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Ken Thorne
Repetities Unicef Gala Ken Thorne, Bestanddeelnr 927-1109 (cropped).jpg
Ken Thorne (1974)
Born(1924-01-26)26 January 1924
Died9 July 2014(2014-07-09) (aged 90)
OccupationFilm score composer
Spouse(s)Linda Thorne

Kenneth Thorne (26 January 1924 – 9 July 2014) was a British television and film score composer.

Early life

Thorne was born in Dereham, a town in the English county of Norfolk. Thorne began his musical career as a pianist with the big bands of England during the 1940s, playing at night clubs and the dance halls. At age 27, Thorne decided to seriously study composition with private tutors at Cambridge and later studied the organ for five years in London.[1]

Film scoring

Thorne began composing scores for films in 1948. He was considered Richard Lester's composer of choice since their first work together on It's Trad, Dad! (1962), Help! (1965) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966).

When Henry Mancini was scoring Blake Edwards' 1968 film The Party with Peter Sellers, Thorne composed the soundtrack to Inspector Clouseau. He also composed the music scores for How I Won the War (1967), The Monkees movie Head (1968), The Magic Christian (1969) and The Ritz (1976). He was also hired for Richard Lester's films Superman II and III with instructions to reuse the themes composed by John Williams from the first film and adapt them for the sequels, also adding some original work. From the 1980s, Ken Thorne mainly focused on his work for TV, working predominantly with director Kevin Connor.

His television work included the theme to the 1964 BBC series R3, and he also scored incidental music for The Persuaders! and The Zoo Gang in the 1970s. His later work included the score for the miniseries Return to Lonesome Dove in 1993.

Thorne also had an unexpected chart hit in 1963 when his cover version of Angelo Francesco Lavagnino's "Theme from The Legion's Last Patrol" (Concerto Disperato) reached #4 in the UK charts.[2]


Thorne died at a hospital in West Hills, California on 9 July 2014.[3]

Selected filmography

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ Ken Thorne. 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  2. ^ Warwick, Neal, Brown, Tony & Kutner, Jon The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums 2004 Omnibus Press
  3. ^ "PASSINGS: Ken Thorne, Ben Pesta". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 15 February 2018.