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|Known for:||The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Woman in Green, Terror by Night|
|Birth name:||Philip St. John Basil Rathbone|
|Birthday:||13 June 1892, Johannesburg, South Africa|
|Height:||6' 1½" (1.87 m)|
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TriviaWas best known for playing suave villains in period swashbuckler films, such as The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and Captain Blood (1935). He is credited with creating the definitive screen interpretation of Sherlock Holmes, his only rival generally conceded to be Jeremy Brett's interpretation of the fictional detective. Interred at Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York, USA. Distant cousin of Maj. Henry Rathbone, who was part of President Abraham Lincoln's theater party the night Lincoln was assassinated. Maj. Rathbone himself was stabbed by John Wilkes Booth as the latter was escaping, but the wound was not fatal. Maj. Rathbone later married Clara Harris, who was also in the Lincoln party, but he murdered her in a jealous rage in 1875 and spent the rest of his life in an insane asylum. Tony Award winner as Best Actor for his performance as Dr. Sloper in the original Broadway production of "The Heiress". Cousin of actor/manager Sir Frank R. Benson. Was so frequently typecast as a villain, he literally jumped at the first few opportunities he ever got to play Sherlock Holmes because "for once, I got to beat the bad guy instead of play him." Indeed, he played the legendary, heroic detective more than any other character in his career. By 1946, he had become so sick of the role that he quit his Sherlock Holmes film series and temporarily returned to the Broadway stage. In his career, he had played the super sleuth in sixteen films and over two hundred radio plays. Fought in the British army during World War I, and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery under fire. He is considered the greatest swordsman in Hollywood history, superior even to on-screen foes Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power. However, because he was so frequently cast as the villain, he won only one on-screen duel in his career - as Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet (1936) - for which he earned an Oscar nomination. His last, filmed when the actor was 63, was with _Danny Kaye_ in The Court Jester (1955). It is considered by some the best sword fight ever filmed. Although earlier in his career he had quit playing Sherlock Holmes out of disgust at what he thought was typecasting, later in life he had a change of heart and openly embraced the role. He began appearing as Holmes on television and in several movies, and even wrote (along with his wife), a play about Holmes, in which he played the character on stage. He never renounced his British citizenship and was a lifelong member of the Conservative party. British Army Fencing Champion.