June Thorburn
June Thorburn.jpg
Born(1931-06-08)8 June 1931
Died4 November 1967(1967-11-04) (aged 36)
Cause of deathPlane crash
Years active1952–1967
Spouse(s)Aldon Bryce-Harvey (1952–1955) (divorced) (1 child)
Morten Smith Petersen (1959–1967) (her death) (1 child)

June Thorburn (8 June 1931 – 4 November 1967) was a popular English actress whose career was cut short by her death in an air crash.[2]

Early life

Thorburn was born in Karachi, then part of British India. She was the eldest of three children, including her sister Diana and her brother Keith. Her full name was Patricia June Thubron Smith. She spent most of her schooldays in boarding schools in India, since her father was a colonel in the Indian Army and therefore her parents travelled a lot. When he retired from the military, they moved back to Britain.[3]

The 1956 edition of 'Picture Show Who's Who on The Screen', (page 147), made the claim that she was a child "Skiing champion".

June began writing plays from about the age of seven. Her grandfather (Sydney Thorburn) who had also spent many years in India as a design engineer, building many important bridges, made early 'movies' and she was the star in several, the first being "Her Second Birthday", when she was only two years old.


When she was 20 she left home and moved to London to pursue her career, where she met and married her first husband, Aldon Richard Bryse-Harvey. During their short and stressful marriage, she bore one daughter in 1953, named Heather-Louise June. The marriage ended in divorce and June moved back to Hampshire, close to her family, for a couple of years until her career started to take off.

In 1957, she moved back to London, where shortly thereafter she met Morten Smith-Petersen, who subsequently became her second husband. She was married to him until her death in 1967. Together with Morten, she had a second daughter named Inger-Sheleen Christabel.


She appeared in her first commercial film in 1952, and quickly worked her way up from supporting roles to second female leads. One of her most notable roles in the mid-1950s was in the comedy-drama Touch and Go (1955), starring Jack Hawkins. Thorburn began to win leading roles, in British comedies such as True as a Turtle (1957) and costume dramas such as Fury at Smugglers' Bay (1961) and The Scarlet Blade (1963). Her most notable film appearance was as the Forest Queen in Tom Thumb (1958). During the early 1960s, she also appeared regularly on British television.


She was pregnant with her third child when returning to London from Spain on Iberia Flight 062 when it crashed at Blackdown, Sussex, killing all 37 people on board.[4]



Year Title Role Notes
1952 The Pickwick Papers Arabella Allen
1953 The Cruel Sea Doris Ferraby
1954 Fast and Loose Barbara Wickham
1954 Delayed Action Anne Curlew
1954 Orders Are Orders Veronica Bellamy
1955 Children Galore Milly Ark
1955 The Hornet's Nest Pat
1955 Touch and Go Peggy Fletcher
1957 True as a Turtle Jane Hudson
1958 Rooney Doreen O'Flynn
1958 Tom Thumb Forest Queen
1959 Broth of a Boy Silin Lehane
1960 The Price of Silence Audrey Truscott
1960 The 3 Worlds of Gulliver Elizabeth
1960 Transatlantic Judy
1960 Escort for Hire Terry
1961 Fury at Smugglers' Bay Jenny Trevenyan
1961 Don't Bother to Knock Stella
1962 The Spanish Sword Eleanor
1962 Design for Loving Barbara Winters
1963 The Scarlet Blade Claire Judd
1963 Master Spy Leila


Year Title Role Notes
1951 The Children of Camp Fortuna Coralie TV film
1953 Douglas Fairbanks Presents Mitzi, Kathleen Episodes: "American Duel", "The Bitter Heart"
1954 Sunday Night Theatre Nellie Sellenger Episode: "Mrs. Dot"
1957 Shadow Squad Janet Falconbridge Episodes: "Boomerang: Parts 1 & 2"
1957 Armchair Theatre Felicity Episode: "Now Let Him Go"
1957 ITV Play of the Week Doris Mead, Gertie Maude, Jane Folland Episodes: "The Gioconda Smile", "Gertie Maude", "Arrow in the Air"
1958 Shut Out the Night Ann Middleton TV film
1958 Cinderella Cinderella TV film
1958–1959 ITV Television Playhouse Lucy, Maggie Massey Episodes: "2000 Minus 60", "Ticket for Tomorrow"
1959 Meeting at Night Connie Triple TV film
1959–1960 Tales of the Vikings Jessica, Viola, Jessica Episodes: "Saracen's Gold", "The Merchants of Venice", "The Voyage"
1959–1960 The Four Just Men Hilary Colson, Vicky Episodes: "Their Man in London", "The Discovery", "Crack-Up", "The Protector", "Justice for Gino"
1960 International Detective Monica Episode: "The Oakland Case"
1960 Danger Man Sue Carpenter Episode: "The Prisoner"
1961 The Cheaters Ivy Episode: "The Man with the Ticking Head"
1961 BBC Sunday-Night Play Lady Sybil Tenterden Episode: "What Every Woman Knows"
1961 Anna Karenina Kitty TV film
1961 The Pursuers Gwen Adams Episode: "The Amateur"
1962 Wuthering Heights Isabella Linton TV film
1962 No Hiding Place Barbara Reden Episode: "Little Girl Stolen"
1963 Richard the Lionheart Diane Episode: "The Caveman"
1965 Riviera Police Sheila Ward Episode: "A Shot in the Dark... And Two in the Midday Sun/The Target"
1966 Blackmail Ann Barker Episode: "The Cream Off the Top"


  1. ^ "June Thorburn - The Private Life and Times of June Thorburn. June Thorburn Pictures". Glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  2. ^ Born: June 1931, KarachiDied: 1967. "June Thorburn | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  3. ^ "June Thorburn - The Private Life and Times of June Thorburn. June Thorburn Pictures". Glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Surrey Constabulary: Part 3: Policing Change: 1951-1975". Open.ac.uk. Retrieved 6 April 2014.