June Thorburn (8 June 1931 – 4 November 1967) was a beautiful and popular English actress whose career was cut short by her death in an air crash. Early life Born 8 June 1931 Karachi, which in those days was British India. She was the eldest of three children.
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. June began writing plays from about the age of seven. Her grandfather (Sydney Thubron) 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 and there she met and married her first husband, Aldon Richard Bryse-Harvey.
This turned out to be a short and stressful marriage – however she had a daughter in 1953, named Heather-Louise June. The marriage ended in divorce and June moved back to Hampshire, close to her family.
Her she is on the front of the Picture Post of 14 May 1955 – Below :-
She remained there for a few years and then her career started to take off so in 1957 she moved back to London. There she met Morten Smith-Petersen, who eventually 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.
I have since read this item – actually written by her son which is quite interesting and enlightening :-
June had two children, Heather, now living in Tigard, just outside Portland Oregon. Sheleen, now living in Chiswick in London, and a Step-son, Simon (Me) Now living in Australia. We are all married. Heather and Jerry ,in Oregon have no children, Sheleen and Chris have a little Girl called Scarlet, And Susie and I have two boys,Ben and Dan and a daughter called Storm. Heather was the product of June’s first marriage, and Sheleen,of her second Marriage to my father Morten.
And another item from someone on duty the night of the air crash :-
I was on duty with BEA (British European Airways) at the West London Air Terminal on the November night of the Iberia crash. BEA was the handling agent for Iberia in those days and the only flight to use Gatwick was the Malaga service, with the rest using Heathrow.
We, at the terminal, in Cromwell Road, usually received the passengers from this service around about 2 a.m. after they had travelled up from Gatwick to Victoria by train and then by special bus to the Terminal. Of course, it was, that evening, not to be.
I hope it it not too intrusive to say that I spare a thought and a prayer for all on board as each successive November comes along.
Fury at Smugglers Bay I remember well and in recent years the Richard Todd produced film ‘Don’t Bother to Knock’ which was not that successful, and of course Tom Thumb, but I also remember the very young and very beautiful June Thorburn in the 1951 version of Scrooge with Alastair Sim.
Tom Thumb was released in 1958 and was quite successful at the Box Office.
Tom Thumb Film Stills above
Below this lovely picture of June Thorburn with Tom Thumb :
She is an actress well remembered by film fans such as myself even though she did not appear in that many films – but somehow they are films that I know well – maybe because she was in them.