Job Actor
Years active 1911-67
Known for Suave cold-hearted villains, morally ambiguous characters; Sherlock Holmes
Top Roles Sir Guy of Gisbourne, Count Sigurd 'Sig' von Aschenhausen, Richard, Count Ferdinand Anteoni, King Louis XI
Top GenresDrama, Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Film Adaptation
Top TopicsBook-Based, Detectives, England
Top Collaborators (Director), (Producer), (Director), (Producer)
Shares birthday with Ben Johnson, Lois Weber, Jean Adair  see more..

Basil Rathbone Overview:

Legendary character actor, Basil Rathbone, was born Philip St. John Basil Rathbone on Jun 13, 1892 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Rathbone appeared in over 120 film and TV roles. His best known films include David Copperfield, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Captain Blood, Tower of London, The Mark of Zorro, Anna Karenina and The Hound of the Baskervilles (the first of 14 film appearances as master detective, Sherlock Holmes). Rathbone died at the age of 75 on Jul 21, 1967 in New York City, NY and was laid to rest in Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, Westchester County, NY.

MINI BIO:

Already a veteran stage actor in both London and on Broadway, Basil Rathbone made his film debut in 1921 in the silent film The Fruitful Vine. He went on to appear in over 120 film and TV roles, frequently portraying suave, cold-hearted villains. Some of his most memorable roles were as Murdstone in David Copperfield, Levasseur in Captain Blood, Sir Guy of Gisbourne in The Adventures of Robin Hood, and as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles and 13 other films.

(Source: article by Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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Although Rathbone was nominated for two Oscars, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1936Best Supporting ActorRomeo and Juliet (1936)TybaltNominated
1938Best Supporting ActorIf I Were King (1938)Louis XINominated
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He was honored with three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the categories of Radio, Motion Pictures and Television.

BlogHub Articles:

The Violent Deaths of

By Neve on May 16, 2021 From The Baz

Don Diego finishes off Capitan Esteban Pasquale in The Mark of Zorro (1940)... Read full article


THE BLOGATHON: Tower of London, 1939

on Jun 13, 2020 From Caftan Woman

Pale Writer is hosting The Suave Swordsman: Blogathon on June 13th and 14th. Click HERE to read about the actor's exciting life and career. Thank you, Gabriela. Richard III plays a dangerous game of thrones in Tower of London, 1939 from Universal Studios. The historical epic wa... Read full article


A 1914 Letter from

By Neve on May 5, 2020 From The Baz

, a member of F.R. Benson’s Shakespeare Company, in 1913 or 1914... Read full article


: Union Man!

By Neve on Sep 15, 2019 From The Baz

Frederick Kerr... Read full article


: Treasure Hunter

By Neve on Aug 15, 2018 From The Baz

The Prince of Wales, 1919... Read full article


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Basil Rathbone Quotes:

Dr. John H. Watson: Holmes? But your plane crashed!
Sherlock Holmes: It was shot down, Watson.


[after the Marquis' coach runs over and kills a peasant child, he gets out of the coach and speaks to the onlookers]
Marquis St. Evremonde: It's extraordinary to me that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children. One or the other of you is forever in the way. How do you know what injury you might do to my horses?


Dr. John H. Watson: I'm sorry I'm late. I didn't sleep very well.
Sherlock Holmes: Didn't sleep very well? You snored like a pig!


read more quotes from Basil Rathbone...



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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1936






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Basil Rathbone on the
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Basil Rathbone Facts
Cousin of actor/manager Sir Frank R. Benson.

Was related by marriage to the famous Huxley family. His wife's niece, Ouida Branch, whom they brought up from an early age, married David Bruce Huxley, the brother of famed writers Aldous Huxley and Julian Huxley and Nobel Prize-winning scientist Andrew Huxley.

Was so frequently typecast as a villain that he literally jumped at the first few opportunities he ever got to play Sherlock Holmes because "for once, I got to beat the bad guy instead of play him." Indeed, he played the legendary heroic detective more than any other character in his career. By 1946, however, he had become so sick of the role that he quit his Sherlock Holmes film series and temporarily returned to the Broadway stage. Over the course of his career he had played the super sleuth in 16 films and over 200 radio plays.

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