Brian Thompson

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Brian Thompson
Brian Thompson Interview Photo.jpg
Thompson in 2017
Brian Earl Thompson

(1959-08-28) August 28, 1959 (age 63)
Education Central Washington University
University of California, Irvine
Years active1983–present

Brian Earl Thompson (born August 28, 1959) is an American actor. His career began with a small role in the 1984 film The Terminator . He played the villainous "Night Slasher" in the 1986 film Cobra . His first named role was on Werewolf , a horror series that ran during Fox's inaugural broadcasting year of 1987–1988. [1] [2] [3] Thompson has played several characters in the Star Trek franchise—the most notable being the Klingon Lieutenant Klag in which he informed Riker that “Gagh is always best when served live”, the Alien Bounty Hunter on The X-Files , and Eddie Fiori on Kindred: The Embraced . [4] In 2014, he produced, wrote and starred in the B movie parody The Extendables . [5]


Early life

Thompson was born in Ellensburg, Washington, and raised in Longview. He attended Central Washington University, where he studied business management, played football, and appeared in many school productions. He then moved to California and earned a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine. [6] He initially trained and pursued a career in musical theater, performing at Riverside Civil Light Opera's production of "The King and I", Long Beach Civic Light Opera's "Bittersweet", and several other musicals. In 1982, he was a resident actor at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Thompson's athletic build and unique facial structure were key in the initial roles he was offered. [7] He has stated that it has occasionally been a double-edged sword when it comes to auditioning for roles, but it has provided him with consistent work. [8] Thompson said, "If you're very physical in stature, you're gonna get hired for action movies. The star's always going to be chasing someone so they need an equal adversary. I'm never going to play a nebbish geek." [1]


Thompson was cast in The Terminator while still in school. He and Bill Paxton had minor roles as punk thugs. [1] [9]

He followed that up with roles on Moonlighting , Otherworld , Street Hawk and Knight Rider before landing the role in the Sylvester Stallone vehicle, Cobra (1986). Although the film was critically panned, it was a commercial success. The New York Times wrote of Thompson's portrayal, "the archvillain, a character that is a cross between a James Bond fantasy villain such as Jaws and a raging psychopath, delivers a scorching monologue – a feat of linguistic sophistication that Cobra would have a hard time matching." [10]

In 1993, Thompson landed another comedic role on the large ensemble series Key West which was filmed on location in the Florida Keys. The series lasted for 13 episodes. He played a "new-age sheriff", which Thompson stated was the favorite role of his career. [11] The character uttered the introductory line, "I'm Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Jefferson. I'm a direct descendant of Wyatt Earp and the Lone Ranger. My personal heroes are Ted Nugent, Buddha and Davy Crockett. I am the last real lawman and the first peace officer of the 21st century." [12]

The following year, Thompson began his tenure on The X-Files and followed that with roles in the science fiction-fantasy series Seven Days , Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed . Between these, Thompson made dozens of appearances in other series and films. [1] [13] In 1996, he appeared in Dragonheart as Brok, the commander of the armies of David Thewlis' villainous king, Einon. The fantasy film, starring Dennis Quaid and Sean Connery, was a moderate success. [14]

Thompson then returned to the big screen as lead antagonist Shao Kahn in the film adaptation of Mortal Kombat: Annihilation . [15] The New York Times called it "colossal compendium of logic-defying martial arts, noisy, hyperactive special effects..." [16] In 2014, Thompson released The Extendables, a film he produced, wrote, and starred in. A parody of movies like The Expendables , Thompson stated that it contained true-to-life instances from his own career. [17] It was released via iTunes. [18] In 2017 Thompson work in thriller indie film Trafficked with Ashley Judd, [19] and in 2019 star in horror film Hoax alongside Adrienne Barbeau; [20] in 2022 appeared in historical thriller film The Tragedy of Macbeth with Denzel Washington.

Star Trek

In 1989, Thompson landed his first Star Trek role on Star Trek: The Next Generation . His size worked against him at first, because the producers were originally looking to cast someone who could fit in a certain costume. He was able to convince them to give him a try: "That was the first of five auditions that I've had for Star Trek and they've hired me every time." [8] Thompson played a Klingon in the episode "A Matter of Honor". [8] [21] In 1993 and 1996, he appeared in episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as different characters. In 1994, he appeared in the feature film Star Trek Generations .

