Linda Thompson is an American songwriter, author, former actress and beauty pageant winner. She is best recognized for having been a cast member of the variety show ‘Hee Haw.’ As a lyrist, she has contributed to several hits including "I Have Nothing" for the 1992 movie ‘The Bodyguard,’ for which she earned an Academy Award nomination as well as a Grammy Award nomination. Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Thompson grew up with her elder brother Sam, who eventually became one of the singer/actor Elvis Presley's bodyguards. Linda started off her career as a contestant in beauty pageants and won several titles including, Miss Shelby County, Miss Liberty Bowl and Miss Tennessee Universe. She then switched to acting, and later had a successful career as a songwriter. On a personal note, Thompson is known for her relationships with a number of celebrities including the Olympic gold medallist decathlon champion Bruce Jenner (presently Caitlyn Jenner) and musician/record producer David Foster.
Participation in Beauty Pageants
In 1969, Linda Thompson earned the title of Miss Shelby County. The following year, she won the title of Miss Mid-South Fair. This was followed by more titles including Miss Liberty Bowl, Miss Okra, MSU's Homecoming Court and Memphis State's Golf Queen. In 1970, she was honoured with the title of Miss Memphis State University and also became the third runner-up in Miss Tennessee pageant. In 1972, Thompson was named Miss Tennessee Universe aka Miss Tennessee USA.
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In 1977, Linda Thompson was cast in the television variety show ‘Hee Haw.’ She then went on to make guest appearances in several shows including ‘CHiPs,’ ‘Vega$,’ ‘Starsky & Hutch,’ ‘Fantasy Island,’ ‘Beverly Hills,’ ‘The Fall Guy,’ and ‘90210.’
She also featured in several movies including the 1978 comedy ‘Rabbit Test,’ the 1991 film ‘Original Intent’ and the 1992 romantic thriller ‘The Bodyguard.’
In addition, Thompson starred in multiple projects in collaboration with her former partners. These include a workout video by her first husband Bruce Jenner, four documentaries about her ex-boyfriend Elvis Presley, and a reality series about her second husband David Foster.
Career as a Songwriter
Linda Thompson started her career as a songwriter in 1985 when she wrote the song "Our Perfect Song" for Kenny Rogers’s album ‘The Heart of the Matter.’ She then went on to collaborate with a number of artists including Steve Dorff for "Miracle", Andreas Carlsson for "Drowning" and composer Richard Marx for Josh Groban's hit single, "To Where You Are."
Thompson also worked with David Foster on a number of songs, such as "No Explanation" for the 1990 movie ‘Pretty Woman,’ and "I Have Nothing" for the 1992 film ‘The Bodyguard’ for which she earned a Grammy Award nomination as well as an Academy Award nomination.
In 1999, Thompson collaborated with Carole Bayer Sager and Clint Eastwood for the film True Crime’s track "Why Should I Care". Two years later, she wrote the song "Drowning" for Backstreet Boys. In 2011, she co-wrote the title track for Jackie Evancho's second album ‘Dream With Me.’
Family & Personal Life
Linda Thompson was born on May 23, 1950 in Memphis, Tennessee, USA to Sanford Abel Thompson and his wife Margie. She has an elder brother named Sam who served as one of her then-boyfriend Elvis Presley's bodyguards.
Taking about her love life, she initially dated singer/actor Elvis Presley whom she met in 1972. The couple dated for four years before parting ways in 1976. However, they remained friends until Elvis' death.
In 1980, she began dating former Olympic decathlete Bruce Jenner. The two married in 1981 and had two sons, Brandon and Brody. Thompson and Jenner separated five years after their marriage and divorced thereafter. Later, Bruce Jenner underwent sex reassignment surgery and changed her name to Caitlyn Jenner.
On June 22, 1991, Linda Thompson married Canadian record producer and composer David Foster. The couple divorced in 2005.