skip navigation
Basil Rathbone

Basil Rathbone

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (4)

Recent DVDs

 
 

The Dawn... Errol Flynn and David Niven take to the skies in this thrilling aerial action... more info $5.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Universal... "Universal Horror: Classic Movie Archive" (2009) takes you on an eerie journey... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

A Tale Of Two... Based on Charles Dickens' 1857 classic story, MGM's "A Tale of Two Cities"... more info $9.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Captain Blood... Errol Flynn shot to stardom as Peter Blood, a 17th-century physician turned... more info $9.99was $19.98 Buy Now

Rhythm On The... This delightful song and laughter-filled Bing Crosby double feature contains... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

A Christmas... Fredric March, Basil Rathbone. Sure to hit home every time is Charles Dickens'... more info $5.98was $5.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Philip St John Basil Rathbone Died: July 21, 1967
Born: June 13, 1892 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: South Africa Profession: Cast ... actor insurance salesman
RATE AND COMMENT

BIOGRAPHY

Tall and lean, with an interesting, angular face and a remarkable authoritative voice that lent considerably gravity to the most poetic of sentiments and the vilest of evil, Basil Rathbone's ability to excel at heroism and villainy kept him in demand for much of his career. The South African native had his start on the stage and thanks to acclaim from Broadway work like "The Swan" (1923-24), he soon graduated to motion pictures. He was an excellent choice to play period villains in films like "David Copperfield" (1935), "Captain Blood" (1935), and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (1938), and Rathbone proved so effective, typecasting seemed inevitable. However, he staved off such a career fate with his indelible portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's master of deduction, Sherlock Holmes. From "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1939) through "Dressed to Kill" (1946) and seven seasons on radio, Rathbone did a superb job of communicating Holmes' unmatchable intelligence and sleuthing mastery. Rathbone eventually tired of the role and returned to the stage, which offered him a richer venue for his talents than acting as foils for comedians like Bob Hope and Danny Kaye and the rote villainy of low-budget horrors like "The Black Sleep" (1956). At the height of his craft, Rathbone performed with a degree of vividness and sincerity that was a hallmark of the finest classically-trained actors and his interpretation of Holmes was considered the definitive take on the literary icon.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute