Lynne Thigpen, who played computer expert Ella Farmer on CBS drama The District, passed away suddenly late last Wednesday in Los Angeles. She was 54.
Production on The District
has been suspended.
Thigpen, who garnered a Tony Award, two Obie Awards and a Los Angeles Critics Award for her stage performances, brought her talents to television on such series as Law & Order, L.A. Law
and Thirtysomething. But younger viewers may best remember her as the Chief on PBS's colorful tween programs Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
and Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego?
Thigpen's most substantial television role, however, was as the tough but sensitive computer whiz on The District, where she played opposite Craig T. Nelson's police chief.
"We are all in shock and in mourning," said John Wirth, executive producer of The District
. "The beauty, compassion and talent that you saw on the screen was not just superb acting. It was the very essence of this wonderful woman. We will miss her terribly."
Her other television credits include Hallmark Hall of Fame presentations Night Ride Home
and The Boys Next Door.
She was also in feature films The Insider, Shaft,
Lean on Me, Tootsie
and the forthcoming Anger Management, with Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler.
Thigpen was born in Joliet, Ill., on Dec. 22, 1948. She lived in New York.