Philip St. John Basil Rathbone who is better known as Basil Rathbone had a strong and well established career as a British character actor and gathered profound recognition and fame with his performance in the portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. He made his career debut back in 1911, just after he had completed his graduation from Repton School in England in 1910, in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. And after his debut, his career added many more shades of color in numerous Shakespearean roles as well as with other productions.
A Glance at his Career
Out of the series of works he was associated in his life time, one of the major one which is a worth a mention is his participation in the London Production of The Sin of the David, in 1941. In the year 1921, he became a part of another two famous works The fruitful Vine and the Innocent. Later this year he took the next step ahead in his career by marking his remarkable performance in the Broadway, by travelling to United States and his first play was The Czarina. However, this play was not the one which brought him recognition and fame in Broadway industry. It was two years after this, in 1923, when his The Swan was staged that he was readily associated as a star of the Broadway theatre.
After a successful and remarkable career in the silent films, his first debut in The Last of Mrs. Cheyney in a talking picture. However, his performance in the role of Mr Murdstone of David Copperfield, by David O Selznick revealed his potentials in true sense. However, it is true that later Rathbone had mixed feelings about this performance, since he thought the industry type casted him in villain roles throughout. He also played similar evil role in the A Tale of Two Cities casted by Selznick once again.
Career FootprintsRathbone had a sheer skill and expertise in fencing which was literally his strength and even the industry took advantage of his skill by casting him in roles where he could make just use of his dexterous knowledge in fencing like in Romeo and Juliet, Captain Blood in 1935, The adventures of Robin Hood in 1938. His role as Homes brought him the ultimate honor and fame in his career, with more than 14 films of Sherlock Holmes and more than 200 radio shows. His last Holmes film was Dressed to Kill in 1946 after which he moved to New York to start working on stage and even on televisions.