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J. Lee Thompson (1914–2002)

J. Lee Thompson was born on August 1, 1914 in Bristol, England as John Lee Thompson. He was a director and writer, known for The Guns of Navarone (1961), Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972). He was married to Lucille Kelly, Penny Thompson, Florence (Bill) Bailey and Joan Henry. He died on August ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Known For


Hide Hide Show Show Director (49 credits)
Show Show Writer (12 credits)
Show Show Producer (4 credits)
Show Show Thanks (1 credit)
Show Show Self (9 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (3 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: Murder Without Crime. Written by J. Lee Thompson [only Broadway credit]. Scenic Design by Raymond Sovey. Cort Theatre: 18 Aug 1943- 18 Sep 1943 (37 performances). Cast: Henry Daniell (as "Matthew"), Viola Keats (as "Jan"), Frances Tannehill (as "Grena"), Bretaigne Windust (as "Stephen"). Produced by John H. Del Bondio, ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Article | See more »

Alternate Names:

J. Lee-Thompson | John Lee-Thompson | J. Lee Thompson | J.L. Thompson

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

The knack of choosing his scripts wisely is one of the greatest assets a director can have - knowing what to discard, what to refuse. I've learned by experience that it's fatal to accept a poor script because it contains one or two good scenes which you long to shoot.


He was originally going to direct Planet of the Apes (1968) movie and co-owned the rights with producer Arthur Jacobs, but had to back out as he was busy working on Mackenna's Gold (1969), a troubled production that went over budget and way over schedule. He did, however, go on to direct Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972) and Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973). See more »


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