Mark Thompson is a well-known American radio personality who became famous with Brian Phelps for their morning show ‘Mark and Brian’, which ran for 25 years till 2012. The duo also hosted the series called ‘The Adventures of Mark & Brian’ on NBC TV. Mark is also an occasional actor and screenwriter. He has appeared in television serials ‘Reba’, ‘Wings’, and ‘Dharma and Greg’. Mark has acted in the movies ‘The Princess Diaries’, ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday’ and ‘Rocky V’. He also wrote the script for ‘2:13’ and ‘Mother Ghost’. Thompson and his wife started their own show called ‘The Mark & Lynda Podcast’ that deals with family relationship issues. He has co-hosted the Pro Football Slam podcast and the ‘Cool Stories in Music’ podcast. His last radio show ‘Mark in the Morning’ features his daughter, Katie Thompson. He won the National Association of Broadcasting Marconi Award as Air Personality of the Year and an Emmy award for hosting ‘The Andy Griffith Christmas Special’ for Fox TV. He has been honoured with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio and considered one of America’s all time favourite radio personalities.
Childhood & Early Life
Mark LaMarr Thompson was born in a middle class family on 1 December 1955, in Florence, Alabama, USA. His father was a veteran of the Pearl Harbour attack. He attended Underwood Elementary School and later graduated from the University of North Alabama.
Mark was interested in radio from his childhood and started life as a weekend disc jockey at WOWL-FN. During his early career he worked for various radio stations till he met Brian Phelps in Birmingham, Alabama. They teamed together as a duo and became famous on radio.
Thompson learnt to play the drums and was a great fan of Elvis Presley and ‘the Andy Griffith Show’ during his youth. He ultimately moved to Los Angeles where he established himself as a radio personality of repute.
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Mark Thompson and Brian Phelps gained popularity with their radio show titled ‘The Mark & Brian Show’ which aired from 1987 to 2012 on KLOS – FM in Los Angeles, California. During this period Mark started several other entertainment ventures with Brian as well as independently.
In 1991-1992, the duo hosted a series ‘The Adventures of Mark & Brian’, which was based on their radio show. The show gained popularity and soon moved to a primetime slot on the television network.
His television roles include a brief appearance in three episodes of ‘Reba’ between 2002 and 2003. He also appeared in ‘Cheers’, ‘Wings’ and ‘Dharma and Greg’ for which he received positive reviews.
He has acted in several movies including ‘The Princess Diaries’, ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday’, ‘Friday the 13th’ and ‘Rocky V’. He also wrote the script for ‘2:13’ and ‘Mother Ghost’, in which he appeared in minor roles as well.
In 2012, he moved to Charlotte, North California, with his family and announced his retirement from active radio jockey work. However, he equipped his home with a studio set-up to pursue freelance media work to keep himself occupied.
Thompson and his wife started their own show called ‘The Mark & Lynda Podcast’ that focuses mainly on relationship issues.
Though he has announced his retirement, his passion for the media has kept him in touch with the industry. He co-hosted the Pro Football Slam podcast with Sam Farmer in 2013-14 and hosted the ‘Cool Stories in Music’ podcast in 2013.
His love for media finally made him rethink his retirement plans and in 2014, he announced his return to the KSWD radio station Los Angeles morning radio show.
In 2015, Mark Thompson started hosting the radio show ‘Mark in the Morning’ on classic rock. The show included his daughter, Katie Thompson, and an old staff member, Daniel Mizrahi. He finally left the show in 2016 and plans to continue with his programme ‘Cool Stories in Music’.
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Mark is active on social media as well and enjoys a huge fan following.
Mark is best known for ‘The Mark & Brian Show’ which ran from 1987 to 2012 on KLOS-FM.
He co-hosted the series ‘The Adventures of Mark & Brian’ on NBC TV from 1991 to 1992.
He has acted in several movies, including ‘The Princess Diaries’, ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday’ and ‘Friday the 13th’.
He has written the script for ‘2:13’ and ‘Mother Ghost’, and appeared in these movies as well.
He and his wife hosted ‘The Mark & Lynda Podcast’. He also co-hosted the Pro Football Slam podcast in 2013-14 and the ‘Cool Stories in Music’ podcast in 2013.
He hosted the radio show called ‘Mark in the Morning’ on classic rock in 2015 that featured his daughter, Katie Thompson.
Awards & Achievements
In 1991, he won the National Association of Broadcasting Marconi Award as Air Personality of the Year.
In 1997, Mark Thompson won an Emmy award for hosting ‘The Andy Griffith Christmas Special’ for Fox TV.
His film ‘Mother of Ghost’ received four best picture awards, and Mark received an award for Best Screenplay for the movie.
He was honoured with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio at the 6767 Hollywood Boulevard in September 1997.
He married Lynda, who was a regular listener of his shows. She was diagnosed with cancer, but was reported to be fully cured of the deadly disease in 2012. Thereafter, Mark announced his retirement and moved to Charlotte, North California.
They have three children - Matthew, Amy and Katie - who have been brought-up to follow Christianity. He is also close to his nephew, David and niece, Nina.
His instant sense of humour and wit has contributed to his popularity. His unique style of speaking and accent also helped him with his radio career. He is known to be straightforward while interviewing people on his shows, and this fact has been hugely appreciated by his fans.
He was once arrested for trespassing when he vaulted over the counter of the Santa Clarita Sherriff’s Station when he had gone to visit a friend who was under arrest for driving under the influence of liquor. He was released after a while as no mala fide intentions were established.
Mark is a good drummer too, and recorded with several bands during his regular ‘Mark and Brian Christmas Show’.