Thornton at the AACTA Awards in Sydney, Australia, January 2012
12 February 1959
Sigrid Thornton (born 12 February 1959) is an Australian actress.
Thornton was born in Canberra, the daughter of Merle, a teacher and writer, and Neil Thornton, an academic. She was raised in Brisbane, attending St. Peter's Lutheran College. For two years she lived in London, where she was a member of the Unicorn Theatre.
Back in Brisbane she attended Twelfth Night Theatre Junior Workshop and In 1970, during the Captain Cook Bicentenary Celebrations, Thornton appeared before Queen Elizabeth II as Rosa Campbell-Praed in Looking Glass on Yesterday. She acted in TV series Homicide and Division 4 in 1975. She also appeared on The Sullivans, as Elizabeth "Buffy" Turnbull.
In 1977, Thornton made her film debut as Wendy in The FJ Holden directed by Michael Thornhill, and in the same year as Maria in the film adaptation of Henry Handel Richardson's colonial Australian novel, The Getting of Wisdom (1977) directed by Bruce Beresford. In 1978, Thornton appeared in the Australian television sequel of the British comedy series Father, Dear Father in Australia. The same year she played Angela in the film Snapshot (aka The Day After Halloween) directed by Simon Wincer, for which role she was nominated for Australian Film Awards Best Actress in a Feature Film in 1979.
A year later she appeared as Roslyn Coulson in the Australian television drama Prisoner (known overseas as Prisoner: Cell Block H). Thornton starred in 1981 in Duet for Four. 1982 saw her take on the roles of Jessica Harrison in the films The Man from Snowy River and its sequel in 1988 The Man from Snowy River II. 1983 marked an appearance in Street Hero. She starred in 1983's miniseries All the Rivers Run. 1986 saw her in The Lighthorsemen, the TV adaptation of Nevil Shute's novel The Far Country, Great Expectations: The Untold Story and Slate, Wyn & Me.
From 1988 to 1991 she appeared as Amelia Lawson in the American television drama series Paradise. Syndication of All the Rivers Run and The Man from Snowy River and The Man from Snowy River II brought her to a wider international audience.
In 1991 she starred in Over the Hill directed by George T. Miller and in 1996, Love in Ambush directed by Carl Shultz. She starred as Laura Joy Gibson in the Australian television series SeaChange from 1998 to 2000, winning the Most Outstanding Actress award in 1999 and 2000.
Thornton's stage performances include an early 2000s production of The Blue Room. In 2009 she made her debut with Opera Australia in its production at Melbourne's Arts Centre as Desiree Armfeldt in Sondheim and Wheeler's A Little Night Music, directed by Stuart Maunder.
In 2015, she appeared in the premiere of the play 'Diary of a Nobody' for Stephen Beckett Productions in Tasmania.
Recent film and television work
In 2016, Thornton appeared in the fourth season of SoHo drama series Wentworth for seven episodes as a special guest star. She portrayed the character of Sonia Stevens (initially played by Tina Bursill in Prisoner), a woman on remand for the suspected murder of her best friend.
The "Sigrid factor"
In his book The Big Shift, about changing Australian demographics and culture, Bernard Salt coined the term the "Sigrid factor" pointing out that Australian towns in which movies had been made featuring Thornton had prospered since that time. More broadly he referred to changing Australian cultural values which were well reflected in the types of places in which Sigrid Thornton had acted: the Riverland during the 1980s All the Rivers Run and the coast in the 2000s SeaChange.
Thornton has won:
- Most Outstanding Actress (1999 and 2000) for her role in SeaChange.
She has been nominated for:
- the Gold Logie (in 2000 and 2001)
- Most Outstanding Actress (in 2001)
- Most Popular Actress (in 2000 and 2001)
Thornton is married to Tom Burstall and has two children.
Thornton is known for her work with World Vision, the Royal Children's Hospital, Vision Australia, Reach Foundation and other charitable causes. She has lobbied successive governments to keep libraries open and to resource the Australian film and television industry. She has been appointed to several federal and state film bodies, including Film Victoria and is involved in helping to sustain and develop the industry.
|The FJ Holden||1977||Wendy|
|The Getting of Wisdom||1978||Maria|
|The King of the Two Day Wonder||1978||Maria|
|Duet for Four||1982||Carline Martin|
|The Man from Snowy River||1982||Jessica Harrison|
|Slate, Wyn & Me||1987||Blanche McBride|
|The Man from Snowy River II||1988||Jessica Harrison|
|Over the Hill||1992||Elizabeth|
|Whipping Boy||1996||Cass Meridith|
|Inspector Gadget 2||2003||Mayor Wilson||Direct-to-video|
|The Pact||2003||Susan Tuttle|
|Face to Face||2011||Claire Baldoni|
|Peter Allen: Not the Boy Next Door||2015||Judy Garland|
- Sigrid Thornton: biography and credits
- A Looking Glass On Yesterday by Jill Morris
- "The Sigrid Weapon"
- A Little Night Music, Opera Australia
- "Sigrid Thornton shines as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire" by Jay Hanna, Perth Now, 20 March 2014
- "Anthony Warlow returns to Australian stage for Fiddler on the Roof". Herald-Sun. 13 September 2015.
- "Season 2, episodes – Who Do You Think You Are". SBS. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Sigrid Thornton joins Wentworth as part of Foxtel's home-grown roser for 2016". smh.com.au. Retrieved August 4, 2016.
- The Big Shift by Bernard Salt
- Thornton, Sigrid (28 March 2006). "National Press Club Address: Expanding Horizons". National Press Club, Council of the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Morris, Jill (April 1970). A Looking Glass On Yesterday. Brisbane: Captain Cook Bicentennary Committee.
- Plum Role for 14-year-old. Brisbane: Queensland Newspapers. November 1974.
- Salt, Bernard (2001). The Big Shift. Hardie Grant Publishing. ISBN 978-1-876719-29-6.
- Denton, Andrew (2005). Enough Rope: Sigrid Thornton. Sydney: Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
- The Sigrid Weapon. Melbourne: Fairfax Holdings. 18 September 2005.
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