In 2005, Thompson was cast as Admiral Valdore in three episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise . Thompson has since participated in Star Trek fandom, giving narrative DVD extras and appearing at conventions. [11] [13] [21]

Personal life

Thompson is a stand up paddle surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiast and studies hapkido. [9] [22] He has two children, Daphne and Jordan. [1]

Selected filmography


1984 The Terminator Street Punk
1986 Cobra 'The Night Slasher'
1986 Three Amigos German Thug
1988 Fright Night Part 2 Bozworth
1988 Alien Nation Trent Porter
1988 Miracle Mile Helicopter Pilot
1989 Three Fugitives Second Thug
1990 Lionheart Russell / Roc
1990 Nightwish Dean
1990 Moon 44 Jake O'Neal
1990 After the Shock TomTV movie
1990 Hired to Kill Frank Ryan
1991 Life Stinks Mean Victor
1992 Doctor Mordrid Kabal
1992Rage and HonorConrad Drago
1993 The Naked Truth Bruno
1994 Star Trek Generations Klingon Helmsman
1996 Dragonheart Brok
1997 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation Shao Kahn
1997 Perfect Target Major Oxnard
2000 Jason and the Argonauts Hercules Television miniseries
2001 Joe Dirt Bob 'Buffalo Bob'
2001 Epoch Captain Tower
2001 The Order Cyrus Jacob
2007 Fist of the Warrior Max
2007 Flight of the Living Dead: Outbreak on a Plane Kevin
2011 The Arcadian Agmundr
2014 The Extendables [23] Vardell 'V.D.' Duseldorfer
2016Beyond the Game
2017SunflowerCaptain Cody
2017Dark GamesDetective Joe Grimes
2017 Trafficked Max
2019 Hoax John Singer
2019I Am That ManHalpin
2020Big MuddyWyatt Cooper
2021 The Tragedy of Macbeth Young Murderer


1984 Hardcastle and McCormick Police OfficerEpisode: "Ties My Father Sold Me"
1985 Knight Rider KurtEpisode: "Sky Knight"
1988 Favorite Son Rolf Petersen3 episodes
1988 Werewolf Nicholas Remy 6 episodes
1989 Star Trek: The Next Generation Klingon Officer KlagEpisode: "A Matter of Honor"
1990 Alien Nation Peter RabbitEpisode: "Rebirth"
1993 Key West Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Jefferson13 episodes
1993 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine InglatuEpisode: "Rules of Acquisition"
1995-2000 The X-Files Alien Bounty Hunter 9 episodes
1995 Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Goth The BarbarianEpisode: "Siege at Naxos"
1996 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Toman'toraxEpisode: "To the Death"
1996 Kindred: The Embraced Eddie Fiori6 episodes as the leader of the Brujah clan of vampires
1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Luke Episodes: "Welcome to the Hellmouth", "The Harvest"
1998 NYPD Blue ToddEpisode: "Czech Bouncer"
1998 Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Judge Episodes: "Surprise", "Innocence"
2000 Charmed Horseman of WarEpisode: "Apocalypse, Not"
2002 Birds of Prey The CrawlerEpisode: "Split"
2003 Charmed Titan CronosEpisode: "Oh My Goddess (Part 1 & 2)"
2004 NCIS Master Chief Vince NutterEpisode: "The Truth is Out There"
2005 Star Trek: Enterprise Romulan Admiral Valdore3 episodes
2009 Chuck Cliff Arculin / Cliff Siljak Episode: "Chuck Versus the Suburbs"
2012 Californication Mr. ScaryEpisode: "At the Movies" (Directed by Helen Hunt)
2012Spirit of a DentureCaptain Jasper CrowWith Kevin Spacey
2014 Hawaii Five-0 Internal Affairs Detective Nicholas CruzEpisode: "Hana Lokomaika'i"
2017 The Orville DrogenEpisode: "Into the Fold"
2018-19 9-1-1 Captain Vincent Gerrard2 episodes
2021 NCIS: Los Angeles CIA Officer Steven ErdnaseEpisode: "Through the Looking Glass"

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