Basil Rathbone


Is Basil Rathbone Dead or Still Alive? Basil Rathbone Birthday and Date of Death

Basil Rathbone

Basil Rathbone Death

Basil passed away on July 21, 1967 at the age of 75 in New York City, New York, USA. Basil's cause of death was heart attack.

Basil Rathbone death quick facts:
  • When did Basil Rathbone die?

    July 21, 1967
  • How did Basil Rathbone die? What was the cause of death?

    Heart attack
  • How old was Basil Rathbone when died?

  • Where did Basil Rathbone die? What was the location of death?

    New York City, New York, USA

Basil Rathbone Birthday and Date of Death

Basil Rathbone was born on June 13, 1892 and died on July 21, 1967. Basil was 75 years old at the time of death.

Birthday: June 13, 1892
Date of Death: July 21, 1967
Age at Death: 75

Is Basil Rathbone's father, Edgar Philip Rathbone, dead or alive?

Edgar Philip Rathbone's information is not available now.

Is Basil Rathbone's mother, Anna Barbara née George, dead or alive?

Anna Barbara née George's information is not available now.

Basil Rathbone's sister :

  • Beatrice Rathbone

Basil Rathbone's brother :

  • John Rathbone

Basil Rathbone - Biography

Basil Rathbone Actor - South African-born Basil Rathbone was the son of a British mining engineer working in Johannesburg. After a brief career as an insurance agent, the 19-year-old aspiring actor joined his cousin's repertory group. World War I service as a lieutenant in Liverpool Scottish Regiment followed, then a rapid ascension to leading-man status on the British stage. Rathbone's movie debut was in the London-filmed The Fruitful Vine.
He was Oscar-nominated for his portrayals of Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet (1936) and the crotchety Louis XVI in If I Were King (1938). In 1939, Rathbone was cast as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the first of 14 screen appearances as Conan Doyle's master detective. He also played Holmes on radio from 1939 through 1946, and in 1952 returned to the character (despite his despairing comments that Holmes had hopelessly "typed" him in films) in the Broadway flop The Return of Sherlock Holmes, which was written by his wife, Ouida Bergere. Famous for giving some of Hollywood's most elegant and elaborate parties, Rathbone left the West Coast in 1947 to return to Broadway in Washington Square.

He made a movie comeback in 1954, essaying saturnine character roles in such films as We're No Angels (1955), The Court Jester (1956), and The Last Hurrah (1958). Alas, like many Hollywood veterans, Rathbone often found the pickings lean in the 1960s, compelling him to accept roles in such inconsequential quickies as The Comedy of Terrors (1964) and Hillbillies in the Haunted House (1967). He could take consolation in the fact that these negligible films enabled him to finance projects that he truly cared about, such as his college lecture tours and his Caedmon Record transcriptions of the works of Shakespeare. Basil Rathbone's autobiography, In and Out of Character, was published in 1962.
Basil Rathbone's acting career spanned from Shakespeare to low-budget horror and in fact included both at once in the Comedy of Terrors, where he recites every Shakespeare line there is about dying. Reciting was his specialty, because he had one of the greatest voices in the history of the acting profession. There is little one could do with the human voice to make it sound more dignified than Rathbone. It is also hard to sound more intelligent than Rathbone, a skill he put to good use in his many performances as master detective Sherlock Holmes. He recorded a great deal of the Holmes tales in spoken word form, as well as the complete writings of Edgar Allan Poe, because yet another attribute of this lavishly praised voice was its ability to sound incredibly sinister. Among the bad guys portrayed by the actually charming Rathbone were the evil nemesis of Robin Hood, Sir John, and two of Charles Dickens' creepiest creations: Scrooge and Fagin. He did many of his recordings for the Caedmon label, but ventured into the recording studio at the bequest of many other labels and organizations as well. He even recorded tours of famous museums and great cities of the world for the Columbia Record Club, to be presented in conjunction with slide shows.
Rathbone was also in demand for personal appearances as a narrator with symphony orchestras and chamber groups. During his career, he took part in performances of King David, Arthur Honegger's oratorio and symphonic psalm, the inevitable Peter and the Wolf, and a gala presentation of Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov. He worked with classical performers such as soprano Helen Boatwright, contralto Beatrice Krebs, tenor Robert Price, and conductor Manfred Schumann. He was fond of collaborating with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, perhaps not coincidentally Edgar Allan Poe's hometown. Another musical era friendly to his on-stage presence was early music, and he took part in performances with several instrumental groups specializing in this genre, combining their musical performances with his recitation of poems from the same era.His acting career took off following his return from the first World War, and he was launched into the British public consciousness by a series of impressive roles in Shakespeare productions at Stratford on Avon. In the '20s, he relocated to New York City, continuing a theater career, but made a drastic switch to the film industry the following decade.
In 1930 alone, he cranked out seven different films. He established his authority in the role of Sherlock Holmes at the end of that decade in a series of films that seemed to never end, the role of faithful assistant Dr. Watson essayed fabulously by the lovable Nigel Bruce. In the '40s and '50s, he remained a character actor in films but concentrated more on his first love, the stage. In the '60s, he was one of many older Hollywood actors lured into horror films, amassing enormous new cult followings as a result. He was not particularly happy about this part of his career, however, he did enjoy the chance to hang out with old friends such as Boris Karloff. He did do some fine recordings in the '60s, however, and in the end was more consistently comfortable in the recording medium than any other.