Ernest Thompson has won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Writers Guild Award and a Broadway Drama Guild Award for Best Play. His work has been nominated for a Tony, an Emmy and a British Academy Award. His more than 35 plays have been seen in theatres around the world. The most enduring, ON GOLDEN POND, has been translated into 30 languages, Arabic the newest, and played in more than 40 countries on six continents.
Among other plays are THE WEST SIDE WALTZ (starring Katharine Hepburn and Dorothy Loudon), A SENSE OF HUMOR (Jack Lemmon and Estelle Parsons), AX OF LOVE, AMAZONS IN AUGUST, MURDERING MOTHER, WHITE PEOPLE CHRISTMAS, THE ELIXIR, and HUMAN BEINGS. His soon to be released anthology of 25 short plays contains the collections POLITICAL SUICIDE, THE PENIS RESPONDS, ANSWERS and VALENTINES FOR TWO, as well as THE ONE ABOUT THE GUY IN THE BAR and AMERICAN TERRORIST.
His films include ON GOLDEN POND (Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda), SWEET HEARTS DANCE (Susan Sarandon and Jeff Daniels), THE LIES BOYS TELL (Kirk Douglas), 1969 (Robert Downey Jr. and Bruce Dern), THE WEST SIDE WALTZ (Shirley MacLaine and Liza Minnelli), OUT OF TIME, and the live ON GOLDEN POND (Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer), the last four of which Ernest also directed, as he has his latest films, TIME AND CHARGES and HEAVENLY ANGLE. Both were produced with his partners in Whitebridge Farm Productions, Morgan Murphy and Lori Gigliotti Murphy, and offered as On Location Training to anyone of any background, experience or age interested in any aspect of filmmaking.
In the theatre, Ernest has directed the world premieres of THE ELIXIR, THE PENIS RESPONDS, AX OF LOVE, ANOTHER SUMMER (the ON GOLDEN POND musical), and, in partnership with Rock the Vote, his darkly funny collection POLITICAL SUICIDE, which opened on Primary Night in New Hampshire 2012, and was followed by productions across the country.
Ernest began his acting career touring with Cyril Richard and Maureen O’Sullivan in THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY. He has appeared on Broadway in SUMMER BRAVE (opposite Alexis Smith) and Off-Off in THE PENIS RESPONDS (with Richard Gilliland), THE VALENTINE FAIRY and ZIPLESS (both with Julie Haggerty). At the Ahmanson Theatre in LA, Ernest performed with Jean Stapleton and Charlotte Rae in THE TIME OF THE CUCKOO and has starred in other plays of his own, including THE ELIXIR, ON GOLDEN POND (at Pittman’s Freight Room, as Charlie the Mailman) and POLITICAL SUICIDE. In the ‘70s, Ernest had a long run on the soap opera SOMERSET and starred in two television series (SIERRA and WESTSIDE MEDICAL) and in two TV films across from Susan Sarandon (THE RIMERS OF ELDRITCH and THE LAST OF THE BELLES). He acted in the feature films STAR 80 (directed by Bob Fosse) and NEXT STOP WONDERLAND and in two TV films Ernest wrote, THE LIES BOYS TELL and THE WEST SIDE WALTZ and starred in his independent films TIME AND CHARGES and HEAVENLY ANGLE.
At his farm in rural New Hampshire, Ernest conducts his internationally-renowned Write On Golden Pond workshops for writers of all levels of experience and offers private coaching to actors and public speakers as well as one-on-one script analysis.
A prolific songwriter, Ernest has had the honor of working with legendary composers and singers, producing songs he’s used in his films and plays. With longtime collaborator Joe Deleault, Ernest created THE FATHER DAUGHTER DANCE, written with and performed by Carly Simon, and the anthemic ON GOLDEN POND, composed with and featuring the award-winning Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster. Ernest has directed videos for his songs BRONTË BROOK, written with and performed by the remarkably talented Ray Porcell, and YOU ARE LOVED, with the extraordinary Justin Jaymes. Ernest’s music is available on iTunes and at Amazon and other online outlets.
One of Ernest’s newest songs, “Live Free or Die,” written with local legend Art Harriman and sung by television star John Davidson, another New Hampshire resident, will be heard as part of this year’s New Hampshire Boat Museum virtual tour and the music video featuring majestic scenery from the Seacoast to the mountains to the Lakes Region will be released soon.
In 2019, Ernest directed and—for the first time ever—starred as Norman Thayer, Jr. in a new production of ON GOLDEN POND at the charming Winnipesaukee Playhouse in Meredith, NH, close to where his iconic movie was shot. When the Covid interruption ends, Ernest will resurrect his play AX OF LOVE, recently workshopped before a sold-out NYC audience, and will resume conversations on his two newest plays, SOME PARTS MISSING and ASK/ANSWER. He’ll direct his long-awaited film sequel, HOME ON GOLDEN POND, currently out to several A-List stars, and his wildly timely, provocative and hilarious indy, PARALLEL AMERICA, in which he’ll costar with New Hampshire’s Gordon Clapp, John Davidson and Lisa Bostnar, is available to investors.
Next up for Ernest: CRIES OF VALOR IN DEFIANCE, a web series featuring some of Ernest’s favorite actors, streaming info TBA, stay tuned.
Learn more at www.ErnestThompson.us.
High resolution photos are available for download by clicking on the images below: