Basil Rathbone (1892–1967)

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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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Captain Blood
Tue, Oct 19 10:30 AM PDT on TCM (631)
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
Sun, Oct 24 10:56 AM PDT on STZENS (606)

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


Known For

The Adventures of Robin Hood Sir Guy of Gisbourne
Sherlock Holmes Faces Death Sherlock Holmes
The Scarlet Claw Sherlock Holmes


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (124 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 Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet
Prof. Hartman - Lunar 7
 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 Tales of Terror
Carmichael (segment "The Case of M. Valdemar")
 1962 Pontius Pilate
 1962 The Magic Sword
 1961 The Black Cat (Short)
Voices (voice)
 1961 Victoria Regina (TV Movie)
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (Lord Beaconsfield)
 1956-1960 The Red Skelton Hour (TV Series)
Hugh Rubicoff / Sir Robert
- Super-Cauliflower (1960) ... Hugh Rubicoff
- The Sculpture Show (1956) ... Sir Robert
 1959 Fredric March Presents Tales from Dickens (TV Series)
Ebenezer Scrooge
- A Christmas Carol (1959) ... Ebenezer Scrooge
 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 Alcoa Hour (TV Series)
Ebenezer Scrooge
- The Stingiest Man in Town (1956) ... Ebenezer Scrooge
 1954-1956 Shower of Stars (TV Series)
Marley's Ghost
- A Christmas Carol III (1956) ... Marley's Ghost
- A Christmas Carol (II) (1955) ... Marley's Ghost
- A Christmas Carol (1954) ... Marley's Ghost
 1956 The Black Sleep
Sir Joel Cadman
 1956 Screen Directors Playhouse (TV Series)
Paul Charters
- Affair in Sumatra (1956) ... Paul Charters
 1955 The Court Jester
Sir Ravenhurst
 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 We're No Angels
Andre Trochard
 1955 The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater (TV Series)
- Always the Butler (1955) ... Robert
 1955 Encounter (TV Series)
Captain Edward Fairfax Vere
- Billy Budd (1955) ... Captain Edward Fairfax Vere
 1954 Schlitz Playhouse (TV Series)
The Jewel Thief
- Volturio Investigates (1954) ... The Jewel Thief
 1954 A Christmas Carol
Jacob Marley
 1954 Studio One (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
 1953 The Motorola Television Hour (TV Series)
- The Thirteen Clocks (1953) ... Duke
 1953 Danger (TV Series)
 1951-1953 Suspense (TV Series)
Sherlock Holmes / Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde
- The Adventure of the Black Baronet (1953) ... Sherlock Holmes
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1951) ... Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde
 1953 Broadway Television Theatre (TV Series)
Benvenuto Cellini / Chief Inspector Tanner
- The Firebrand (1953) ... Benvenuto Cellini
- 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 Betty Crocker Star Matinee (TV Series)
 1951 Lights Out (TV Series)
- Dead Man's Coat (1951) ... Gregory
 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 Dressed to Kill
Sherlock Holmes
 1946 Heartbeat
Professor Aristide
 1946 Terror by Night
Sherlock Holmes
 1945 Pursuit to Algiers
Sherlock Holmes
 1945 The Woman in Green
Sherlock Holmes
 1945 The House of Fear
Sherlock Holmes
 1944 Frenchman's Creek
Lord Rockingham
 1944 The Pearl of Death
Sherlock Holmes
 1944 Bathing Beauty
George Adams
 1944 The Scarlet Claw
Sherlock Holmes
 1943 The Spider Woman
Sherlock Holmes
 1943 Crazy House
Sherlock Holmes
 1943 Sherlock Holmes Faces Death
Sherlock Holmes
 1943 Above Suspicion
Sig von Aschenhausen
 1943 Sherlock Holmes in Washington
Sherlock Holmes
 1942 Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
Sherlock Holmes
 1942 Crossroads
Henri Sarrou
 1942 Fingers at the Window
Dr. H. Santelle
 1941 Paris Calling
Andre Benoit
 1941 International Lady
Reggis Oliver
 1941 The Black Cat
Montague Hartley
 1940 The Mad Doctor
Dr. George Sebastien aka Dr. Frederick Langamann
 1940 The Mark of Zorro
Capt. Esteban Pasquale
 1940 Rhythm on the River
Oliver Courtney
 1939 Tower of London
Richard, Duke of Gloucester
 1939 Rio
Paul Reynard
 1939 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes
 1939 The Sun Never Sets
Clive Randolph
 1939 The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock Holmes
 1939 Son of Frankenstein
Baron Wolf von Frankenstein
 1938 The Dawn Patrol
Major Brand
 1938 If I Were King
Louis XI
 1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood
Sir Guy of Gisbourne
 1937 Tovarich
Commissar Dimitri Gorotchenko
 1937 Make a Wish
Johnny Selden
 1937 Confession
Michael Michailow
 1937 A Night of Terror
Gerald Lovell
 1936 The Garden of Allah
Count Ferdinand Anteoni
 1936 Romeo and Juliet
Tybalt - Nephew to Lady Capulet
 1936 Private Number
 1935 Captain Blood
 1935 A Tale of Two Cities
Marquis St. Evrémonde
 1935 Kind Lady
Henry Abbott
 1935 A Feather in Her Hat
Captain Randolph Courtney
 1935 The Last Days of Pompeii
Pontius Pilate
 1935 Anna Karenina
Alexei Alexandrovitch Karenin
 1935 David Copperfield
Mr. Murdstone
 1933 Loyalties
Ferdinand de Levis
 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
Edward Warrington
 1930 The Flirting Widow
Colonel John Smith
 1930 A Notorious Affair
Paul Gherardi
 1930 This Mad World
Paul Parisot
 1929 The Bishop Murder Case
Philo Vance
 1929 The Last of Mrs. Cheyney
Lord Arthur Dilling
 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)
 1923/II The School for Scandal
Joseph Surface
 1921 The Fruitful Vine
Don Cesare Carelli
 1921 Innocent
Amadis de Jocelyn
Show Show Additional Crew (2 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack (8 credits)
Show Show Thanks (4 credits)
Show Show Self (44 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (54 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage: Appeared (as "Sir Roger Johnson") in "Hide and Seek" on Broadway. Written by Roger MacDougall and Stanley Mann. Directed by Reginald Denham. Ethel Barrymore Theatre: 2 April 1957-6 April 1957 (7 performances). Cast included: 'Walter Brooke (I)', Dolores Dorn-Heft, Isobel Elsom, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Barry Morse. See more »

Publicity Listings:

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

Alternate Names:

Sir Basil Rathbone


6' 1½" (1.87 m)


Ouida Bergère  (his death)  (1 child) | See more »


John Rodion | See more »


Edgar Philip Rathbone | Anna Barbara Rathbone


Horace Rathbone (sibling) | See more »

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[on how he was awarded his Military Cross] All I did, old man, was disguise myself as a tree--that's correct, a tree--and cross no man's land to gather a bit of information from the German lines. I have not since been called upon to play a tree. See more »


Never renounced his British citizenship and was a lifelong member of the Conservative party. See more »


Best known for his roles in horror films, particularly those made by Universal Studios See more »



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