52 Facts About Claude Rains


William Claude Rains was a British actor whose career spanned almost seven decades.

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Claude Rains was a Tony Award-winning actor and was a four-time nominee for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

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Claude Rains was considered to be "one of the screen's great character stars" who was, according to the All-Movie Guide, "at his best when playing cultured villains".

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William Claude Rains was born on 10 November 1889 in Clapham, London.

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Claude Rains's parents were Emily Eliza and the stage actor Frederick William Rains.

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Claude Rains lived in the slums of London, and, in his own words, on "the wrong side of the River Thames".

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Claude Rains was one of twelve children, all but three dying of malnutrition when still infants.

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Claude Rains's mother took in boarders in order to support the family.

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Claude Rains's accent was so strong that his daughter could not understand a word he said when he used it to sing old Cockney songs to her or purposely used it to playfully annoy her.

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Claude Rains left school after the third year to sell newspapers so that he could bring the pennies and halfpennies home for his mother.

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Claude Rains sang in the Farm Street Church choir, which brought him a few pence to take home.

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Claude Rains's father was an actor, the young Rains would spend time in theatres and was surrounded by actors and stagehands.

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Claude Rains made his stage debut at age ten in the play Sweet Nell of Old Drury at the Haymarket Theatre, so that he could run around onstage as part of the production.

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Claude Rains slowly worked his way up in the theatre, becoming a call boy at His Majesty's Theatre and later a prompter, stage manager, understudy, and then moving on from smaller parts with good reviews to larger, better parts.

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Claude Rains moved to America in 1912 owing to the opportunities that were being offered in the New York theatres.

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In November 1916, Claude Rains was involved in a gas attack at Vimy, which resulted in his permanently losing 90 percent of the vision in his right eye as well as suffering vocal cord damage.

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Claude Rains never returned to combat but continued to serve with the Bedfordshire Regiment.

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Claude Rains eventually shed his accent and speech impediment after practising every day.

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Claude Rains became a very elegant man, with a really extraordinary Mid-Atlantic accent.

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Claude Rains was extremely attractive and needless to say, all the girls in my class were hopelessly in love with him.

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Claude Rains had piercing dark eyes and a beautifully throaty voice, although he had, like Marlene Dietrich, some trouble with the letter 'R'.

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Claude Rains lacked inches and wore lifts to his shoes to increase his height.

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Stocky but handsome, Claude Rains had broad shoulders and a mop of thick brown hair which he brushed over one eye.

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Claude Rains portrayed Faulkland in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals, presented at London's Lyric Theatre in 1925.

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Claude Rains returned to New York City in 1927 and appeared in nearly 20 Broadway roles, in plays which included George Bernard Shaw's The Apple Cart and dramatisations of The Constant Nymph and Pearl S Buck's novel The Good Earth .

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Claude Rains's screen test for A Bill of Divorcement for a New York representative of RKO was a failure but, according to some accounts, led to his being cast in the title role of James Whale's The Invisible Man after his screen test and unique voice were inadvertently overheard from the next room.

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Claude Rains's agent, Harold Freedman, was a family friend of Carl Laemmle, who controlled Universal Pictures at the time, and had been acquainted with Rains in London and was keen to cast him in the role.

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Claude Rains played the villainous role of Prince John in The Adventures of Robin Hood .

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On loan again, Claude Rains played the title character in Universal's remake of Phantom of the Opera .

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Claude Rains became the first actor to receive a million-dollar salary when he portrayed Julius Caesar in a large-budget but unsuccessful version of Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra, filmed in Britain.

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Shaw apparently chose him for the part, although Claude Rains intensely disliked Gabriel Pascal, the film's director and producer.

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Claude Rains followed it with Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious as a refugee Nazi agent opposite Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.

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Claude Rains's only singing and dancing role was in a 1957 television musical version of Robert Browning's The Pied Piper of Hamelin, with Van Johnson as the Piper.

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Claude Rains remained active as a character actor in the 1950s and 1960s, appearing in films and as a guest in television series.

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Claude Rains ventured into science fiction for Irwin Allen's The Lost World and Antonio Margheriti's Battle of the Worlds .

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Claude Rains additionally made several audio recordings, narrating some Bible stories for children on Capitol Records, and reciting Richard Strauss's setting for narrator and piano of Tennyson's poem Enoch Arden, with the piano solos performed by Glenn Gould.

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Anyway Claude and I couldn't, and he was the King of France who loathed Carlotta, and I was a kid and petrified of Mr Rains, so I thought he hated me.

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In 2009, Chamberlain recorded a tribute to the actor when Claude Rains was featured as Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month:.

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Claude Rains has to be considered one of the finest actors of the 20th century.

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Claude Rains stood at a mere 5'6?, yet his enormous talent and immense stage presence made him a giant among his colleagues.

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In Twilight of Honor Claude Rains played a retired lawyer acting as a mentor to Chamberlain's character.

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Claude Rains was in his seventies then and in failing health, yet he was charming and totally professional on the set.

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Claude Rains was an extremely private man—he never discussed his humble beginnings, his six marriages.

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One day on the set I mentioned to him that Notorious was one of my favorite films, and Claude Rains related with amusement the filming of a particular scene with Ingrid Bergman.

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Claude Rains was a very small man and Bergman was quite tall, so in order to shoot them in close-up together the resourceful Alfred Hitchcock had a ramp installed, so as Claude Rains approaches Bergman on camera he appears taller than his co-star.

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Claude Rains found this ramp business a bit embarrassing and very funny.

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Claude Rains became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1939.

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Claude Rains spent much of his time between film takes reading up on agricultural techniques to try when he got home.

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Claude Rains sold the farm when his marriage to Propper ended in 1956; the building now, as then, is still referred to by locals as "Rains' Place".

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Claude Rains' declining health delayed their completion and with Root's death in March 1967 the project was never completed.

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Claude Rains designed his own tombstone which reads "All things once, Are things forever, Soul, once living, lives forever".

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Claude Rains starred in multiple plays and productions over the course of his career, playing a variety of leading and supporting parts.

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