Kirk Douglas

An actor transcends age: John Douglas Thompson melts away the years to play Hamlet at A.C.T.

An actor transcends age: John Douglas Thompson melts away the years to play Hamlet at A.C.T.

John Douglas Thompson, the British-born actor of Jamaican heritage who trained in America and is now a citizen here, has carved out a reputation as one of our leading classical actors.

His Othello is considered among the finest modern renditions. Combining gravitas with infinite suppleness, he has illuminated other roles in the Shakespeare canon as well as characters in Eugene O’Neill, Christopher Marlowe and August Wilson. (L.A. audiences will remember his towering performance as the haunted traveler searching with his daughter for his vanished wife in Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Mark Taper Forum in 2013.)

One part he’s never until now scaled is Hamlet, the...

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