Down 1,489 this week

Basil Rathbone (1892–1967)

Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1892, but three years later his family was forced to flee the country because his father was accused by the Boers of being a British spy at a time when Dutch-British conflicts were leading to the Boer War. The Rathbones escaped to England, where Basil and his two younger siblings, Beatrice ... See full bio »

Scary Good: IMDb's Guide to Horror

Can't get enough of movies and television shows that scare up a good fright? Check out Scary Good, IMDb's Horror Entertainment Guide. Being terrified was never so much fun.

Enter if you dare

Live Twitter Q&A With Kate Beckinsale for 'Love & Friendship'

Join us for a live Twitter Q&A with Love & Friendship star Kate Beckinsale on Thursday, May 5, beginning at 4:45 p.m. ET/1:45 p.m. PT. Make sure to follow IMDb on Twitter and send your questions now to #IMDbAskKateB.

Follow IMDb on Twitter

On Amazon Video

Watch on TV

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 people
created 13 Sep 2011
a list of 21 people
created 11 Jun 2013
a list of 34 images
created 11 Feb 2014
a list of 28 people
created 18 Apr 2015
a list of 34 people
created 10 months ago

Do you have a demo reel?

Add it to your IMDbPage

Connect with IMDb

How Much Have You Seen?

How much of Basil Rathbone's work have you seen?

