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Richard Stanley Thorp (2 January 1932 – 22 May 2013)[1] was an English actor. He was best known for portraying Alan Turner in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale from 1982 to 2013. He also appeared in films such as The Dam Busters (1955) and The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957).

Richard Thorp
Richard Thorp.jpg
Publicity picture of Thorp
Richard Stanley Thorp

(1932-01-02)2 January 1932
Purley, Surrey, England, UK
Died22 May 2013(2013-05-22) (aged 81)
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, UK
Years active1949–2013


Early lifeEdit

Thorp was born in Purley, Surrey.[1]


Thorp's leading television roles included Dr. John Rennie in Emergency – Ward 10 from 1957 to 1961, and Doug Randall in Crossroads in 1975. He also appeared in a 1982 episode of Strangers. He was the longest-serving member of Emmerdale since the death of Clive Hornby in 2008.[2] While he was happy to stay in the role of Alan Turner for so long, he complained that his character was not used as much any more.[3]

Thorp appeared as Lovejoy, a British Railways official, in an episode of To the Manor Born centred on the proposed closure of the local railway station.[4] He also appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Thorp was one of Emmerdale's most private actors, although he gave an interview in 1995 with The People and revealed that he was separated from his wife, but they still lived in the same house together. Thorp was very good friends with Lorraine Chase, who played his Emmerdale daughter, and Sheree Murphy, who played his Emmerdale granddaughter.

Thorp took a break from Emmerdale in July 2009 to have his right knee replaced. He returned in April 2010. In October 2010, he revealed he was selling his large house in Mid Wales to move closer to the Emmerdale studios in Leeds.[6]


Thorp died in Shrewsbury on 22 May 2013.[2] Emmerdale producer Kate Oates stated: "Richard's death is a sad loss to Emmerdale, of which he was at the heart for so many wonderful years. Richard had a brilliant sense of humour and he will be missed by every single member of our production whose lives he touched."[2]



Year Title Role Notes
1949 Melody in the Dark Dick
1955 The Dam Busters Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay
1957 The Barretts of Wimpole Street Alfred Barrett
There's Always a Thursday Dennis Potter
The Good Companions David
1960 The Last Train Sergeant Hall Short film
1962 The Iron Maiden Harry Markham
1963 Mystery Submarine Lt. Chatterton
Lancelot and Guinevere Sir Gareth
Bitter Harvest Rex
1972 Suburban Wives Sarah's Husband
1982 Strangers Det. Sgt. Jacklin
1982–2013 Emmerdale Alan Turner (final television appearance)


  1. ^ a b "Richard Thorp: Actor best known as reformed character Alan Turner in 'Emmerdale'". The Independent. London. 23 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Richard Thorp, Emmerdale's longest-serving actor, dies". The Independent. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 7 January 2014.[not in citation given]
  3. ^ Love, Ryan (2010-08-17). "Thorp: 'I'm too lazy to leave Emmerdale'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  4. ^ "To the Manor Born: Station Closing". IMDb. Retrieved 18 January 2016.
  5. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 11 March 2001. ITV.
  6. ^ Reilly, Rachel (18 October 2010). "I'm moving closer to Emmerdale: Actor Richard Thorp is selling his Welsh retreat as he's fed up with his 300 mile commute". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 7 April 2011.

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