Rathbone, Basil

Great signed original still portrait from “The Black Sleep” (1956)

Price: $250.00

Description:
(1892-1967) South African-born English actor , went from UK Shakespearean stage actor to appear in more than 70 films, primarily costume dramas, swashbucklers, and occasional horror films. He portrayed suave villains or morally ambiguous characters, such as Sir Guy of Gisbourne in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938). His most famous role, however, was that of Sherlock Holmes in 14 Hollywood 1939-46 films and in a radio series. His later career included roles on Broadway. In 1911, Rathbone made his stage debut in Ipswich, Suffolk, with his cousin Sir Frank Benson's No. 2 Company. In 1912, he went to the US with Benson's company, playing Shakespearean roles. He made his London debut in 1914. In WW I, he was with the London Scottish Regiment with Claude Rains, Herbert Marshall, and Ronald Colman. He rose to captain with the Liverpool Scottish Regiment undertaking highly dangerous daylight reconnaissance missions for which he was awarded the Military Cross. During the 1920s, Rathbone appeared on the British stage and had his US debut in 1923 which made him a star on Broadway. He began his film career in 1921 in silent movies and made a name for himself in the 1930s by playing suave villains in costume dramas and swashbucklers, including in “Anna Karenina” (1935), “Captain Blood” (1935), “A Tale of Two Cities” (1935), and “The Mark of Zorro” (1940). He also appeared in several early horror films: “Tower of London” (1939), as Richard III, and “Son of Frankenstein” (1939), and, in 1949, was also narrator for the "The Wind in the Willows" segment in Disney’s animated feature “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.” He was admired for his athletic cinema swordsmanship with Errol Flynn in “Captain Blood” and “The Adventures of Robin Hood”, also involved in noteworthy sword fights in “Tower of London”, “The Mark of Zorro”, and “The Court Jester” (1956). He earned a supporting actor Oscar nominations as Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet” (1936) and as King Louis XI in “If I Were King” (1938). He is most widely recognized for his many portrayals of Sherlock Holmes. The 1st 2 films, “The Hound of the Baskervilles” and “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” (both 1939) were set in the late Victorian times; later Universal installments beginning with “Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror” (1942), were set in contemporary times, the 1st 3 with WW II-related plots. Concurrent with the films, Rathbone and Nigel Bruce reprised their film roles in a 1939-46 radio series. In the 1950s, Rathbone appeared in 2 spoofs of his earlier swashbuckling villains: “Casanova’s Big Night” (1954) with Bob Hope, and “The Court Jester” (1956) with Danny Kaye. He appeared frequently on TV game shows and continued to appear in major films, incl. the comedy “We’re No Angels” with Humphrey Bogart (1955) and John Ford’s political drama, “The Last Hurrah” (1958). In 1948, he won a Tony for Best Actor for “The Heiress” and received accolades for Archibald MacLeish’s “J. B.”, a modernization of the Biblical trials of Job. Through the 1950s & 1960s, he took roles in cheap lesser quality film thrillers such as “The Black Sleep” (1956), “Queen of Blood” (1966), “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini” (1966), and others, for the money. On TV he appeared in 2 musical versions of Dickens's “A Christmas Carol” in 1954 and in the 1956 live action version of “The Stingiest Man in Town” in which he played a singing Scrooge. Vincent Price and Rathbone appeared together with Boris Karloff in “The Tower of London” (1939) and “The Comedy of Terrors” (1963) with them and Peter Lorre. SP, 1956 United Artists 10 x 8 b&w portrait bust photograph from “The Black Sleep" in which he co-starred with Akim Tamiroff, Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine and Bela Lugosi.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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