TV vet produced Academy Awards, Globes

Veteran film and television producer Jack Thompson, who served as associate producer of the Academy Awards show several times, died Oct. 28 in Beaufort, S.C. He was 77.

Known as the General because he was always on time and under budget, Thompson also produced “The Golden Globes” telecast in 1978.

Born in Fox Lake, Ill., Thompson served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict.

He worked on a variety of shows including “Father Knows Best” before joining ABC-TV as a production manager in 1971. In that capacity, he supervised the transformation of two Hollywood theaters into studios used by such programs as “Queen for a Day” and 500 episodes of the syndicated “The Lawrence Welk Show.”

Thompson also worked as a producer, associate producer or producer-writer for “The Johnny Cash Show” and specials starring Danny Thomas, Sandy Duncan and Waylon Jennings, and as the producer of country music specials for ABC and CBS, including “The Door Is Always Open,” “The Best Little Special in Texas” and “The Winning Hand.”

He also produced the remake of the classic film “Stagecoach” for CBS, starring Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. His other producing credits include 1973’s “Saga of Sonora” for NBC, as well as theatrical features “A Distant Thunder” and “All the Kings Horses.”

In 2004, Thompson joined with entertainment industry veteran Terry Porter to form Flat Rock Motion Pictures with the intention of making family-friendly films and television programming. At the time of Thompson’s death, the partners were finalizing funding for a slate of films through a New York-based financing group.

Thompson is survived by his wife of 37 years, Micki, three sons and a daughter.

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