Basil Rathbone (1892 - 1967)

ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM

Summary

Basil Rathbone’s biography is built and maintained by people like you. Create an online profile of Basil so that his life is remembered forever. If any factual information is incorrect, please edit Basil’s biography.

Basil Rathbone (1892–1967) Painting by fan, artist Arthur K. Miller.
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, with Basil and his two younger siblings.
Born: June 13, 1892 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Died: July 21, 1967 (age 75) in New York City, New York, USA


1968 Autopsia de un fantasma
Canuto Pérez
1967 Hillbillys in a Haunted House
Gregor
1967 Soldier in Love (TV Movie)
The Duke of York
1966 Summer Fun (TV Series)
Governor
- Pirates of Flounder Bay (1966) ... Governor
1966 The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini
Reginald Ripper
1966 Queen of Blood
Dr. Farraday
1965 Dr. Rock and Mr. Roll
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
Narrator
1962 Tales of Terror
Carmichael (segment "The Case of M. Valdemar")
1962 Pontius Pilate
Caiaphas
1962 The Magic Sword
Lodac
1961 Mystic Prophecies and Nostradamus
Narrator
1961 The Black Cat (Short)
Voices (voice)
1961 Victoria Regina (TV Movie)
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (Lord Beaconsfield)
1960 The Christophers (TV Series)
- Tips for the Homemaker (1960)
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)
Emperor
- 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
- Five Minutes to Live (1956)
1957 The United States Steel Hour (TV Series)
Duke
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1957) ... Duke
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 (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)
Narrator
- 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)
Svengali
1955 We're No Angels
Andre Trochard
1955 The Eddie Cantor Comedy Theater (TV Series)
Robert
- 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 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 The Philip Morris Playhouse (TV Series)
- The Man They'd Murdered (1954)
1953 The Motorola Television Hour (TV Series)
Duke
- The Thirteen Clocks (1953) ... Duke
1953 Danger (TV Series)
- The Educated Heart (1953)
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)
- An Inspector Calls (1951)
1951 Lights Out (TV Series)
Gregory
- 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)
- The Kind Mr. Smith (1950)
1949-1950 The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre (TV Series)
- Queen of Spades (1950)
- At Night All Cats Are Grey (1949)
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
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 Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror
Sherlock Holmes
1942 Crossroads
Henri Sarrou
1942 Fingers at the Window
Dr. H. Santelle
1941 Paris Calling
Andre Benoit
1941 International Lady
Reggie Oliver
1941 The Black Cat
Montague Hartley
1941 The Mad Doctor
Dr. George Sebastian / 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
King Louis XI
1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood
Sir Guy of Gisbourne
1938 The Adventures of Marco Polo
Ahmed
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
Wroxton
1935 Captain Blood
Levasseur
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
1930 The Flirting Widow
Colonel Smith
1930 A Notorious Affair
Paul Gherardi
1930 This Mad World Philip St. John Basil Rathbone was his birth name and probably how Basil P. Rathbone may have ended up on his death certificate or passport.

Basil Rathbone Biography & Family History

This genealogy profile is dedicated to the life and ancestry of Basil Rathbone and his immediate Rathbone family. Add to Basil Rathbone's genealogy page to share your memories & historical research with his family and other genealogy hobbyists.

Basil Rathbone was also known as:

Philip St. John Rathbone (Basil)

Birth

in South Africa

Death

in in New York City

Cause of death

There is no cause of death listed for Basil.

Burial / Funeral

Do you know the final resting place - gravesite in a cemetery or location of cremation - of Basil Rathbone? Add burial and funeral information.

Obituary

Last Known Residence

Manhattan County, New York

Average Age

Life Expectancy

Family

Add family members

Education

Did Basil finish grade school, get a GED, go to high school, get a college degree or masters? What schools or universities did Basil attend? Add education.

Professions

Share what Basil did for a living or if he had a career or profession. Add Profession.

Organizations

Add organizations, groups and memberships.

Military Service

It is unknown if Basil Rathbone is a military veteran.

Nickname

"Basil"

Middle name

Unknown. Add middle name

Surnames

Ethnicity

Unknown. Add Basil's ethnicity.

Nationality

Unknown. Add Basil's nationality.

Religion

Unknown. Was Basil a religious man? Add Basil’s religion

Gender

Male

Timeline

1892 - In the year that Basil Rathbone was born, on October 5th, the Dalton Gang was shot. The Gang was attempting to rob two banks - simultaneously - in Coffeyville Kansas but word spread of the robberies and townspeople with guns greeted them when they left the banks. Four members of the gang were killed - only Emmett Dalton survived his wounds and spent 14 years in prison.

