A New Role for Fred Thompson

On screen and in the Senate, he has looked the part. Now the Law and Order star must decide if he's typecast for President

J. Emilio Flores / Getty

Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson.

As former Republican Senator Fred Thompson ponders a late entry into the 2008 Presidential race, the actor's biggest advantage just might be that people feel they already know exactly what he would be like as Commander in Chief.

Even before his Law & Order depiction of district attorney Arthur Branch, Thompson nearly always played variations on the same character — a straight-talking, tough-minded, wise Southerner — basically a version of what his supporters say is his true political self. And he is often cast as a person in power — a...

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