Basil Rathbone

Basil Rathbone


Basil Rathbone
Radio: South side of the 6300 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Basil Rathbone
Film: North side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Basil Rathbone
TV: North side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Born Philip St. John Basil Rathbone on June 13, 1892 in Johannesburg, South Africa
Died July 21, 1967 of heart attack in New York, NY

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."

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1936 Best Supporting Actor Romeo and Juliet Nomination
    1938 Best Supporting Actor If I Were King Nomination

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