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Donald E. Thorin

  • Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska
  • Birthday: October 12
Date of passing: 
February 09, 2016

Donald E. Thorin was a cinematographer, best known for his work on the 1984 musical drama Purple Rain, starring Prince. The film followed the story of a young musician with an abusive home life and a burgeoning career.

Thorin also contributed to the films Thief, starring James Caan; An Officer and a Gentleman, with Richard Gere and Debra Winger; Bad Boys, starring Sean Penn; Midnight Run, with Robert De Niro; The Marrying Man, with Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin; Scent of a Woman, starring Al Pacino; Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, starring Jim Carrey; The First Wives Club, with Goldie Hawn, Bette Middler and Diane Keaton; Mickey Blue Eyes, starring Hugh Grant; Shaft, starring Samuel L. Jackson; and Head of State, starring Chris Rock.

Thorin moved to California in 1957, and landed a job at 20th Century Fox. He eventually became a camera operator and contributed to films including Minnie and Moskowitz, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Bound for Glory, and Annie Hall.

In 1973, he worked as a camera operator on the television movie A Summer Without Boys. He also worked on the telefilms A Circle of Children, Walking Through the Fire, and Gauguin the Savage, starring David Carradine and Lynn Redgrave.

Donald E. Thorin was a cinematographer, best known for his work on the 1984 musical drama Purple Rain, starring Prince. The film followed the story of a young musician with an abusive home life and a burgeoning career.

Thorin also contributed to the films Thief, starring James Caan; An Officer and a Gentleman, with Richard Gere and Debra Winger; Bad Boys, starring Sean Penn; Midnight Run, with Robert De Niro; The Marrying Man, with Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin; Scent of a Woman, starring Al Pacino; Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, starring Jim Carrey; The First Wives Club, with Goldie Hawn, Bette Middler and Diane Keaton; Mickey Blue Eyes, starring Hugh Grant; Shaft, starring Samuel L. Jackson; and Head of State, starring Chris Rock.

Thorin moved to California in 1957, and landed a job at 20th Century Fox. He eventually became a camera operator and contributed to films including Minnie and Moskowitz, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Bound for Glory, and Annie Hall.

In 1973, he worked as a camera operator on the television movie A Summer Without Boys. He also worked on the telefilms A Circle of Children, Walking Through the Fire, and Gauguin the Savage, starring David Carradine and Lynn Redgrave.

Thorin’s son Donald E. Thorin Jr., is also a cinematographer, with credits including the TV shows Alias, Cold Case and Blue Bloods. His son Jeffrey Thorin is a cameraman who has worked on the films Dick Tracy and Flipper, as well as the TV series Inspector Gadget.

Donald E. Thorin died February 9, 2016, in Tucson, Arizona. He was 81.

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