1916 - By the time he was 24 years old, suffragette Jeannette Pickering Rankin became the first woman elected to the House of Representatives as a Representative at large from Montana. She was the first woman to hold an elected Federal office. Holding the office for two years, she ran again in 1940 and served another two year term. Montana had granted women unrestricted voting rights in 1914, 6 years before women got the vote nationally.

1927 - He was 35 years old when in September, the Columbia Broadcasting System (later called CBS) became the second national radio network in the U.S. The first broadcast was a presentation by the Howard Barlow Orchestra from radio station WOR in Newark, New Jersey.

1946 - At the age of 54 years old, Basil was alive when on July 4th, the Philippines gained independence from the United States. In 1964, Independence Day in the Philippines was moved from July 4th to June 12th at the insistence of nationalists and historians.

1967 - In the year of Basil Rathbone's passing, between June 5th and 10th, Israeli and Egypt, Jordan, and Syria fought what came to be called the "Six-Day War". The hostilities began when Israel launched "preemptive" strikes against Egypt, destroying nearly its entire air force. It ended with Israel occupying the Sinai Peninsula, Golan Heights, Gaza Strip and West Bank.

Basil Rathbone Family Tree

Who was Basil’s parents? Did he get married and did they have children? Share Basil’s family tree to share his legacy and genealogy pedigree.

Basil's Family
Add a parent
Add a parent
Basil Rathbone
Add a partner
Add a child
Add a partner
Add a child
Add a sibling

You can add or remove people from Basil's family tree by clicking here.

Friends:

Obituary

This obit of Basil Rathbone is updated by the community. Edit this biography to contribute to his obituary. Include details such as cemetery, burial, newspaper obituary and grave or marker inscription if available.

Actor Basil Rathbone, whose roles ranged from Shakespeare to Sherlock Holmes, died of a heart attack Friday in New York. He was 75.
Mr. Rathbone's career spanned 56 years, two continents and all theatrical mediums, but his greatest fame came from his motion picture portrayals of the fictional British detective, Holmes.
He made 16 Sherlock Holmes films between 1939 and 1946, and is widely remembered as the tall, dignified sleuth who wore a deerstalker cap, puffed a curved pipe and solved mysteries with a casual:
"Elementary, my dear Watson."
Mr. Rathbone reportedly refused lucrative offers to re-create the Holmes role after the 1953 death of his friend and co-star Nigel Bruce, who he considered the "only man who could play Dr. Watson."
It was a feeling that he was overly identified with the Holmes' role that drove Mr. Rathbone from Hollywood in the late 1940s.
'Lost Our Identity'
"I was so badly typed," he once said, "that when I went back to New York I lost my own identity. On the street no one ever said 'Good morning, Basil,' or 'Good morning, Mr. Rathbone.'
"They said 'Good morning, Sherlock.'"
Mr. Rathbone settled in New York, where he performed on Broadway in "The Heiress," "The Winslow Boy" and other productions.
He also played radio and television roles, wrote a book of reminiscences and toured in a one-man show.
He appeared in the Beverly Hills High School Auditorium in March and was acclaimed for his performance, a combination of anecdotes, poetry and readings from Shakespeare.
Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone in "The Adventures of Robin Hood."
Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone in "The Adventures of Robin Hood." (Warner Bros.)
Mr. Rathbone's death Friday came shortly after he suffered a heart attack in his New York apartment, according to his daughter, Cynthia.
Funeral services were tentatively scheduled for Tuesday in St. James Episcopal Church in Manhattan.
Mr. Rathbone was born Philip St. John Basil Rathbone on June 13, 1892, in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of a British engineer. His mother was a descendant of King Henry IV.
Educated in England, Mr. Rathbone joined a cousin's theatrical company in 1911.
Mr. Rathbone's early acting career was largely in Shakespearean productions, some at the Stratford-on-Avon Festival. He also toured the United States in Shakespearean roles.
In 1925, the suave British actor made his first film – a silent, "The Masked Bride," at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Among his other films were "David Copperfield," "Anna Karenina," "Romeo and Juliet" and "A Tale of Two Cities."
Mr. Rathbone had a son, Rodion, by his marriage to Marion Foreman, which ended in divorce. In 1926, he married Ouida Bergere, a scenario writer, who survives. They were the parents of Cynthia.

Share a Memory about Basil Rathbone

What do you remember about Basil Rathbone? Share your memories of special moments and stories you have heard about him. Or just leave a comment to show the world that Basil is remembered.

