I Have Nothing
Former beauty queen Linda Thompson appeared in several television series in the 1970s through the early 1990s, including “Starsky and Hutch,” “ChiPs,” “The Fall Guy” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.” She also acted in the film “RoboCop 2” (1990) before gaining success as a songwriter thanks to her collaboration with her then-husband David Foster. The couple received Academy Award and Grammy nominations for the song “I Have Nothing,” which was sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 film “The Bodyguard.” They also shared an Emmy Award for “The Concert for World Children's Day” (2002).
Married in 1991, Thompson filed for divorce from Davis Foster in 2005. In addition to being a partner in business, Thompson was active with the David Foster Foundation Society. Thompson was previously married to Olympian Bruce Jenner (together from 1981 to 1983). She has two children with Jenner. Thompson was once involved with music legend Elvis Presley.
Childhood and Family:
Linda Diane Thompson was born on May 23, 1950, in Memphis, Tennessee.
On January 5, 1981, Linda married athlete Bruce Jenner (born October 28, 1949), who is famous for winning the gold medal for the decathlon in the Montreal 1976 Summer Olympics. She gave birth to her first child, Brandon Jenner, on June 4, 1981, and her second child, Brody Jenner, on August 21, 1983. The couple divorced in 1984. Linda married Canadian composer and record producer David Foster (born November 1, 1949) on June 22, 1991. They became a songwriting team before Linda filed for divorce on July 11, 2005. Prior to her marriages, Thompson lived with Elvis Presley (born on January 8, 1935, died on August 16, 1977) from July 1972 until December 1976.
Linda Thompson got her start in beauty pageants. In September 1970, she won the title of Miss Mid-South Fair at Memphis, Tennessee. The same year, she was named Miss Memphis State University and third runner up in the Miss Tennessee Pageant. She also became the winner of Miss Shelby County and Miss Liberty Bow. In 1972, she was crowned Miss Tennessee-Universe. It was also in 1972 that Thompson made her feature film acting debut in “Three on a Meathook,” a horror flick written and directed by William Girdler that starred Charles Kissinger, James Pickett and Sherry Steiner. Three years later, she hit television with a small part in an episode of “The Rookies” called “Shadow of a Man” (1975).
In 1977, Thompson joined the cast of the variety show “Hee Haw.” She remained with the show until 1992. Also in 1977, she appeared as Meghan in an episode of “Starsky and Hutch” called “Starsky and Hutch on Playboy Island.” She went on to appear in episodes of “ChiPs” (1978), “Vega$” (1978-1981), “Fantasy Island” (1982), “The Fall Guy” (1984), “Riptide” (1986) and “Comedy Factory” (1986). She also landed a featured role in the comedy film “Rabbit Test” (1978), which was directed and co-written by Joan Rivers and starred Billy Crystal, Alex Rocco and George Gobel, portrayed Mary in the TV film “Good Ol' Boys” (1979, directed by Harry Falk) and was a narrator in “This Is Elvis” (1981), a documentary film directed by Andrew Solt and Malcolm Leo that was based on the life of her former lover, Elvis Presley. Thompson was then cast as Julie in the movie “Shelter in the Storm” (1987), starring Jim Fitzpatrick, Linda Denise Martin and Michele Palermo, and appeared as an anchorwoman in the made for TV film “Mars: Base One” (1988).
Thompson continued to act in the early 1990s before gradually switching to songwriting, especially after marrying David Foster in 1991. She was cast in the cult favorite “RoboCop 2” (1990), starring Peter Weller as Alex Murphy and RoboCop, played Nina in an episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210” called “Perfect Mom” (1990) and was featured as Lynette in the 1993 comedy film “Bare Exposure,” by Rafe M. Portilo.
With the help of Foster, Thompson became a lyricist for some of his music. The couple collaborated on the song “No Explanation” for the Garry Marshall 1990 hit film “Pretty Woman,” starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. However, it was their work on the song “I Have Nothing” for the 1992 film “The Bodyguard” that brought them extensive recognition. Sung by Whitney Houston, who also starred in the film with Kevin Costner, the song gained the couple an Academy Award nomination for Best Music, Original Song and a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television. They also received a BMI Film & TV Award in the category of Most Performed Song from a Film. “I Have Nothing” rose to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 3 on the U.K. Singles chart. Thompson also wrote “Remember Me This Way” for the 1995 film “Casper,” “Where Do We Go From Here” for the 1996 film “Fraser,” “This Could Take All Night” for the 1996 film “Tin Cup” and “Why Should I Care” for the 1999 film “True Crime.” With Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Foster composed “The Power of the Dream” as the official song of the 1996 Summer Olympics, with Thompson providing the lyrics. The song brought the three an Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics. They also shared a Special Recognition for The Olympic Tribute Award at the 1997 BMI Film & TV Awards.
In 2001, Thompson returned to acting when she appeared in an episode of the series “100 Centre Street” called “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.” In 2002, Thompson and her husband shared a BMI Film & TV for Special Recognition for their contribution to the 2002 Winter Olympics. In 2003, the couple won an Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for their song “Aren't They All Our Children” for “The Concert for World Children's Day” (2002). In 2004, Thompson co-wrote the song “A Love That Will Last” (performed by Renee Olstead, co-written by Foster) for the film “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.”
In 2007, Thompson won an Entertainer's Award at the 2007 TV Land Awards for her work in “Hee Haw.” She shared the honor with the rest of the cast, which included Roy Clark, Barbi Benton, Marianne Gordon, Jim Hager, Jon Hager, Gunilla Hutton and Misty Rowe.
TV Land: Entertainer's Award, “Hee Haw,” 2007
Emmy: Outstanding Music and Lyrics, “The Concert for World Children's Day,” 2003
Women in Film Crystal: Humanitarian Award, 2002
BMI Film & TV: Special Recognition, Winter Olympics, 2002
BMI Film & TV: Special Recognition, Olympic Tribute Award, 1997
BMI Film & TV: Most Performed Song from a Film, “The Bodyguard,” For the song “I Have Nothing,” 1994