Die Hard scenario Wiki

Richard Thornburg
PDVD 101
Name: Richard Thornburg
Gender: Male
Hair color: Red
Role: Antagonist
Nationality: Flag of the United States American
Profession: Reporter
Expertise: Journalism
Status: Alive
Played by: William Atherton
First film: Die Hard
Last film: Die Hard 2

Richard "Dick" Thornburg is an arrogant, irresponsible journalist who causes trouble for John McClane and his wife Holly.


Thornburg is a very insensitive and nosy man. He believes everyone should know everything about people and, as a result, invades their personal lives to get a story. Thornburg often threatens people who don't wish to follow his wishes with lawsuits or legal action, like when he put a restraining order on Holly or threatened to deport Paulina. Thornburg is very arrogant and careless and is willing to put lives at risk for his own benefit.

Die Hard[]

Thornburg is a Los Angeles news reporter. When he hears Al Powell's distress call, he begs his boss to borrow the van and cover the story. He and his news team drive to the Nakatomi Plaza to cover the story. Later when he finds background information on John McClane, he drives over to Holly's house where he threatens the maid, Paulina, to let him interview the children or he will get her deported. When he interviews Lucy, terrorist leader Hans Gruber sees this and discovers Holly's family portrait, recognizes Holly as John´s wife and takes her captive.

After John kills Hans and attempts to finally leave, Thornburg has the nerve to try and interview Him and Holly, who angrily punches Thornburg in the face as revenge for putting their lives in jeopardy in pursuit of a good story. Thornburg sarcastically said to his camera man, "Did you get that?"

Die Hard 2[]

Two years later, Thornburg happened to be on Holly McClane's flight, Northeast Airlines 140, en route to Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC. The female flight attendants particularly disliked him because he degraded them in his news editorials by calling them 'bimbos'. When he saw Holly, he demanded that he be switched to another seat because he put a restraining order on Holly because she punched him in the face at the end of Die Hard for putting herself and her kids in danger to Hans Gruber (one of the flight attendants offered Holly a bottle of champagne upon learning of this).

Later on, Thornburg noticed that other airplanes where flying very closely by their plane and conducts his own investigation. He went to his friend Victor and asked to use a listening device to hear the cockpit communication. When Thornburg and Victor hear a report from Dulles chief engineer Leslie Barnes that terrorists have sabotaged the airport and that people had been killed, he hid in the airport lavatory and called his news station in Washington to tell them about the takeover in an attempt to get a Pulitzer prize. He demanded that he be put on the air to broadcast the emergency special report. When he broadcasted the emergency special news update, the people at the Dulles Airport were thrown into a panic-ridden frenzy. The people stampeded out of the airport, creating mass chaos and blocking efforts by the police to stop the terrorists. Upon hearing Thornburg's news, Holly used a taser from another passenger on Thornburg. When he came to, he was sobbing in fear.

Once the plane landed, Thornburg collapsed onto the ground in relief. One elderly passenger walked over Thornburg when he asked for help getting up. Because of his extreme narcissism and willingness to jeopardize the lives hundreds of people for his own gain, it can be assumed that Thornburg was disgraced and fired shortly after the ordeal at Dulles.

Other appearances[]

Thornburg also appeared in the video games Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza and Die Hard: Vendetta.

Die Hard Characters
John McClane - Holly Gennero - Lucy McClane - John McClane, Jr. - Al Powell - Richard Thornburg
Die Hard Hans Gruber - Karl - Theo
Die Hard 2 Colonel Stuart - Leslie Barnes - General Ramon Esperanza - Carmine Lorenzo - Major Grant
Die Hard with a Vengeance Simon Gruber - Zeus Carver - Katya
Live Free or Die Hard Thomas Gabriel - Matt Farrell - Mai Linh - Warlock
A Good Day to Die Hard Yuri Komarov - Irina Komarov - Viktor Chagarin - Alik - Mike Collins