Basil Rathbone : basil rathbone villain roles

basil rathbone villain roles

how many times did rathbone portrayed the villain can i get a list of the movies he portrayed a villain in

Re: basil rathbone villain roles

I think it would be easier to ask what movies (outside of Sherlock Holmes) he played a good guy! One of the reasons he took the part of Sherlock (other than he had a contract) is he said it would be nice to play the good guy for a change.

You need to find his Autobiography, In and Out of Character. It's a great read. I finally found a copy (cheap) on EBAY.

Re: basil rathbone villain roles

Rathbone really was known at the time as everyone's favourite villain in films, a shock for people who knew him first for his Sherlock Holmes!


Its that man again!!

Re: basil rathbone villain roles

Usually actors who play the "bad guy" are among the best. Think of Edward G. Robinson or Sir Charles Laughton. These guys started in the theater, doing plays. And actors doing these plays are demanded the most. And must go through tough training. Another great actor who died ten years ago, or something, who was also great: Roddy McDowall, who played villains in so many movies and television shows ["The Bookworm" in "Batman and Robin"]. Play "the bad guy" is the most demanding role. If you do it badly, people will laugh at you.

Re: basil rathbone villain roles

The lat 2000 e Edward Mulhare was once quoted as saying the same thing... if you are going to take a supporting guest part in a TV series, play a bad guy. More memorable, and more fun!

Of course he did play good guys in both his TV shows... as the Captain Daniel Gregg in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, (where I first discovered him!) and as Michael Knight's boss in Knight Rider... but if you look up all his guest roles, most were villans/or just not very nice guys.

My favorite role of his in that genre was as an alcoholic in an episode of the TV series Mr. Novak.

One Rathbone appearance I would love to see is "Who Killed Hamlet?" on Burke's Law. I haven't been able to track down too many of BR's tv appearances. Love his radio work though. A lot of those recordings are available on the net.

Re: basil rathbone villain roles

I never been a fan of this "Burke's Law", which I disliked, but leaving that out, yes: playing the bad guys is very demanding. That's why some of the most recognized actors, and actresses, are known for the professionalism they put doing the "bad guy" or "bad girl" roles. Just think of Peter Lorre [playing psychos and criminals], Joan Crawford, Bette Davis and Ann Blight [playing hell raising women, or evil queens and princes], Humphrey Bogart [gnagsters and criminals, or just plain cynical guys], Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi playing monsters and evil scientists, and Basil Rathbone and Vincent Price for playing bad historical characters or literature villains. Any idiot can play the good guy. But it takes good skills to play the bad guys.
One still living actor, Leonard Nimoy, known for his "Mr Spock" roles in "Star Trek"-a "good guy", played desperate criminals and psychos in the old tv shows like "One Step Beyond", "Twilight Zone", "Naked City" and "The Defenders" long before his "Mr Spock" roles, and also a nasty GI soldier in "Combat".

Re: basil rathbone villain roles

I remember how surprised I was to see Nimoy show up in Perry Mason, and Get Smart of all things - both Before Spock.

Something I wish I had had the money for way back when was to see Nimoy do Sherlock Holmes. Back in about 1976 or so, he was touring in the William Gilette play (Frank Langella later did it, and it is available on DVD) but when it came to town, I just didn't have the money to go, nor did I drive at the time, or I think I would have figured out a way to see a matinee by myself!

Anyway, my mother and I had to make a run to the airport, (Stapleton International, in Denver) and as we were going up the escalator to go to the gate where my great aunt was getting off the plane (back then you could do that) Leonard Nimoy was coming DOWN in the escalator!

Still wish I could have seen him do that - or Basil Rathbone in ANYTHING on stage.... sigh. Closest I have to that is a copy of a signed program a friend bought on EBAY that has both Basil Rathbone and Tyrone Power's signature!
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