Fred Thompson, the former Tennessee senator who went on to an acting career, died Sunday after a battle with lymphoma.

His family says that Thompson had been struggling with the disease for over a decade.

Thompson is probably best known for his role as District Attorney Arthur Branch on Law & Order, and appeared in such films as The Hunt for Red October, Die Hard 2, and the film where he made his acting debut, Marie.

He previously worked as an attorney, later becoming minority counsel during the Watergate hearings. He later became a lobbyist, and eventually served in the Senate as a Republican representing Tennessee.

Thompson also launched an unsuccessful campaign for the presidency in 2008.

"Fred stood on principle and common sense, and had a deep love for and connection with the people across Tennessee whom he had the privilege to serve in the United States Senate," his family said in a statement. "He enjoyed a hearty laugh, a strong handshake, a good cigar, and a healthy dose of humility."