Fred Thompson, former US senator and ‘Law & Order’ actor dead at 73

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former US senator Fred Thompson and "Law and Order" actor died Sunday at the age of 73.

"It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, husband, father, and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville surrounded by his family," the statement from the family reads.

According to the statement, Thompson died in Nashville after a recurrence of lymphoma.

Thompson, a lawyer, alternated between politics and acting much of his adult life. Once regarded as a rising star in the Senate, he retired from the seat when his term expired in January 2003, saying he didn't "have the heart" for another term.

Thompson later took his talents to Hollywood where he enjoyed a five-year run as District Attorney Arthur Branch on NBC's "Law & Order."

In 2007 Thompson announced he would try and seek the Republican nomination for president. He dropped out the next year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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