Pretty bad actress who played commercial telepath Talia Winters on the science fiction television show Babylon 5. Was married to Jerry Doyle for a while, who played Garibaldi. She left the show near the end of the second season after unsuccessfully demanding that her character be given a much larger role. Good riddance. Later had a recurring role on NYPD Blue.

Born into a Catholic family in Dayton, Ohio, Andrea Thompson (1962-) grew up in Australia, until her mother dragged her and her siblings to Florida after her parents’ divorce. In her 20s, she began modeling, traveling, and acting, studying at the Actors Studio.

Bit parts in movies like Wall Street and Delirious followed. She eventually scored a recurring role on the prime time soap opera Falcon Crest. On Babylon 5, she did an impressive turn as telepath Talia Winters and married her co-star Jerry Doyle in 1995. (They divorced in 1997.) Frustrated by J. Michael Straczynski’s whimsical production schedule, which left her without work for months at a time and no assurance when she would or wouldn’t appear again on the show, she left two years into a five year contract. Unfortunately, this was before the possibilities of her character could be fully explored, including pretty blatant hints of a lesbian relationship between Winters and Susan Ivanova. She jumped back to prime time with a role as prosecutor Commander Allison Krennick on JAG. Her most prominent role was as Detective Jill Kirkendall on NYPD Blue. Originally slated to only appear three episodes, producer David Milch was so impressed that he offered her a three year contract.

But she left a great role on a hit prime time drama to pursue a long time dream: broadcast journalism. In 1999, she started writing pieces for Stanford News Service. Convinced that she was sincere, she was hired by KRQE in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In less than a year on the job, she covered the Los Alamos fire, the seven escaped Texas prison inmates, and got an exclusive interview with a killer on death row. CNN snapped her up as a Headline News anchor, starting in August 2001.

This caused a controversy for two reasons. One was her lack of journalistic experience or training, which had holders of journalism degrees foaming at the mouth. This was compounded by the appearance of nude photos of her on the internet. They were stills of nude scenes from two movies - Manhattan Gigolo (1986) and A Gun, A Car, A Blonde (1997) – and 1999 nude photos from an Australian mag, Black & White. Critics are bemoaning the death of journalism, but hell, it died a long time ago, and they should concentrate on doing real news and complain about the real problems in the news business, instead of scapegoating an accomplished woman who is evidently serious about what she’s doing. CNN, to their credit, are standing behind her.

Sources include: www.andreathompson.com; Ted Johnson, "News Break", TV Guide, May 19-25, 2001.

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