Broadcasting/Actor/Educator Lundar, MB., Los Angeles, CA
Larry Thor was born Arnleifur Lawrence Thorsteinson on August 27, 1916 in the first completed room of a new frame farm house ( the family had just moved from the original log cabin) on his grandfather’s farm, eight miles from Lundar Manitoba, an Icelandic farming village located on the east shore of Lake Manitoba. Larry married at the age of 21 and had 4 children with this first marriage in Canada. After unsuccessfully trying to get work in the Flin Flon Manitoba mine, Larry was able to get work at the local Flin Flon radio station, CFAR, which launched him on his radio, television and movie career in 1937.
Larry worked in radio, first in Flin Flon, then in various radio stations in eastern Canada until 1946 when he moved to Los Angeles. Larry was noted for his distinctive voice His radio fans knew him for his rich resonant tones which led him first into radio, then into television and later into movies and as a University educator.
In retrospect, the move to Los Angeles was a good move for the ambitious Larry Thor. He was employed by such radio networks in the USA as ABC, Mutual, KFAC, and later KNX which was a CBS Pacific affiliate. This move got Larry Thor radio exposure as an announcer on such shows as Tomorrow Calling, It`s Fun to be Young, and Rocky Jordan, during the days, before TV, when radio programs were widely listened to by North American audiences. One of his major achievements was his lead role as Detective Danny Clover on the syndicated radio series Broadway is my Beat, a weekly radio show depicting crime fighting in a tough section of New York City. Larry starred in this role from
In television, Larry appeared in many TV series, like Gilligans Island as the announcer on the radio, I-Spy, Perry Mason, and The Munsters.
Larry appeared in close to 80 movies over his career, including Tock the talking watch dog in The Phantom Tollbooth, Detective Sergeant in the Fast and Furious where he met his wife Jean Howell who plays his daughter, and who co-wrote the film. He was the lone voice of concern in Tora Tora Tora, and supporting role in The Pride of St. Louis as an accredited baseball announcer, and in the cult sci-fi classic, The Amazing Colossal Man as the army doctor.
In addition to his radio, TV, and his movie work, Larry Thor wrote and recorded a twelve song album of children’s songs, including Gimmy Pig and Galloping On my Dinosaur, which is a rollicking song about a kid with a non-existent dinosaur pal. During the last few years of his life, Larry was on the staff of the University of California in Los Angeles, providing very popular courses in Theatre Arts.
In 1955 Larry Thor married again this time to Jean Howell (Thor) in California, an actress. Soon after they moved to Escondido Beach and lived on the beach for many years with their three children, one daughter Kristina and two sons Cameron and Leifur.
Larry Thor died in Santa Monica California on March 15, 1976, at the age of 59.
Internet search, written by Jon Thordarson, 2014 03