Screenwriter, agent Frank Thompson dies

Writing credits included 'Forced Vengeance,' 'Perry Mason'

Frank Thompson, an agent for Hollywood writers and a scribe himself, died Dec. 2 at his Northern California home, the WGA announced. He was 75 and had been in poor health for several years.

An ardent supporter of the guild, Thompson in the early 1970s began gathering industry veterans for an informal lunch group that has lasted for 40 years. Called the 13th Club, the group gathers as close to the 13th of each month so that writers can stay abreast of industry trends. As Thompson once put it, “The writer is often the last to know.”

A graduate of Hollywood High, Thompson began his career as a junior agent at the H.N. “Swanie” Swanson Agency. While studying history at Harvard, he wrote a study of the 1950 film “The Gunfighter” and sent it to William Bowers, the film’s Oscar-nominated screenwriter, who helped him get a job at Swanson.

Thompson later represented writers at the Ashley-Famous agency (later ICM) and the Major Talent Agency.

Thompson’s writing credits included work on the 1982 film “Forced Vengeance,” the 1978 telefilm “Standing Tall”; TV series “Jake and the Fat Man” and the 1980s reincarnation of “Perry Mason”; and a 1984 “ABC Afterschool Special” on dyslexia called “Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia.”

He also worked as a story consultant for such producers as Reynolds, Quinn Martin and Dean Hargrove.

Thompson is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, John and Linda Thompson, and their daughters, Anne and Elizabeth. A life celebration is planned for Jan. 31 in Pasadena. For more information, contact Ralph Gaby Wilson at (626) 744-0400.
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