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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 »

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

Known For

The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Adventures of Robin Hood Sir Guy of Gisbourne
The Woman in Green
Terror by Night
Terror by Night Sherlock Holmes
Dressed to Kill
Dressed to Kill Sherlock Holmes


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (127 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
 1961 The Black Cat (Short)
Voices (voice)
 1960 The Christophers (TV Series)
 1956-1960 The Red Skelton Hour (TV Series)
Hugh Rubicoff / Sir Robert
- Super-Cauliflower (1960) ... Hugh Rubicoff
- The Sculpture Show (1956) ... Sir Robert
 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 Svengali and the Blonde (TV Movie)
 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 Crome
- The House of Gair (1954) ... Hazelton Crome
 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 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 Betty Crocker Star Matinee (TV Series)
 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 Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
Narrating the Story of Mr. Toad / Policeman (voice)
 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 Rio
Paul Reynard
 1939 Son of Frankenstein
Baron Wolf von Frankenstein
 1938 The Dawn Patrol
Major Brand
 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 (35 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (43 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Television: Guest-starred (as Himself) on Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall (1948). See more »

Publicity Listings:

5 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 »


Had appeared with John Carradine in seven films: The Garden of Allah (1936), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), Casanova's Big Night (1954), The Court Jester (1955), The Black Sleep (1956), The Last Hurrah (1958) and Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967). 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 »



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