Basil Rathbone's roles ranged from Shakespeare to Sherlock Holmes. His 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.
Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, the son of a British engineer. His mother was a descendant of King Henry IV. Educated in England, he joined his cousin's theatrical company in 1911.
Rathbone 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."
He reportedly refused lucrative offers to re-create the Holmes role after the 1953 death of his friend and costar Nigel Bruce, whom he considered the "only man who could play Dr. Watson."
|1936||Best Supporting Actor||Romeo and Juliet||Nomination|
|1938||Best Supporting Actor||If I Were King||Nomination|