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Yet another Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson • Sep 25, 2012 at 6:39 PM

When you have a common name like “Tom Jackson” you commonly run across other people with the same name. I routinely get e-mail meant for somebody else named Tom Jackson. Still, when my wife and I watched an old movie called “The Woman in the Window” last weekend, we were startled when we saw the name of one of the actors listed in the credits: Thomas E. Jackson.

Thomas E. Jackson is my name, too (although my middle name isn’t Edward, the actor’s middle name.)

I looked up “Thomas E. Jackson” on the invaluable Internet Movie Database and discovered that he was a veteran character actor who racked up 174 movie and TV credits (sometimes as “Tom Jackson” or “Thomas Jackson.”)

Alas, big-time stardom eluded him. Apparently his biggest role came in 1931, when he played a cop in the gangster flick “Little Caesar.” The role in “The Woman in the Window” also was fairly substantial (again, Jackson played a police officer). But many of his roles are listed as “uncredited.” He had a part in “The Big Sleep,” but his scenes were cut from the film.

The most famous living “Tom Jackson” I ever heard of was a Denver Broncos football player who is now a commentator on ESPN. He was born in Cleveland. In my extreme youth, there was a rock singer named Tommy James, of Tommy James and the Shondells (he did “Crimson and Clover,” later covered by Joan Jett.) His real name is Thomas J. Jackson, and he was born in Dayton.

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