Torin Thatcher

Torin Thatcher

actor, writer

Associated with gritty, flashy film villainy, veteran character actor Torin Herbert Erskine Thatcher was born in Bombay, India to British parents on January 15, 1905. The son of a police officer (who died when Torin was 10) and a voice/piano teacher, he was educated in England at the Bedford School and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.A former schoolteacher, he appeared on the London stage, notably the Old Vic, in 1927 before entering British films in 1934. He would be notable for his stage prowess in the works of Shaw, Shakespeare, and the Greek tragedies. Among his earlier stage plays was a 1937 version of "Hamlet" which starred Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh. During World War II he served with the Royal Artillery and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was an extremely imposing, powerfully built specimen and it offered him a number of tough, commanding, often sinister roles over the years primarily in larger-than-life action sequences.Thatcher began in minor roles and progressed to better ones in a number of classic British films in the late 1930s and 1940s as the years went on. They included Sabotage (1936), Le mystère de la section 8 (1937), Train de nuit pour Munich (1940), Major Barbara (1941), L'étrange aventurière (1946), J'étais un prisonnier (1946), Les grandes espérances (1946), as Bentley ("The Spider") Drummle, Jassy (1947) and Première désillusion (1948).In Hollywood from the 1950s on, the actor's looming figure and baleful countenance were constantly in demand, gnashing his teeth in a slew of popular costumers such as Le corsaire rouge (1952), Barbe-Noire le pirate (1952) as reformed pirate Sir Henry Morgan, La tunique (1953), Hélène de Troie (1956) as Ulysses, Le 7ème Voyage de Sinbad (1958) as the evil, shaven-domed magician Sokurah who shrinks the princess to miniature size, Témoin à charge (1957) as the prosecuting attorney, Quand la terre brûle (1959) as the Duke of Wellington, the Marlon Brando/Trevor Howard remake of Les Révoltés du Bounty (1962), and Hawaï (1966).Thatcher returned to the stage quite frequently, notably on Broadway, in such esteemed productions as "Edward, My Son" (1948), "That Lady" (1949) and "Billy Budd" (1951). In 1959 he portrayed Captain Keller in the award-winning play "The Miracle Worker" with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke.Also a steady fixture on American TV from the mid-1950's on, Torin appeared in a number of quality TV anthologies ("Omnibus," "Playhouse 90, "Zane Grey Theatre") before making fairly steady guest appearances on such shows as "The Millionaire," "Ellery Queen," "Peter Gunn," "Wagon Train," "Bonanza," "Perry Mason," "The Real McCoys," "The Untouchables," "My THree Sons," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Perry Mason," "Get Smart," "Lost in Space," "Star Trek," "Gunsmoke," "Daniel Boone," "Mission: Impossible," "Night Gallery," "Search" and "Petrocelli." He also showed up in support in the TV movies Dr Jekyll et Mr Hyde (1968) starring Jack Palance and Brenda Starr (1976), his final on-camera appearance, starring Jill St. John.Diagnosed with cancer, Thatcher died on March 4, 1981, in Thousand Oaks, California (near Los Angeles). The widower of TV actress Rita Daniel, he was long married to second wife, Anne Le Borgne, at the time of his death.

  • Birthday

    Jan 15, 1905
  • Place of Birth

    Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India

Known For

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