Lea Thompson Biography
Birth Name - Lea Katherine Thompson
Date of Birth - May 31, 1961
Rochester, Minnesota, USA
Height - 5' 4" (1.63 m)
Lea Thompson photo gallery
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 her, 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. Ballet to be exact. 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 forty-five 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 twenty-two 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 Yellow Pages (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 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) (mini). 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 will soon be seen in two new movies, Electric (2002), and Haunted Lighthouse (2003).
Spouse - Howard Deutch (1989 - present) 2 children
More Interesting Information for Lea Thompson
Was engaged to Dennis Quaid for about 3 years before marrying Deutch. She met him on the set of her first movie Jaws 3-D (1983).
Has two daughters, Madeline and Zoey.
Was a ballet dancer until Baryshnikov told her she was too stocky.
Attended Marshall-University High School (Minneapolis)
Met husband Howard Deutch when he directed her in Some Kind of Wonderful (1987).
Has appeared in "Friends" (1994) as her character from "Caroline in the City" (1995). "Friends" (1994) Matthew Perry has appeared in "Caroline in the City" (1995) 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.
Wanted nothing more when she was at the American Ballet Theatre to dance with the star dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov. She was heartbroken when he remarked that she was "a beautiful dancer, but too stocky." Shortly after, she left the company.
Won scholarships to the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre.
Danced in more than 45 ballets with the ABT.
Her brother, Andrew Thompson, was also a modern ballet dancer with the Colorado Ballet. They both took ballet classes throughout their youth and he helped her pay for her classes later on in life.
It took approximately four hours to apply the makeup that would make her and co-stars Crispin Glover and Thomas F. Wilson appear to be middle-aged adults in Back to the Future (1985).
Her character's name in Back to the Future (1985) underwent numerous changes when the script was being written. In an early draft her character was called Mary Ellen and in later drafts she was called Eileen before it finally became Lorraine.
Lea Thompson Filmography
Final Approach (2008) (TV) .... Alicia Bender
FBI hostage rescue team leader Jack Bender has been sacked for not being a team player,
and months later he finds himself in the ultimate hostage nightmare: stuck aboard a plane
that's been taken over by a group of well-armed terrorists who threaten to detonate a nuclear
weapon unless they receive a billion dollars
Exit Speed (2007) .... Maudie McMinn
Ten adult bus passengers traveling across Texas on Christmas Eve meet up with a dangerous,
drug-addicted nomadic biker gang who force them off the road. When the nomads surround the
abandoned wrecking yard they are using as a refuge, the passengers initially go on the
defensive but soon realize that they must fight seemingly impossible odds and go on the
offensive if any of their remaining number are to have any chance of making it out alive.
Out of Omaha (2007) .... Ginger Gainor
... aka California Dreaming (International: English title: informal title)
Doubting Thomas (2007) .... Claire Miller
Doubting Thomas is the story of a twelve year old boy known for telling tall tales who
overhears a plot to kidnap the President's daughter. When he goes public with his story, no
one believes him, and he is forced to save her on his own.
Jane Doe: Eye of the Beholder (2007) (TV) .... Cathy Davis/Jane Doe
Cathy and Frank partner with a beautiful insurance investigator in the recovery of stolen
art. Frank is smitten with her, even though it becomes more apparent she may be the
mastermind behind the theft.
Jane Doe: How to Fire Your Boss (2007) (V) .... Cathy Davis/Jane Doe
Experimentation in mind control takes a deadly toll.
A Life Interrupted (2007) (TV) .... Debbie Smith
Jane Doe: Ties That Bind (2007) (TV) .... Cathy Davis/Jane Doe
Senior Skip Day (2007) .... Cathleen
10 Tricks (2006) .... Grace
Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall (2006) (TV) .... Cathy Davis/Jane Doe
Jane Doe: Yes, I Remember It Well (2006) (TV) .... Cathy Davis
Jane Doe: The Wrong Face (2005) (TV) .... Cathy Davis/Jane Doe
Come Away Home (2005) .... Carol
Jane Doe: Til Death Do Us Part (2005) (TV) .... Cathy Davis
Jane Doe: Now You See It, Now You Don't (2005) (TV) .... Cathy Davis/Jane Doe
Jane Doe: Vanishing Act (2005) (TV) .... Cathy Davis/Jane Doe
"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" .... Michelle Osborne (1 episode, 2004)
... aka Law & Order: SVU (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka Special Victims Unit (New Zealand: English title)
- Birthright (2004) TV Episode .... Michelle Osborne
"Ed" .... Liz Stevens (3 episodes, 2004)
- Pressure Points (2004) TV Episode .... Liz Stevens
- Hidden Agendas (2004) TV Episode .... Liz Stevens
- Back in the Saddle (2004) TV Episode .... Liz Stevens
Stealing Christmas (2003) (TV) .... Sarah Gibson
Haunted Lighthouse (2003) .... Peg Van Legge
