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
Home townHesketh Bank, Lancashire, England

Stephen John Thorne (2 March 1935 – 26 May 2019) was a British actor of radio, film, stage, and television. He was best known as a regular performer on BBC Radio 4 and lent his voice to many audiobook recordings.

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.


He played several seasons with the Old Vic Company and the RSC in Stratford and London including a tour to Russia. He worked extensively in radio with over 2000 broadcasts for the BBC including Uncle Mort in the Radio 4 comedy series by Peter Tinniswood.

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. On radio he appeared as Aslan in The Magician's Nephew, as Treebeard in the BBC 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[1] 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.[2] He is survived by his wife, and their two sons, Simon and Crispian.[3]


  1. ^ "Site Under Construction". Retrieved 2019-06-22.
  2. ^ "Stephen Thorne 1935-2019". Doctor Who News. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  3. ^ Hadoke, Toby (31 May 2019). "Stephen Thorne obituary" – via

External links[edit]