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Ken Thorne

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Residence  West Hills, California
Spouse  Linda Hayes (m. 1973)
Role  Film Score Composer
Name  Ken Thorne
Occupation  Film score composer

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Born  26 January 1924 (1924-01-26) East Dereham, Norfolk, England, UK
Died  July 9, 2014, Los Angeles, California, United States
Albums  Superman II, Superman: The Music (1978-1988)
Children  Jennifer Coplin, Emily Thorne, Claire Thorne
Similar People  Richard Lester, Tom Mankiewicz, Alexander Courage, John Williams, Ron Jones

Ken Thorne

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


Ken Thorne Ken Thorne Composer of Beatles Help Score Dies

In the tyrol by ken thorne on beatles help lp from 1965

Early life

Thorne was born in East 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.

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.

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.


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

Awards and nominations

  • Academy Awards
  • Winner for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
  • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films
  • Nominated for Best Music The House Where Evil Dwells (1982)
  • Nominated for Best Music Superman II (1980)
  • Nominated for Best Music Arabian Adventure (1979)
  • Emmy Awards
  • Nominated for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music and Lyrics for "For A Love Like You" from A Season of Hope (1995) [shared with Dennis Spiegel (lyricist)]
  • Grammy Awards
  • Nominated for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Show for Help! (1965) [shared with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison]
  • References

    Ken Thorne Wikipedia