Richard Thorp, who appeared in the classic film The Dam Busters (1955) and was on the soap opera Emmerdale for decades, died 22 May 2013 at the age of 81.
Richard Thorp was born on 2 January 1932 in Purley, Surrey. He made his film debut in Melody in the Dark in 1949. He was cast as Squadron Leader H. E. Maudslay in The Dam Busters, primarily because of his resemblance to the real life Henry Maudslay (who died in the raid), after trying out for a smaller role. For the remainder of the Fifties Mr. Thorp appeared in such films as The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1957), There's Always a Thursday (1957), The Good Companions (1957), and The Last Train (1960). In 1957 he was cast in the role of Dr. John Rennie on the TV programme Emergency – Ward 10, a role that he played until 1967. He was also a regular on the show All Aboard in 1958. He aso guest starred on the programmes Life with the Lyons, Overseas Press Club--Exclusive, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and 4 Just Men.
In the Sixties Mr. Thorp was a regular on the series 24-Hour Call, Watch the Birdies, and Market on Honey Lane. He guest starred on such television shows as Danger Man, Call Oxbridge 2000, The Edgar Wallace Mystery Theatre, The Avengers, Maupassant, No Hiding Place, and Love Story. He appeared in the films Bitter Harvest (1963), Mystery Submarine (1963), The Iron Maiden (1963), and Sword of Lancelot (1963).
In the Seventies Richard Thorp guest starred on such TV shows as Timeslip, A Family at War, Thirty Minute's WorthAnd Mother Makes Three, Public Eye, and Whodunnit. He was a regular on the shows Crossroads and The Cedar Tree. He appeared in the film Suburban Wives (1972). In the Eighties he guest starred on To the Manor Born and Strangers. In 1982 he was cast as Alan Turner on Emmerdale. He remained with the show until this year.
Although given his years spent on Emmerdale there can be no doubt Richard Thorp will be best remembered as farm manager Alan Turner, he was a versatile actor who played a wide variety of parts over the years. On The Avengers episode "School for Traitors" he played a rather unfortunate researcher. On the Danger Man episode "The Island" he appeared as a security officer. He was a bit of a heart throb in the late Fifties and early Sixties, playing Dr. John Rennie on the medical soap Emergency – Ward 10. While he played Alan Turner on Emmerdale for three decades, his career actually consisted of much, much more.