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Basil Rathbone

(1892—1967) actor


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(1892–1967), actor. The slim, suave, somewhat hawk-faced leading man was born in Johannesburg and spent more than a decade on English stages before making his debut as Count Alexei Czerny opposite Doris Keane in The Czarina (1922). Among his subsequent roles were Dr. Agi opposite Eva Le Gallienne in The Swan (1923) and Jacques Virieu in the controversial The Captive (1926). In later years his best-remembered roles were Romeo to Katharine Cornell's Juliet in 1934 and the tyrannical father Dr. Sloper in The Heiress (1947). Although Rathbone is largely recalled as the Sherlock Holmes of many films, his only attempt to portray the sleuth onstage in 1953 was unsuccessful. Autobiography: In and Out of Character, 1962.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: theatre.


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