The Thring thing …

Frank Thring 2

Looking waaay down the Casting credits for Ned Kelly (1970)I noticed a name that seems almost buried down there. Possibly hiding. “FRANK THRING – as Judge Sir Redmond Barry”

Frank Thring


Frank Thring … A Man Who Could Deliver a Line

When you see some pics of Frank Thring, you’ll recognize him right away as he was a famous Heavy in several epic flicks including: Ben Hur (as Pontius Pilote); King of Kings (as Herod); The Vikings (evil King Aella); and others …

Ben Hur Frank Thring with Heston

Ben Hur Frank Thring
Littering … Roman style
Frank Thring - The Vikings
Littering … Viking style

Thring was an Australian and his family was steeped in the Film and Theatre trade so Acting came naturally to him – soon operating his own Theatre troupe – before heading to England to star with the likes of Olivier in Shakespearean productions and plenty of renowned Stage work – as you can surely tell by his imperial demeanour and powerful projection.

In most of his films, Thring was definitely (typecast) the villain. And what a villain he was – playing some of the most heinous people in history: Herod; Pontius Pilate … the stature of his roles as evil emperors, kings, politicians, etc. seeming to amplify this evil persona – and you can’t get much more evil than being the guy responsible for executing Jesus. One wonders if Thring didn’t have a difficult time just walking down the street.

Frank Thring in Ned Kelly 1970

Ned Kelly is not the only Western style movie that Thring appeared in. He’s in another Aussie Western called Mad Dog Morgan (1976) which stars Dennis Hopper (which I will cover later). As a Bad Guy in both per usual.

Mad Dog Morgan poster 2

Frank Thring Facebook Page:

The Frank Thring Website:

Author: jcalberta

Howdy! I love Westerns. ... and the intent of is to celebrate Western Movies/Film - old and new. This site will eventually show my top 30 favorite Westerns - or more. I will have original graphic work with regular updates. All this - and more ... Yee Haw ... !! - jcablerta / Moderator / Administrator

8 thoughts on “The Thring thing …”

  1. Great villain. On film he dominated every scene he was in. Here is a partial quote from his memorial service.

    ‘The best tribute I can make to Frank,’ said actor and playwright Alan Hopgood at a celebration of Thring’s life, ‘is that every actor who came in contact with him endeavoured, at some stage, to imitate his voice. Few succeeded. But the few who did were so clever that, had there been a memorial church service, I would have suggested that three of the best imitators should read the Lessons. And I’m sure Frank, wherever he is, would have sucked in air, groaned, and said, “Very funny, but there’s really only been one of me – and (pause, groan) – just as well!”’

    1. Haa ! thanks for that Richard.
      Thring was a big celebrity down in Australia, often appearing on Aussie TV. So he stuck close to home – only occasionally making a film or two – mostly local. Definitely an imposing presence on the Big Screen.

  2. I think in Hollywood for the most part, no one cares. I doubt they care in the arts in general. Show business people are so quirky, as long as you aren’t hurting other people physically, it’s a very live-and-let-live world.

    1. Here’s another one for you then. Frank Thring was Gay. No big deal you say? Well, he was OPENLY Gay in an era when most every actor would consider it suicide to their careers if anyone found out. Even today many actors would fear such a notion. I don’t know if he flaunted it, but it was well known. Yet I can detect no negative impact on his career? Maybe with the roles he usually played, it was no liability?? or maybe nobody really cares?

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