A veteran of stage and screen, Sada Thompson
was nominated for a 1995 Emmy Award for her work in the HBO film Indictment: The McMartin Trial
. She returned to Broadway in the 1993 season, portraying Mrs. Benti in Frank D. Gilroy's Any Given Day
, and received the 1972 Tony Award for her performance as the four ladies of Twigs
, directed by Michael Bennett. For her portrayals of Beatrice in "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds and Dorine in the Lincoln Square production of
Tartuffe," she was twice presented with the prestigious Obie Award.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Thompson was educated at Carnegie Mellon University. She made her New York stage debut in the first production of Under Milkwood, by Dylan Thomas. Other Broadway appearances include Mare Blitzstein's musical Juno: Johnny No Trump, and the Theatre 69 productions of Happy Days and The American Dream: Saturday, Sunday, Monday, directed by Franco Zeffirelli. She has appeared in eleven off-Broadway productions, the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connecticut, and in Real Estate, directed by Brian Murray. She has starred throughout the country in Love Letters, Driving Ms. Daisy, The Vinegar Tree, The Matchmaker, The Skin of Our Teeth, Catsplay, Children, and the National Tour of On Golden Pond. In London, Thompson lent her talents to The Little Foxes. For the Williamstown Theatre Festival, she was Veda Louise in the revival of Harvey, and starred in The Showoff, for Jack O'Brien, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.
On television, Thompson may be best remembered as Kate Lawrence in the series Family, for which she won an Emmy Award in 1978. Her other television credits include the highly acclaimed Andre's Mother and Painting Churches, both for PBS, Law & Order, the mini-series Sandberg's Lincoln, Marco Polo, Our Town, The Entertainer, Father Dowling, Princess Daisy, Home Fires Burning, Fearstalk, and an episode of Cheers, in which her performance as Carla's mother won her an Emmy Award nomination. Thompson has narrated many books on tape, including Mrs. Pollifax and the Whirling Dervish and P.S. I Love You. She is married to Donald Stewart and their daughter, Liza, is a costume designer.