Fred Thomson was a silent film actor renowned for his roles in westerns. An early death at age 39 prevented him from establishing a more durable legacy in Hollywood.
His climb up the ladder of fame started slowly, and his first work was doubling for western heroes of the screen. His first role in a picture was given him by Mary Pickford in "The Love Light," in which he played opposite her and the hero-villain. His break came when he bought a horse he had seen at a riding academy in New York. He named it Silver King, and it began to appear with him in all his films.
His first western picture was made on the Universal lot for producer Joe Brown. It was an instant hit. In 1927 he became affiliated with Paramount, making two pictures, "Jesse James" and "The Pioneer Scout."
Before his acting career, Thomson made his mark on the world as a star athlete at Occidental College and Princeton Theological Seminary. When World War I broke out, Thomson served as a chaplain in the Army.