Jay Thompson

Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68.

Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work for the Music Center’s Mark Taper Forum included such premieres as “Angels in America,” “The Kentucky Cycle” and “Children of a Lesser God.”

Thompson, known for his keen understanding of the theatrical medium, shot more than 250 Taper productions on the mainstage and also numerous shows for the Ahmanson Theatre including “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “The Heidi Chronicles” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”

Born and reared in East Orange, N.J., he served in the army as a radio announcer in Panama during the 1950s. Later, while working as a publicist at Universal Studios, he concluded he could do better photo work than the photogs he was hiring.

He was also known for celebrity portraits, including those of Bette Davis, Eleanor Roosevelt and Lucille Ball. In addition, Thompson was an active member of the Hollywood Revitalization Committee from 1974-1978.

Services will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Music Center Annex, Rehearsal Room A, 601 W. Temple St.

More Scene

  • David Harbour'Stranger Things' event, Los Angeles,

    'Stranger Things' Season 3 Is Inspired by 1985's 'Fletch' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68. Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg

    Jeffrey Katzenberg on Oscars' New Popular Film Category Controversy

    Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68. Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work […]

  • Ruth Wilson

    'The Affair's' Ruth Wilson Stays Mum on Controversial Exit

    Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68. Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work […]

  • CULVER CITY, CA - AUGUST 16:

    'To All the Boys I've Loved Before' Star Lana Condor on Bringing More Diversity to Movies

    Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68. Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work […]

  • Samantha Barks, Andy Karl'Pretty Woman: The

    'Pretty Woman' Broadway Cast Recalls Performing for Julia Roberts

    Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68. Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work […]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg Lew Wasserman

    Jeffrey Katzenberg Remembers Being Mentored by Lew Wasserman

    Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68. Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work […]

  • Darren Criss

    'The Assassination of Gianni Versace': How Darren Criss Stayed Sane While Playing Serial Killer Andrew Cunanan

    Jay Thompson, a leading theatrical photographer in the Los Angeles area for more than 30 years, died March 14 of respiratory failure at Glendale Adventist Hospital. He was 68. Thompson’s early photographic work included the stage productions of “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Hair,” “Tommy” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Beginning in the late 1970s, his work […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content