Thornburg is a reporter for KFLW Channel 14 News in Los Angeles, California. He is in a relationship with Monica.
During the events of Die Hard (1988) played by William Atherton
While he is in the editing room, Thornburg overhears Sgt. Al Powell's call for help over the police scanner. Thornburg argues with his Station Manager to give him a news truck to investigate what is going down at Nakatomi Plaza. Harvey Johnson overhears them arguing and tells Thornburg to give them a break. Later, Thornburg gives a report which describes what is going on at Nakatomi Plaza. An explosion blows out most of the lower floors of the building. Thornburg's Assistant looks on in shock at the explosion while he exclaims in excitement and asks if his Cameraman got the explosion on tape. Ellis tells Hans Gruber details about John McClane including his full name and that he is a cop and Thornburg, who is listening in, tells Thornburg's Assistant to gather information on John. Thornburg's Assistant returns with information on John, including his home address in L.A. Thornburg goes to Holly Gennero McClane's house and at first threatens to call the INS on Paulina and then tells her it may be the last time Lucy McClane and John Jr. have to speak with John and Holly. After the terrorists are killed, John and Holly are walking towards the limo, Thornburg asks them what their feelings are, and Holly punches him in the face.