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Known For


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (126 credits)
 1968 Autopsia de un fantasma
Canuto Pérez
 1967 Soldier in Love (TV Movie)
The Duke of York
 1966 Summer Fun (TV Series)
- Pirates of Flounder Bay (1966) ... Governor
 1966 The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
Reginald Ripper
 1966 Queen of Blood
Dr. Farraday
 1965 Dr. Kildare (TV Series)
Frederick Foray
- Duet for One Hand (1965) ... Frederick Foray
- Perfect Is Too Hard to Be (1965) ... Frederick Foray
 1965 Burke's Law (TV Series)
Milo James
- Who Killed Hamlet? (1965) ... Milo James
 1964 Suspense (TV Series)
- The Leader (1964)
 1963 The Comedy of Terrors
Mr. John F. Black
 1962 Two Before Zero
 1962 The Magic Sword
 1961 The Black Cat (Short)
Voices (voice)
 1960 The Christophers (TV Series)
 1956-1960 The Red Skelton Hour (TV Series)
Hugh Rubicoff / British Artist
- Super-Cauliflower (1960) ... Hugh Rubicoff
- The Sculpture Show (1956) ... British Artist
 1958 The Last Hurrah
Norman Cass, Sr.
 1958 The DuPont Show of the Month (TV Series)
- Cole Porter's 'Aladdin' (1958) ... Emperor
 1958 Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates (TV Movie)
Dr. Boekman
 1956-1957 Kraft Theatre (TV Series)
General Zomback
- Heroes Walk on Sand (1957) ... General Zomback
 1957 The United States Steel Hour (TV Series)
 1957 The Lark (TV Movie)
Chief Inquisitor
 1956 The Black Sleep
Sir Joel Cadman
 1956 Screen Directors Playhouse (TV Series)
Paul Charters
- Affair in Sumatra (1956) ... Paul Charters
 1955 Star Tonight (TV Series)
- The Selfish Giant (1955) ... Narrator
 1955 Science Fiction Theatre (TV Series)
Dr. Victor Berenson
- The Stones Began to Move (1955) ... Dr. Victor Berenson
 1955 The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater (TV Series)
- Always the Butler (1955) ... Robert
 1954 Schlitz Playhouse (TV Series)
The Jewel Thief
- Volturio Investigates (1954) ... The Jewel Thief
 1954 Studio One in Hollywood (TV Series)
Hazelton Crane
- The House of Gair (1954) ... Hazelton Crane
 1954 Love Story (TV Series)
- The Yo-Yo People (1954)
 1954 Casanova's Big Night
Lucio / Narrator
 1954 Texaco Star Theatre (TV Series)
Sherlock Holmes
- Episode #6.11 (1954) ... Sherlock Holmes
 1953 The Motorola Television Hour (TV Series)
- The Thirteen Clocks (1953) ... Duke
 1953 Season's Greetings (TV Movie)
 1953 Danger (TV Series)
 1951-1953 Suspense (TV Series)
Sherlock Holmes / Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde
- The Adventure of the Black Baronet (1953) ... Sherlock Holmes
 1953 Broadway Television Theatre (TV Series)
Benvenuto Cellini / Chief Inspector Tanner
- Criminal at Large (1953) ... Chief Inspector Tanner
 1951-1953 Lux Video Theatre (TV Series)
Ambrose Wallington / Sir Paul Maxim / Frampton
- Miss Marlowe at Play (1953) ... Ambrose Wallington
- Masquerade (1952) ... Sir Paul Maxim
- Purple and Fine Linen (1951) ... Frampton
 1951 Lights Out (TV Series)
- Dead Man's Coat (1951) ... Gregory
 1951 The Colgate Comedy Hour (TV Series)
Count Durand
- Would-Be Gentleman (1951) ... Count Durand
 1950 Nash Airflyte Theatre (TV Series)
 1949-1950 The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre (TV Series)
- Queen of Spades (1950)
 1949 The Ford Theatre Hour (TV Series)
Mr. Brink
- On Borrowed Time (1949) ... Mr. Brink
 1949 The Wind in the Willows (Short)
Narrator (voice)
 1946 Heartbeat
Professor Aristide
 1944 Frenchman's Creek
Lord Rockingham
 1944 Bathing Beauty
George Adams
 1943 Above Suspicion
Sig von Aschenhausen
 1942 Crossroads
Henri Sarrou
 1942 Fingers at the Window
Dr. H. Santelle
 1941 Paris Calling
Andre Benoit
 1940 The Mad Doctor
Dr. George Sebastian / Dr. Frederick Langamann
 1940 Rhythm on the River
Oliver Courtney
 1939 Tower of London
Richard - Duke of Gloucester
 1939 Rio
Paul Reynard
 1938 The Dawn Patrol
Major Brand
 1938 Breakdowns of 1938 (Short)
Basil (The Adventures of Robin Hood wardrobe test) (uncredited)
 1937 Make a Wish
Johnny Selden
 1937 Confession
Michael Michailow
 1936 Private Number
 1935 A Feather in Her Hat
Captain Randolph Courtney
 1933 One Precious Year
Derek Nagel
 1932 After the Ball
Jack Harrowby
 1932 A Woman Commands
Capt. Alex Pastitsch
 1930 Sin Takes a Holiday
Reggie Durant
 1930 A Lady Surrenders
Carl Vandry
 1930 The Lady of Scandal
 1930 The Flirting Widow
Colonel Smith
 1930 A Notorious Affair
Paul Gherardi
 1930 This Mad World
Paul Parisot
 1926 The Great Deception
 1925 The Masked Bride
 1924 Trouping with Ellen
Tony Winterslip
 1923 The Loves of Mary, Queen of Scots
Undetermined Subordinate Role (uncredited)
 1921 The Fruitful Vine
Don Cesare Carelli
 1921 Innocent
Amadis de Jocelyn
Show Show Soundtrack (8 credits)
Show Show Miscellaneous Crew (2 credits)
Show Show Self (33 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (34 credits)

Related Videos


Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared in "Julius Caesar" on Broadway. Tragedy (revival). Written by William Shakespeare. Directed by John Craig. New Amsterdam Theatre: 6 Jun 1927-Jun 1927 (closing date unknown/8 performances). Produced by The Players Club. See more »

Publicity Listings:

4 Print Biographies | 14 Articles | 3 Magazine Cover Photos | See more »

Alternate Names:

Sir Basil Rathbone


6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

When you become the character you portray, it's the end of your career as an actor. See more »


Although earlier in his career, he had quit playing Sherlock Holmes out of disgust at what he thought was typecasting, later in life he began appearing as Holmes on television and in several movies, and even wrote (along with his wife) a play about Holmes, in which he played the character on stage. That this represented a change of heart seems unlikely though, as until his death, he expressed ... See more »


Best known for playing suave villains in period swashbuckler films, such as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Captain Blood (1935). See more »



Star Sign:


Message Boards

Recent Posts
Beautiful voice young-and-free
good looking zluscombe
Left-handed? lazy_elfin
Thinking of him today ... RainbowCatPenny
Basil Rathbone Petsyl
THe Greatest Villain imarjoryjohn
Discuss Basil Rathbone on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page