Torin Thatcher was an English actor born in Bombay, British India, to English parents. He was an imposing, powerfully built figure noted for his flashy portrayals of screen villains.
He was educated in Britain at Bedford School and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He worked as a schoolmaster before first appearing on the London stage in 1927 and then entering British films in 1934. He appeared in the 1937 Old Vic stage production of Hamlet, in which Laurence Olivier made his first appearance in the title role, opposite Vivien Leigh as Ophelia. During the Second World War, he served with the Royal Artillery and was demobilised with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Thatcher appeared in classic British films of the late 1930s and 1940s, including Major Barbara and Great Expectations, in which he played Bentley Drummle. He moved to Hollywood in the 1950s. He was constantly in demand, invariably lending his looming figure and baleful countenance to sinister or stern roles in popular costume thrillers such as The Crimson Pirate, Blackbeard the Pirate, The Robe, The Black Shield of Falworth, Helen of Troy, Darby's Rangers and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.