Worked With:

Levar Burton

Ed Harris

James Woods

Ted Danson

Hal Holbrook

Shirley MacLaine

Michael Sarrazin

Sada Thompson Biography

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Birth Name: Sada Thompson
Born: 09/27/1927
Birth Place: Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Death Place: Danbury, Connecticut, USA
Died: 05/04/2011

Although Thompson had appeared on live TV shows like "Goodyear Playhouse" as early as 1954, she had remained a New York actress and had not migrated West when TV production did so. As such, she was unknown to many in the TV audience when she became Kate Lawrence, the Pasadena homemaker and mother with a spine of pliable steel, in "Family" (1976-1980), the groundbreaking ABC series which took a realistic look at a contemporary middle-class American family. Thompson earned an Emmy as Best Actress in a Drama Series in 1978 for her work and subsequently found herself in demand for TV movies and miniseries, often in mother roles. Among her highlights were the matriarch in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" production "Home Fires Burning" (CBS, 1989); the emotionally confused and torn mother of a son who died from AIDS complications in "Andre's Mother" (PBS, 1990); Miss Mandy, the plantation doyenne, in "Queen" (CBS, 1993); and Virginia McMartin, the grandmother accused of fostering child abuse, in "Indictment: The McMartin Trial" (HBO, 1995). Showing her comical side, she was even sassy Carla's mother in an episode of the NBC sitcom "Cheers" in 1991. Thompson has made fewer inroads into feature films. She made her debut in the now obscure, "You Are Not Alone" in 1961 but was perhaps best remembered as Claire, the lonely divorcee who allows her ex-husband to live in her home in "Desperate Characters," a 1971 Shirley MacLaine vehicle. She also offered an effective cameo as the title character's stern mother in the biopic "Pollock" (2000). The well-respected character actress passed away on May 4, 2011 in Danbury, CT, of lung disease. She was 83 years old.