Angela Margaret Leslie Thorne (25 January 1939 – 16 June 2023) was an English actress of stage, television and film having performed roles in World in Ferment (1969), Get Some In! (1976), The Good Life (1977), Midsomer Murders, Foyle's War and Heartbeat, The BFG (1989) as the voice of the Queen, Three Up, Two Down and Lassie (2005).

Angela Thorne
Angela Margaret Leslie Thorne

(1939-01-25)25 January 1939
Karachi, Sind, British India (now Pakistan)
Died16 June 2023(2023-06-16) (aged 84)
Alma materGuildhall School of Music and Drama
(m. 1967; died 2009)
Children2 (including Rupert Penry-Jones)

However, she was probably best known for playing Marjory Frobisher in To the Manor Born (1979–1981), and for playing Margaret Thatcher in Anyone for Denis? (initially at the Whitehall Theatre in 1981, for which she was nominated for Best Comedy Performance at the 1981 Laurence Olivier Awards, and subsequently for the video release).[1]

Early life Edit

Angela Thorne was born in Karachi, British India, in 1939. The daughter of an Indian Army doctor father, William Herbert Alfred Thorne, and a teacher mother, Sylvia (née Leslie), she spent the first five years of her life in India.[2] She was later a pupil at Farlington School in Horsham, West Sussex. She trained for the stage at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[3]

In the BBC programme Who Do You Think You Are? featuring son Rupert, broadcast in August 2010, it was revealed that Thorne's father William had served with the Indian Medical Corps at the Battle of Monte Cassino[1] and that his preceding ancestors had a long-standing connection with the Indian Army.[2]

Acting career Edit

Her first professional engagement was with the Caryl Jenner Children's Theatre.[3][1] After repertory seasons at York and Sheffield,[3] she appeared in Night Must Fall at Theatre Royal, Windsor.[3] Thorne then joined the Ralph Richardson Theatre company at the Haymarket Theatre, and played Gloria in You Never Can Tell, Portia in the Merchant of Venice and Julia in The Rivals.[3]

Other theatre work that Thorne partook in was in Little Boxes - Hampstead Theatre,[3] She portrayed Io in Prometheus Bound at the Mermaid Theatre;[3] Twelfth Night for the Prospect Theatre Company touring the east; Yahoo - Queen’s theatre,[3] and many more productions around England.[3]

Thorne received a nomination at the 1981 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Comedy Performance for playing Margaret Thatcher in Anyone for Denis? at the Whitehall Theatre.[4]

Thorne also appeared in television productions, including Elizabeth R as Lettice Knollys,[3] The Liars, and The Canterville Ghost, playing the leading role opposite Bruce Forsyth as the Ghost. She played the part of Margaret Thatcher in a television version of the satirical, comic farce Anyone for Denis?, in 1982.[3]

In 1969 she starred as Nancy Chuff in the comedy series World in Ferment.[5] In 1984 she played the role of Susan, "The Duchess" in a West End revival of Giles Cooper's play Happy Family, opposite Ian Ogilvy and Stephanie Beacham. In 1996 she starred in Alan Ayckbourn's Communicating Doors at the Savoy Theatre, London.[3]

Thorne appeared in two episodes of Thames Television's sitcom Get Some In! in 1976 as Mrs Fairfax, and in one episode of the BBC sitcom The Good Life in 1977 as Lady Truscott, before appearing as Marjory Frobisher in To the Manor Born between 1979 and 1981:[3] her husband appeared in two of the later episodes. She reprised this role for both the 10-episode radio series in 1997 and the one-off 2007 Christmas Special on television. She followed this with a lead role in another sitcom, Three Up, Two Down.[3] After To the Manor Born, she also played the eponymous character in the ITV sitcom Farrington of the F.O. written by Dick Sharples.[3]

Thorne appeared in an episode of Midsomer Murders as well as in Foyle's War and Heartbeat. In 1989, she voiced the role of Elizabeth II in The BFG, the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's book.

In 2013 she appeared at the Vaudeville Theatre playing the role of Mrs Louisa Wilberforce in The Ladykillers. She played alongside Ralf Little, Simon Day and John Gordon Sinclair.

Personal life and death Edit

Thorne was married to fellow actor Peter Penry-Jones from 1967 until his death in 2009. They had two sons, Laurence and Rupert, both actors.[2][1]

Thorne died at her Battersea home on 16 June 2023, at the age of 84.[6]

Filmography Edit

Year Title Role Notes
1969 Oh! What a Lovely War Elizabeth May 'Betty' Smith
1973 Yellow Dog Jenny Alexander
1975 Ballet Shoes Sylvia Brown TV film
1979 Lady Oscar Mme Bertin, the Queen's Dressmaker
1979 The Human Factor Lady Mary Hargreaves
1980 North Sea Hijack Woman on Train
1982 Anyone for Denis? Margaret Thatcher TV film
1983 Bullshot Hotel Manageress
1989 The BFG Queen Elizabeth II Voice
1995 Cold Comfort Farm Mrs. Hawk-Monitor TV film
2002 Midsomer Murders Lady Lavinia Chetwood Episode: "Market for Murder"
2003 Bright Young Things Kitty Blackwater
2004 Foyle’s War Lady Anne Messinger
2005 Lassie Dr. Gull
2015 Silent Hours Mrs. Garvie

References Edit

  1. ^ a b c d Hayward, Anthony (20 June 2023). "Angela Thorne obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2023.
  2. ^ a b c "BBC One - Who Do You Think You Are?, Series 7, Rupert Penry-Jones". Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Ladykillers - Angela Thorne". Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Olivier Winners 1981". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ Marjorie Bilbow (3 July 1969). "Television Today; Reviews: In a rare class of comedy show". The Stage and Television Today (4603): 12.
  6. ^ "Angela Thorne: Star of To The Manor Born dies". Sky News. 19 June 2023. Retrieved 19 June 2023.

External links Edit