Other Records of Basil Rathbone

ADVERTISEMENT BY ANCESTRY.COM

Followers & Sources

Success Stories from Biographies like Basil Rathbone

I have to tell you a VERY special story about how AncientFaces helped to reunite our family. For 13 years, I have been searching for my grandmother's missing sister. She just disappeared from the family in the 1930s without a trace. No one ever knew where or when she died or where she was buried. My years of searching have just run into dead ends, so I had given up. Today, out-of-the-blue, a young lady called me and said that she had seen a photograph on AncientFaces and one of the women in the photo was her grandmother! Little did I know that she had left a small child behind when she died so young of TB. You can imagine our shock and excitement at finding each other and a whole new family that we never knew existed. We only live one state away from each other and very soon plan to have all family members meet to share our sides of "the story" and of course, many, many more picturesl AncientFaces...... without you, this family may never have been complete and Aunt Grace would have been lost to us forever. I hope you realize what a valuable service you provide and how grateful we are to have found you. Thank you!!!! -Lynda B.
I never knew my biological family. My family is my mother and father who raised me. But, as I got older I got curious about my heritage. It took me years of investigation to finally discover my parents’ names. Well, I get goosebumps just writing this, I have found my biological family because of AncientFaces. Yes!! I did a search for my [parents' names] and was shocked to find a photo of them on AncientFaces! I cannot tell you the feeling that came over me when I saw this photo - to see the faces of my biological parents…JUST LIKE THAT. I left a comment on the photo and you won’t believe this - the owner of the photo is MY SISTER!!! Yes, I have a LITTLE sister! It turns out my parents were too young when they had me and had to give me up. My little sister knew I existed and wanted to find me but had no way of doing it. Thanks to you I am meeting my little sister for the first time next month. GOD BLESS YOU ANCIENTFACES. -Anonymous
We have found our missing relative entirely thanks to AncientFaces. We have received a much clearer photo of Captain Grant from his Son. The picture we on AncientFaces is an old yellowed newspaper photo. I am attaching the new photo and ask that you take the old one out and put the new clear picture in its place. With our Canadian Remembrance Day here in 2 days - the timing could not be better. Thank You, AncientFaces. My long lost Aunt is now 86 years old and her Son and I are talking by phone and e-mails. Captain Grant was his Father and died in France in 1944 and is buried there. By posting pictures of the visit to his gravesite - we connected through one of his brothers. Amazing that our prayers have been answered. Thank you -Beth B.
I came home for lunch yesterday and decided to look at my email before going back to work. The weekly newsletter that I subscribe to from the Logan Family History Center had this message in it about AncientFaces. I clicked on the link and the first search I did was for Woodruff, and Mamie was the first picture that came up. I could hardly stand it. I was late getting back to work. I had to add comments and write to you. Thank you for noticing her in the store and for the website. I can't help but wonder how many other family pictures may have ended up in that store and why. I also can't help but feel that it was meant to be and that there is a purpose that this picture is coming home as you say. What are the chances of this all just happening? It's amazing that you even picked it up at the store and then went to all the extra effort to post it. It makes me feel as though you have been my friend forever. It certainly has given me a connection to you, and I have a love for what you do. I just can't tell you how excited I am. I can't even hold it in. -Cathy K., Utah
I have previously submitted several pictures of my grandfather August Zemidat. I have tried for many years to find anyone with that name, and I have searched many genealogy web sites to no avail. Recently I was contacted by someone who saw my pictures on AncientFaces who may well be a cousin. She also provided me with information that seems to indicate her grandparents were my grandfather’s siblings. Considering the many years I have been searching for the name Zemidat, I find this is absolutely amazing that I have finally found a family member. Thank you AncientFaces -Ron D.
I love AncientFaces, a while back I saw that you had labeled Garcia surname pictures. At the time I didn’t have all my family facts for my research. Anyway, I wandered into your site just to check it out AND NOW 1 YEAR LATER I received a picture from an 87 year old aunt and guess what you had this very same picture on your site!! (They were my great aunts and my great-grandmother!). Thank you… -Angela M.
I have loved AncientFaces since I first found it, it's the first thing I check when I turn on the computer. There was a time when even in the most modest households there were three cherished possessions, a family Bible. a family album and a fancy lamp. It was usual for the family to gather in the parlour, generally on Sunday and talk, tell stories of family and friends with the photos in the albums as illustration. Sadly in our modern electronic age we have fallen away from the oral tradition and interest in history has waned. I was quite shocked on the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic to see so many comments from younger people who were surprised to learn that the Titanic wasn't just a movie. This is why AncientFaces is so important, to me it's the electronic age version of the oral tradition on a global scale and the sheer volume of people who follow, comment and contribute seems to prove the point. We are all grateful to you all for providing us with this wonderful site. - Arba M.