boys Bandy
2008 Ten Empty Bobby Thompson
2008 Leatherheads Harvey
2008 Australia Kipling Flynn
2009 Mao's Last Dancer Judge Woodrow Seals
2010 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Harris
2011 Oakie's Outback Adventures Orpheus
2011 Telegram Man, TheThe Telegram Man Bill Williams Short film
2011 Forgotten Men, TheThe Forgotten Men Publican Short film
2013 Around the Block Mr. O'Donnell
2013 Mystery Road Charley Murray
2013 Blinder Coach Chang
2013 Great Gatsby, TheThe Great Gatsby Nick Carraway's Doctor, Walter Perkins
2016 Blue World Order Harris
Year Title Role Notes
1968 Motel Bill Burke Episode: "1.132"
Episode: "1.134"
1969 Riptide Wally
Episode: "Hagan's Kingdom"
Episode: "Flight of the Curlew"
1970 Woobinda, Animal Doctor Lenny Episode: "Lenny"
1970 Skippy Stefan Imard Episode: "High Fashion"
1970 Rovers, TheThe Rovers Kenneth Baker
Episode: "Wright's Peak"
Episode: "A Place of My Own"
1970 Homicide Jack Skinner
Kevin Ford
Episode: "The Doll"
Episode: "All Correct"
1970 Division 4 Charlie Penn Episode: "A Trip to the City"
1971-1973 Spyforce Erskine 42 episodes
1972 Over There Corporal Harry Logan Episode: "The Lord Sends the Food and the Devil Sends the Cook"
1972 Behind the Legend Charles Kingsford-Smith (1972) TV series
1972 Matlock Police Ron Cook Episode: "Cook's Endeavor"
1973 Matlock Police Robbo Episode: "Squaring Off"
1973 Linehaul Dave Morgan TV movie
1973 Boney Jack
Red Kelly
Episode: "Boney and the Strangler"
Episode: "Boney and the Kelly Gang"
1973 Ryan John Mitchell
Brian Duncan
Episode: "But When She Was Bad"
Episode: "Where Thunder Sleeps"
1973 Elephant Boy Chuck Ryder Episode: "Conservation Man"
1973 Homicide Ray Enright Episode: "Mother Superior"
1973 Evil Touch, TheThe Evil Touch Hammer
Episode "George"
Episode: "Scared to Death"
1974 Evil Touch, TheThe Evil Touch Stockman Episode: "Kadaitcha Country"
1974 Human Target Anderson TV movie
1974 Homicide Det. Sgt Jack Beck Episode: "Time and Tide"
1975 Armchair Cinema Vic Parkes Episode: "Tully"
1978 Because He's My Friend Geoff TV movie
1982 Shifting Dreaming, AA Shifting Dreaming TV movie
1982 Woman Called Golda, AA Woman Called Golda Ariel TV movie
1982 Letter, TheThe Letter Robert Crosbie TV movie
1984 Waterfront Maxey Woodbury TV miniseries
1986 Last Frontier, TheThe Last Frontier Nick Stenning TV movie
1987 Riddle of the Stinson, TheThe Riddle of the Stinson Bernard O'Reilly TV movie
1987 Kojak: The Price of Justice Aubrey Dubose TV movie
1988 Beryl Markham: A Shadow on the Sun Tom Campbell Black TV movie
1989 Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy, TheThe Rainbow Warrior Conspiracy Irvine TV movie
1989 Trouble in Paradise Jake TV movie
1990 After the Shock Fireman TV movie
1994 Dwelling Place, TheThe Dwelling Place Richard TV miniseries
1994 Girl Victor Martin TV movie
1995 Woman of Independent Means, AA Woman of Independent Means Sam Garner TV miniseries
1996 Thorn Birds: The Missing Years, TheThe Thorn Birds: The Missing Years The Judge TV movie
1996 McLeod's Daughters Jack McLeod TV movie
2001 My Brother Jack Bernard Brewster TV movie
2001 South Pacific Capt. George Brackett TV movie
2007 Bastard Boys Tony Tully TV movie
2009 Karenskys, TheThe Karenskys Max Karensky TV movie
2012 Rake Mr Justice Beesdon Episode: "R vs. Fenton"
2013 Camp Jack Jessup Episode: "Harvest Moon"


Thompson was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia on 9 June 1986 for his service to the Australian film industry,[12] and served as an UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador.


  • Jack Thompson: The Bush Poems of A.B. (Banjo) Paterson (Audio recording)|The Bush Poems of A.B. (Banjo) Paterson (2008)
  • Jack Thompson: The Campfire Yarns of Henry Lawson (2009)
  • Jack Thompson: The Sentimental Bloke, The Poems of C.J. Dennis (2009)
  • Jack Thompson: The Battlefield Poems of A.B (Banjo) Paterson (2010)
  • Jack Thompson: Favourite Australian Poems (2010)
  • Jack Thompson: The Poems of Henry Lawson (2011)[13]
  • Jack Thompson: Live at the Gearin Hotel (DVD & CD) (2011)
  • Jack Thompson: The Poems of Lewis Carroll (2011)
  • Jack Thompson: Live at the Lighthouse CD (2011)


  1. ^
  2. ^ National Library of Australia collection: Jack Thompson. Retrieved 2011-05-30.
  3. ^ [1] The Bard of the Bush - Sydney Morning Herald, 30 November 2008. Retrieved 2011-07-28.
  4. ^
  5. ^ NSW Death record
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
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  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

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