Lea Thompson Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Lea Thompson            

Actress, Director & Producer Known for "Back to the Future" Films and "Switched at Birth"; Alzheimer's Awareness Advocate

Lea Thompson is an actress, director, and producer known for her role as Lorraine Baines in the Back to the Future film trilogy and as the title character in the 1990s NBC sitcom "Caroline in the City."

Other films she is known for include All the Right Moves, The Beverly Hillbillies, Howard the Duck, Dennis the Menace, Red Dawn, and Some Kind of Wonderful.

From 2011 to 2017, she starred as Kathryn Kennish in the ABC Family series "Switched at Birth," which is about a family that realizes their 16-year-old daughter is not biologically theirs, and was, as the series' title indicates, switched at birth.

Thompson, who was born in Rochester, Minnesota, studied ballet as a girl and practiced three to four hours every day. She was dancing professionally by the age of 14. Her brother Andrew also took ballet classes and went on to become a professional.

She won scholarships to several ballet schools, including the American Ballet Theatre and the San Francisco Ballet. Thompson danced in more than 45 ballets with the American Ballet Theatre.

However, she was told by ballet legend and then American Ballet Theatre artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov that she was "a beautiful dancer, but too stocky." Due to this comment, compounded with a few nagging injuries, she decided to give up dancing in favor of an acting career.

Thompson's most famous role was that of Lorraine Baines McFly in the Back to the Future trilogy, the first film of which was released in 1985. Thompson's character is the mother of Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox, whom Marty meets at an adolescent age after he travels back in time: he has to avoid having Lorraine fall in love with him instead of with his future father, which leads to some awkward scenes when Lorraine is clearly attracted to him.

Thompson is also an Alzheimer's awareness advocate. Both of her grandmothers eventually died of the heartbreaking disease in the 1980s, just as Thompson was achieving success as an actress. Her father-in-law and stepfather also had Alzheimer's.


Lea Thompson joins 'CSI'
Get ready for a "Back to the Future" reunion of sorts on "CSI." Lea Thompson, who played Marty McFly's mother, will reunite with Elisabeth Shue, who played ...
Lea Thompson, 51, Looks Nearly the Same as She Did in the 1980s ...
It's as if Lea Thompson, perhaps best known for her role in Back to the Future, had traveled back to the past! Hitting the red carpet at the L.A. premiere of ...

Related Speakers View all

More like Lea