The Thring thing …

7 Feb

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:

8 Responses to “The Thring thing …”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong February 7, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    Okay. That’s Garry-level obscure. I’m impressed.

  2. Marilyn Armstrong February 7, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    It actually stumped Garry. He recognized the face (“sword and sandal movies,” he said) but didn’t know the name. One for your team. Let the games continue!

    • jcalberta February 7, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      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?

  3. Marilyn Armstrong February 8, 2014 at 4:53 pm #

    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.

    • jcalberta February 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

      You’re right. I know that within the industry nobody cares. It’s what the public thinks that the Actor may fear.

  4. jcalberta February 8, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    Pardon all my errors, typos and omissions … come back in a couple of weeks and everything will be fixed.

  5. Richard Clayton February 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    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!”’

    • jcalberta February 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

      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.

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