Claude Rains ( born November 10, 1889 in London, England; † May 30, 1967 in Laconia, New Hampshire, United States ) was a British- American actor. He was successful as an actor of mostly crafty or unsymphatischen figures in film classics for decades, probably best known as Captain Renault in Casablanca. Rains was nominated a total of four times for an Oscar, but was never able to win it.
Life and work
William Claude Rains was born the son of the director and actor Frederick William Rains. Herbert Beerbohm Tree promoted him and made, among other things, that he corrected his pronunciation. He began his career as an actor at the age of eleven years in London. As a child actor, he played there at His Majesty's Theatre; In 1912 he went on tour in the United States. From 1915 to 1919 Rains served in the London Scottish Regiment, where other actors like Basil Rathbone served. Because of the consequences of a gas attack, he remained throughout his life nearly blind in one eye. After the First World War, he took up a teaching post at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and in 1920 his first film appearance in a British film, but the first was an isolated case. Mid-1920s was Claude Rains member of the New York Theatre Guild. He worked from 1926 onwards firmly in the U.S. and in 1938 was a U.S. citizen.
His American film debut already had the 44 -year-old Claude Rains in 1933 in the lead role of Dr. Jack Griffin in James Whales H. G. Wells filming The Invisible Man, in which he - or just because to see his face even though only a short time was - struck with his voice of modulation. This was henceforth his trademark. Rains developed after his work on stage and in film in the 1930s and 1940s, a sought-after character actor, where he played mostly physically weaker but crafty film villains.
From 1936 he worked at Warner Brothers contract, where in 1938 the dastardly and corrupt Prince John in the successful Technicolor adventure film played Robin Hood, King of the Vagabonds with Errol Flynn. A year later, he played the role of a sneaky senator in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. In the 1940s, Rains was repeatedly used as a counterpart of Bette Davis, including in Now, Voyager (1942 ), The Life of Mrs. Skeffington ( 1944) and Deceptive Passion ( 1946). He has starred in elaborately produced films such as The Phantom of the Opera and Caesar and Cleopatra.
Among his best known film roles include the Chief of Police Captain Renault in Michael Curtiz's Casablanca ( 1942) and that of the Nazi sympathizers Alexander Sebastian in Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious ( 1946). In the 1950s, Claude Rains was rare to see in movies and often worked for television. His last major film appearance was in the Rains epic Lawrence of Arabia (1961 ) in the role of a British diplomat Mr. Dryden. The role of Herod in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1963 ) was his last film role.
Claude Rains was honored for his work in the film with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was nominated four times for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor, but could never win the trophy.
The actor was married six times. His first marriage to actress Isabel Jeans lasted from 1913 until 1915., 1920, he married Marie Hemingway. From 1924 to 1935 he was married to his third wife Beatrix Thomson and from April 1935 to 1956 with Frances Proper. From 1959 to 1960 took his marriage with the classic pianist Agi Jambor. Rosemary Clark Schrode, his last wife was taken from him in 1964 by the death. For his fourth marriage his only daughter, the actress Jessica Rains dates (* 1938). Claude Rains himself died on 30 May 1967 at the age of 77 years at an abdominal hemorrhage. He has been buried in the Red Hill Cemetery in New Hampshire.