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Linda Diane Thompson
May 23, 1950
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
|Other names||Linda Jenner |
(m. 1981; div. 1986)
(m. 1991; div. 2005)
Linda Diane Thompson (born May 23, 1950) is an American songwriter/lyricist, former actress and beauty pageant winner; but she is perhaps best known as a cast member of Hee Haw as one of the "Hee Haw Honeys." She was a longtime girlfriend of Elvis Presley before marrying Olympic decathlon champion Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner), and David Foster, musician, record producer, composer, songwriter and arranger.
Thompson was Miss Shelby County (1969) In September 1970, she was named "Miss Mid-South Fair" at Memphis. Some of her other titles are, "Miss Liberty Bowl", "Memphis State's Golf Queen", "Miss Okra" (Bells, Tennessee), and MSU's Homecoming Court. In 1970, Thompson was named "Miss Memphis State University" and was third runner-up in the 1970 Miss Tennessee pageant (which is the state preliminary to the Miss America pageant).
I was Miss Tennessee. I was Miss Tennessee Universe in 1972, and Elvis was Elvis. And I was invited to go to the Memphian Theater, which he rented out after midnight to screen films. ... So, I was invited to go to the theater. And Miss Rhode Island, Jeannie LaMay, was my roommate in the Miss USA pageant. She was living in Memphis. And she and I went to the theater and were introduced to him properly.
Like most people, I was a huge Elvis fan and never dreamed I'd get to meet him, much less have the experiences I ended up sharing with him and Linda. I've always in my heart felt it was fate, destiny, whatever you want to call it, that first brought me and Linda Thompson together as roommates at a beauty pageant in Puerto Rico. She was Miss Tennessee and I was Miss Rhode Island.
In 1977, Thompson became a regular on the television series Hee Haw. She later had small one-episode roles in such television series as CHiPs, Starsky & Hutch, Vega$, Fantasy Island, The Fall Guy and Beverly Hills, 90210.
Thompson starred in several television pilots, including "Mars Base One" and "Two for Two". She appeared in several films, including Rabbit Test (1978) and Original Intent (1991). She had a small role in The Bodyguard (1992).
She appeared as Linda Jenner in a workout video by then-husband Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner), four documentaries about Elvis Presley between 1997 and 2004, and in the short-lived Princes of Malibu, a reality series about then-husband David Foster's efforts to improve her two sons and herself.
She began her career as a lyricist with the Kenny Rogers single "Our Perfect Song" from his album The Heart of the Matter (1985). Thompson collaborated with composer Richard Marx on Josh Groban's first hit record, "To Where You Are", with composer Steve Dorff on the Celine Dion hit "Miracle", with Andreas Carlsson for "Drowning" by the Backstreet Boys, and composer David Foster on several compositions, including "No Explanation" for the film Pretty Woman (1990), and "I Have Nothing" for the film The Bodyguard (1992), for which they were nominated both for the Academy Award for Best Song in 1993 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television in 1994, and "Grown-Up Christmas List".
In 1999, Linda Thompson, Clint Eastwood and Carole Bayer Sager wrote "Why Should I Care" for the film True Crime. In 2001, she wrote "Drowning" for the American boyband Backstreet Boys. In 2011, Thompson, Foster and Jackie Evancho collaborated on the title track for Evancho's album Dream With Me.
Thompson and Foster received the 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for "Aren't They All Our Children" for "The Concert for World Children's Day", which aired November 14, 2002.
A Little Thing Called Life: From Elvis's Graceland to Bruce Jenner's Caitlyn & Songs in Between Hardcover – May 3, 2016
On July 6, 1972, Thompson attended a private movie screening hosted by Elvis Presley at the Memphian Theater in Memphis. She and Elvis hit it off and subsequently dated for 4 years before breaking up around Christmas 1976. They broke up because, like Elvis' ex-wife Priscilla, she wanted a "normal" life which was not possible with Elvis. However, they broke up on good terms and remained good friends until Elvis' death.
In 1980, Thompson began a relationship with former Olympic Gold Medal decathlete Bruce Jenner (now known as Caitlyn Jenner). The couple married on January 5, 1981 in Oahu, Hawaii. They have two sons together, Brandon and Sam Brody, known as Brody. The couple separated in 1986 and divorced thereafter.
Honors and awards
Thompson won a BMI Film & TV Award in 1994 for Most Performed Song from a Film ("I Have Nothing"), composed by Thompson and David Foster for the soundtrack for The Bodyguard. She shared Special Recognition Awards in 1997 and 2004 with several others for work related to the Olympics, including lyrics for the official 1996 Olympic theme song, "The Power of the Dream", sung by Celine Dion.
- Info re parents, legacy.com; accessed March 25, 2015.
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- Memphis Commercial Appeal, "Mid-South Memories", September 8, 2010.
- "Miss Tennessee Titleholders". Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
- "Interview With Linda Thompson". Larry King Live/CNN. August 16, 2002. Archived from the original on August 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- Elvis, Linda and Me, goodreads.com; accessed March 25, 2015.
- Interview with Dumas, elvisinfonet.com; accessed March 25, 2015.
- Jeanne LeMay Dumas profile, missrhodeislandusa.com; accessed March 25, 2015.
- Profile, Miss Tennessee USA Hall of Fame website; accessed March 25, 2015.
- 2003 Emmy Award, emmys.com; accessed March 25, 2015.
- "Linda Thompson memoir recalls loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner". The Commercial Appeal. August 19, 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
- "Notes on People; Bruce Jenner Married 'Hee Haw' Entertainer; Hawaiian Wedding". The New York Times. January 7, 1981. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- Saad, Nardine (March 5, 2013). "Brody Jenner joins 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- "After Five Years, Bruce Jenner and Second Wife Linda Find Happiness Is Not Working Out". People. 25 (6). February 10, 1986. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
- Piccalo, Gina (August 22, 2005). "Television & Radio; 'Princes': royal flush; The Malibu-based reality series slipped on the grain of truth from which it sprang. Fox's failed show had little chance from the outset. Reality, it seems, got in the way". Los Angeles Times. p. E1. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- Silverman, Stephen M. (July 22, 2005). "Divorce for Mom on Princes of Malibu". People.com. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- Borzillo, Carrie (28 May 1994). "TV Composer Post Takes BMI Award". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 106: 72.