Rains, Claude

Inscribed signed portrait by the star of many mid-20th century’s greatest classic films!

Price: $395.00

Description:
(1889-1967) English–American film and stage actor, best known for playing “cultured villains”, whose career spanned several decades. After his US film debut as “The Invisible Man” (1933) he appeared in classic films such as “The Adventure of Robin Hood” (1938), “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939), “The Wolf Man” (1941), “Casablanca” and “Kings Row” (both 1942), “Notorious” (1946), and “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962). He won a Tony Award for “Darkness at Noon” (1951) and was nominated 4 times for Best Supporting Actor Oscars. Rains became a naturalized US citizen in 1939. His father being an actor, young Rains spent time in theatres surrounded by actors and stagehands and debuted at 10 at the Haymarket Theatre. He went to America in 1913 for opportunities in the New York theatres, but with the outbreak of WW I, he returned to England to serve in the London Scottish Regiment with Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman, and Herbert Marshall, rising from private to captain. At war’s end, Rains remained in England to develop his acting talents. Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, founder of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, paid for elocution books and lessons Rains needed to shed his cockney accent and speech impediment. At 29, he played in his only silent film, “Build Thy House” (1920). During his early years, Rains also taught at the Royal Academy with John Gielgud and Charles Laughton among his students. Rains began his career in London theatre, but returned to New York in 1927 to appear in some 20 Broadway roles. A screen test for an RKO New York representative was a failure but led to being cast in the title role of James Whale’s “The Invisible Man” (1933). Rains signed a long term contract with Warner Bros. in 1935 with Warner able to loan him to other studios and Rains having a potential income of up to $750,000 over 7 years. He played the villainous role of Prince John in “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938). On loan to Columbia Pictures, he portrayed a corrupt US senator in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939, 1st Oscar nomination). For Warner Bros, he played the murderer, Dr. Alexander Tower, in “Kings Row” (1942) and the cynical police chief Captain Renault in “Casablanca” (also 1942). On loan again, Rains played the lead in universal’s remake of “Phantom of the Opera” 1943). He was the 1st actor to receive a $1M salary when he portrayed Julius Caesar in a large budget but unsuccessful version of Shaw's “Caesar and Cleopatra” (1945). Rains followed it with Hitchcock’s “Notorious” (1946) with Cary grant and Ingrid Bergman. He remained active as a character actor in the 1950s and 60s, appearing in films and as a guest in TV series. Two of his late screen roles were as a cynical British diplomat in “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) and King Herod in “The Greatest Story Ever Told” (1965), his last film. ISP, 10 x 8 1953 b&w glossy promotional bust photo portrait by Bender Studios for “The Confidential Clerk” (short-lived 1954 Broadway play by T. S. Eliot), inscribed and signed.

Condition: Very good, very slight smudge to “B” in inscription
Type:Photograph






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Edward N. Bomsey Autographs, Inc.
7317 Farr Street
Annandale, VA 22003-2516
(703) 642-2040(phone & fax)




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