Dr. Carrington of The Thing Dies

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 25th, 2006

Robert Cornthwaite

The mad scientist, Dr. Carrington, in the 1951 Howard Hawks’ horror thriller, The Thing, has died.

Robert Cornthwaite

The Los Angeles Times reports that Robert Cornthwaite, 89, “a character actor whose more than 50-year career in theater, films and television included roles in classic thrillers and thrilling classics…died of natural causes Thursday (July 20, 2006) at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills.”

Robert Cornthwaite

The “Thing” turned out to be a creature frozen in a block of ice, and in many ways, foreshadowed the Minnesota Iceman. There are several differences, of course, such as alleged origin and the Minnesota creature never waking up. But the cinematic memory was there for a generation weaned on that movie.

Robert Cornthwaite

Cornthwaite was once interviewed about how Howard Hawks had specifically picked him for the role in The Thing: “I suppose I’m proudest of that film because Hawks chose me,” he said.

Robert Cornthwaite

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

7 Responses to “Dr. Carrington of The Thing Dies”

  1. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Sad. I remember watching that on “Chiller Theatre” with my mom when I was a kid (before Elvira became hostess).
    On the frozen homin front though, I seem to remember another movie from the mid 80’s, “Iceman” (?) about a frozen Neanderthal being thawed and observed in an Arctic lab.
    Anyone else remember it?

  2. One Eyed Cat responds:

    Seem to be losing quite a few this year already.


  3. Lee Pierce responds:

    I was nine years old when “The Thing” came out. It scared the begeezis out of me. Cornthwaite was excellent as was most of the cast. Many of the actors in the flick had long careers in Hollywood.

  4. caddo21 responds:

    I Imdb’ed that movie about a year ago to see what else those actors appeared in after that movie and found out sadly that most had passed on. When I got down the list to this actor I thought for sure he would have been the first to go as he portrayed the older character but Wow, he was still kicking!

    That movie always impresses me even today, the monster had VERY LITTLE screen time which made him more terrifying.

    The acting was VERY understated and when the actors started their lines before the others finished his or her’s, was very accurate the way people communicate in real life, especially under stress.

    Dr. Carrington, I have to disagree was portrayed as “mad”, that was a departure from the classic “mad” scientist. Watch it again and you will see that he doesn’t ever show mental illness, on the contrary he always asks his fellow scientist’s opinion on each step as they go.

    It was a triple agenda, not just good verses evil, but the Military VS. the Scientist’s VS. the Alien, each with their own agenda.

  5. twblack responds:

    That was a good movie.

  6. Nachzehrer responds:

    I wonder if they named him after the psychical researcher Hereward Carrington?

  7. Terry W. Colvin responds:

    I hold The Thing and Them! in high regard and watch each every time rerun. Too bad the CGI generation for the most part is missing out on good plots, dialog, acting, and well-edited filming.

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