Switched at Birth
Returns Monday, June 10th, 8:00 p.m., ET/PT
Kathryn Kennish on ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"
Moving between dramatic and comedic roles, Lea Thompson has established a career that encompasses film, television, theatre, and now interactive computer games. She is perhaps best known for her role in "Back to the Future I, II, and III," and as the title character in the syndicated series "Caroline in the City," for which she won TV Guide and People's Choice Awards.
A native of Minnesota, Thompson began her career as a professional ballet dancer and performed in more than 45 ballets with the Minnesota Dance Theatre. Her first taste of professional theatre was with the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, in "Madeline and the Gypsies" and "The Little Mermaid." After apprenticing with the Pennsylvania Ballet, she moved to New York at age 20 to pursue an acting career. She was first featured in a supporting role in the motion picture "Jaws 3-D" with Dennis Quaid, followed by a starring role opposite Tom Cruise in "All the Right Moves." Her film career took off after that with the "BTTF" films, "Red Dawn," and the now infamous "Howard the Duck." She met her future husband when he directed her in the John Hughes' film, "Some Kind of Wonderful." Some of her other favorite roles were in "Article 99," "Casual Sex?," "Dennis the Menace," "The Wizard of Loneliness," "Space Camp," "The Beverly Hillbillies," "The Little Rascals," "The Unknown Cyclist," "Fish Don't Blink," "Exit Speed," "Mayor Cupcake" (which featured her two daughters as well), "Thin Ice," "The Trouble with the Truth," Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar," and the just completed "Ping Pong Summer" with Susan Sarandon.
Thompson's television highlights include the Showtime original movie "The Right to Remain Silent"; NBC's made-for television movies "The Unspoken Truth," "The Substitute Wife," "Game of Your Life" and the miniseries, "A Will of Their Own," with Thomas Gibson; TNT's original movies, "Montana" and "Nightbreaker" with Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen, for which she received a CableACE nomination; HBO's "Tales from the Crypt" and USA's "Stealing Christmas" with Tony Danza. Thompson starred in "Stolen Babies" with Mary Tyler Moore, and in "The Debbie Smith Story/A Life Interrupted" for Lifetime, as well as being featured in the Lifetime series "Intimate Portraits." Her latest Lifetime film will be airing for the holidays entitled "Love at the Christmas Table," and she just finished working on the sequel to the award-winning Lifetime anthology, "Five." Her NBC series "Caroline in the City" was must-see TV for four years, followed by the Lifetime series "For the People." She starred in the Hallmark Channel Mystery Film series, "Jane Doe," marking her first directorial achievements on a couple of the series' films. Also for the Hallmark Channel, she starred in "Final Approach," a miniseries with Dean Cain, and "The Cabin," which filmed in Ireland. Notable television guest spots include "Friends," The Larry Sanders Show," "Ed," "Law & Order: SVU" and ABC Family's "Greek."
Theatre highlights include "Bus Stop" at the Pasadena Playhouse; Tony Kushner's "The Illusion" for the Los Angeles Theatre Center; "Long Time Coming" at the Powerhouse Theatre; "Charlie Bacon's Family" at the John Drew Theatre in East Hampton; and "The Trip Back Down" at the Actors' Repertory Theatre. Her personal favorite was as Sally Bowles in both the National Tour and the Broadway Studio 54 production of Sam Mendes' revival of "Cabaret." More recently Thompson has performed "The Vagina Monologues," the Los Angeles Reprise Series of "I Love My Wife" with Jason Alexander, and was the title character in "Caroline in Jersey" (no relation to "Caroline in the City") at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts.
Recently Thompson starred in Big Fish's computer game, "Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake," which will be released on Thanksgiving. Big Fish is the world's largest casual game company; their "MCF" series is one of their most popular game franchises and has been played worldwide by more than 100 million people. For Thompson, it was especially exciting to be a part of this because of the live-action game components and working with her daughter, Madelyn Deutch, who is appearing in the game as well.
Thompson can often be seen performing for various charity functions around Los Angeles, including Breast Cancer Research's What A Pair, the Alzheimer's Association, the WeSpark Foundation and the Schleroderma Foundation, to name a few. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 23 years, film director Howard Deutch, their two very talented daughters, Zoey and Madelyn, and a menagerie of dogs, a cat, a parrot, loads of fish and several horses.