Rathbone, Basil

Rathbone, Basil
   Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Basil Rathbone worked for 10 years in London theatre before his New York stage debut in The Czarina (1922). He played opposite Eva Le Gallienne in Ferenc Molnar's The Swan (1923), followed by roles in Arthur Hornblow Jr.'s The Captive (1926) and Rudolf Lothar and Fritz Gottwald's The Command to Love (1927). Rathbone's own play, Judas (1929), in which he also acted, flopped. He played Romeo to Katharine Cornell's Juliet in 1934 and, after a long stint in Hollywood motion pictures, Rathbone returned to the stage in Ruth and Augustus Goetz's* adaptation of Henry James's Washington Square called The Heiress* (1947). More remembered for his screen work, Rathbone played both heroes (notably Sherlock Holmes) and villains, both of which were well-served by his tall, stately presence and his imperious, intellectual manner.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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