... aka R.L. Stine's Haunted Lighthouse (USA: complete title)
"For the People" .... Chief Dep. Dist. Atty. Camille Paris (1 episode, 2002)
... aka Para la gente (USA: Spanish title)
- Dog Day (2002) TV Episode .... Chief Dep. Dist. Atty. Camille Paris
Fish Don't Blink (2002) .... Clara
Electric (2002) .... Geri Meyers
"Caroline in the City" .... Caroline Duffy (94 episodes, 1995-1999)
... aka Caroline (USA: promotional abbreviation)
- Caroline and El Niño (1999) TV Episode .... Caroline Duffy
- Caroline and the Big Move (1999) TV Episode .... Caroline Duffy
- Caroline and the Ultimatum (1999) TV Episode .... Caroline Duffy
- Caroline and the Return of the Sudsy Guy (1999) TV Episode .... Caroline Duffy
- Caroline and the Ancestral Home (1999) TV Episode .... Caroline Duffy
"A Will of Their Own" (1998) (mini) TV Series .... Amanda Steward
The Unknown Cyclist (1998) .... Melissa Cavatelli
The Right to Remain Silent (1996) (TV) .... Christine Paley
"Friends" .... Caroline Duffy (1 episode, 1995)
- The One with the Baby on the Bus (1995) TV Episode .... Caroline Duffy
The Unspoken Truth (1995) (TV) .... Brianne Hawkins
... aka Living the Lie (USA: alternative title)
The Little Rascals (1994) .... Ms. Roberts
The Substitute Wife (1994) (TV) .... Amy Hightower
The Beverly Hillbillies (1993) .... Laura Jackson
Dennis the Menace (1993) .... Mrs. Alice Mitchell
... aka Dennis (UK)
Stolen Babies (1993) (TV) .... Annie Beales
Article 99 (1992) .... Dr. Robin Van Dorn
Back to the Future Part III (1990) .... Maggie McFly/Lorraine McFly
Montana (1990) (TV) .... Peg Guthrie
Back to the Future Part II (1989) .... Lorraine Baines/McFly/Tannen
"Tales from the Crypt" .... Sylvia Vane (1 episode, 1989)
... aka HBO's Tales from the Crypt
- Only Sin Deep (1989) TV Episode .... Sylvia Vane
Nightbreaker (1989) (TV) .... Sally Matthews
... aka Advance to Ground Zero
The Wizard of Loneliness (1988) .... Sybil
Yellow Pages (1988) .... Marigold de la Hunt
... aka Going Undercover (USA)
Casual Sex? (1988) .... Stacy
Some Kind of Wonderful (1987) .... Amanda Jones
Howard the Duck (1986) .... Beverly Switzler
... aka Howard: A New Breed of Hero (UK)
SpaceCamp (1986) .... Kathryn Fairly
Back to the Future (1985) .... Lorraine Baines McFly
The Wild Life (1984) .... Anita
Red Dawn (1984) .... Erica
All the Right Moves (1983) .... Lisa
... aka All Right
Jaws 3-D (1983) .... Kelly Ann Bukowski
... aka Jaws 3
... aka Jaws III
MysteryDisc: Murder, Anyone? (1982) (V) .... Cecily 'Sissy' Loper
Jane Doe: Eye of the Beholder (2007) (TV) (completed)
Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall (2006) (TV)
Electric (2002) (producer)
"Celebrity Duets" .... Herself (4 episodes, 2006)
- Finale (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode #1.3 (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode #1.2 (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode #1.1 (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
"E! True Hollywood Story" .... Herself (1 episode, 2006)
- Michael J. Fox (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
Looking Back at the Future (2006) .... Herself
"The Tony Danza Show" .... Herself (2 episodes, 2006)
- Episode #1.117 (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode #2.82 (2006) TV Episode .... Herself
"I Love the 80's 3-D" (2005) (mini) TV Series .... Herself
"The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" .... Herself (1 episode, 2005)
- Episode #1.98 (2005) TV Episode .... Herself
"I Love the '80s Strikes Back" (2003) (mini) TV Series .... Herself
"Hollywood Squares" .... Guest Appearance (2 episodes, 1999-2003)
... aka H² (USA: promotional abbreviation)
... aka H2: Hollywood Squares (USA: fifth season title)
- Episode dated 6 January 2003 (2003) TV Episode .... Guest Appearance
- Episode dated 8 February 1999 (1999) TV Episode .... Guest Appearance
"I Love the '80s" (2002) (mini) TV Series .... Herself
"The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" .... Herself (1 episode, 2002)
... aka The Late Late Show (USA: short title)
- Episode dated 18 July 2002 (2002) TV Episode .... Herself
"The Rosie O'Donnell Show" .... Herself (3 episodes, 1997-2000)
- Episode dated 21 November 2000 (2000) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode dated 14 July 1998 (1998) TV Episode .... Herself
- Episode dated 25 February 1997 (1997) TV Episode .... Herself
Broadway on Broadway (2000) (TV) .... Herself - Performer "Cabaret" (Cabaret)
"The Larry Sanders Show" .... Herself (1 episode, 1998)
- As My Career Lay Dying (1998) TV Episode .... Herself
"Intimate Portrait" .... Herself (1 episode, 1998)
- Lea Thompson (1998) TV Episode .... Herself
TV Guide Looks at Christmas (1998) (TV) .... Herself - Host
TV Guide Looks at Christmas (1997) (TV) .... Herself - Host
2nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (1996) (TV)
"Showbiz Today" .... Herself (1 episode, 1995)
- Episode dated 16 May 1995 (1995) TV Episode .... Herself
The Making of 'Back to the Future' (1985) (TV) .... Herself
The Making of 'Jaws 3-D': Sharks Don't Die (1983) (TV) .... Herself
"Retrosexual: The 80's" (2004) (mini)
Back to the Future Video Slots (2004) (VG) .... Lorraine Baines
Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) (V) (uncredited) .... Lisa Litski