Stephen Thorne

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Stephen Thorne
Stephen Thorne.jpg
Thorne in 2011
Born(1935-03-02)2 March 1935
London, England
Died26 May 2019(2019-05-26) (aged 84)
EducationLiverpool College
Years active1958–2019
Barbara Sykes
(m. 1958)

Stephen John Thorne (2 March 1935 – 26 May 2019) was a British actor of radio, film, stage, and television. He was best known for his regular BBC Radio 4 work and audiobook recordings, and for his portrayals of several Doctor Who villains, including the Time Lord Omega.

Early life[edit]

Thorne was born in London in 1935 and brought up in Hesketh Bank, Lancashire, by adoptive parents, Alan Thorne, a vicar, and his wife Betty (née Boulton). He went to school at Liverpool College and then joined the Royal Navy for his national service. On demobilisation Thorne trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), a drama school situated in the Bloomsbury area of London, and graduated in 1957.[1]


He played several seasons with the Old Vic Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and London including a tour to Russia. He worked extensively in radio with over 2000 broadcasts for the BBC including as Uncle Mort in the Radio 4 comedy series I Didn't Know You Cared.

His television credits included Z-Cars, Crossroads, and Doctor Who. In Doctor Who, he played three major villains (Omega, Azal, and Eldrad), as well as an Ogron, before later playing the villainous Max in The Ghosts of N-Space, a Doctor Who BBC Radio story, in the mid 1990s. Also on radio, Thorne appeared as Aslan in The Magician's Nephew, as Treebeard in the Radio 4 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, and also in their adaptation of Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards! in which he portrayed Fred Colon (and also Death). He was also renowned for audio book narration. He also played the character of Lionheart in The Scarifyers following Nicholas Courtney's death.

Other television work included Death of an Expert Witness, David Copperfield, and Last of the Summer Wine. He voiced Aslan in the animated version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Thorne reprised the character on the BBC radio adaptation of the same name. He gave many poetry readings on radio, television, and tape and in venues from Westminster Abbey to various pubs.

He recorded over 300 unabridged audiobooks[citation needed] including children's stories[2] which earned critical acclaim in both the UK and the US. Awards included a Talkies Award 1996 for Enigma by Robert Harris and several Golden Earphones Awards from Audiofile Magazine.

Personal life[edit]

While training at RADA Thorne met fellow student Barbara Sykes, and they married in 1958.

On 26 May 2019, Thorne died, at the age of 84.[3] He is survived by his wife, and their two sons, Simon and Crispian.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1971-1976 Doctor Who Azal/Omega/Ogron/Kastrian Eldrad In the stories: The Dæmons, The Three Doctors, Frontier in Space and The Hand of Fear
1972 Jackanory Playhouse The Vicar Episode: The Wily Wizard and the Wicked Witch
1979 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Aslan (voice) TV Movie
1984 Runaway Tommy
1985 Certain Fury Policeman
1986 Valhalla Thor (voice) English version
David Copperfield Daniel Peggotty Miniseries
1994 Shakespeare: The Animated Tales Stephano/Hastings/Cardinal (voice) 2 episodes
1996 Testament: The Bible in Animation King of Ninevah/Governor (voice) 2 episodes
2006 Last of the Summer Wine Mr. Sanderson Episode: A Tale of Two Sweaters


  1. ^ "Stephen Thorne — RADA".
  2. ^ "Site Under Construction". Retrieved 22 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Stephen Thorne 1935-2019". Doctor Who News. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  4. ^ Hadoke, Toby (31 May 2019). "Stephen Thorne obituary" – via

External links[edit]