Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Basil Rathbone (1892-1967) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.
South African born British actor made his stage debut for cousin Frank Benson's company in 1911. Made his American debut in 1912; London in 1914, often performing Shakespeare. Rathbone distinguished himself during the Great War and was awarded a Military Cross in 1918. Resuming his stage career, Rathbone also began appearing in the occasional film in 1921. He scored a Broadway success in The Swan (1923) and appeared in his first American film Trouping with Ellen (1924) while on the east coast. The next several years Rathbone spent back and forth between American and British stages, pausing to appear in a couple more American silent films, but not embraced by the format until his first talkie, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1929). He then upped his movie output, but the stage continued as Rathbone's main calling until he embarked upon the most successful portion of his film career beginning in 1935. Debonair as the hero, pompous and often chilling as the villain, at first Rathbone more often found himself in the latter type roles: David Copperfield (1935), A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Captain Blood (1935), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), The Dawn Patrol (1938), Son of Frankenstein (1939), and The Mark of Zorro (1940) count among his top films of this time, though I'd also recommend checking out smaller titles like Kind Lady (1935) and Confession (1937). Rathbone sealed his place in film history when he played Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), the first of fourteen screen appearances as Holmes, a part he'd also perform on stage, radio, television, and even spoken-word recordings. Rathbone continued working the rest of his life in all of these mediums. The actor was twice nominated for Academy Awards for his supporting roles in Romeo and Juliet (1936) and If I Were King (1938), and he won a Tony Award for Best Actor in 1948 for his performance in The Heiress on Broadway.
Birthday: June 13