Image of Claude Rains

Claude Rains

Claude Rains (10 November 1889 – 30 May 1967) was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned 47 years; he later held American citizenship. He was known for many roles in Hollywood films, among them the title role in The Invisible Man (1933), a corrupt senator in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and, perhaps his most famous performance, Captain Renault in Casablanca (1942). Rains was born William Claude Rains in Camberwell, London on November 10, 1889. He grew up, according to his daughter, with "a very serious cockney accent and a speech impediment". His father was British stage actor Frederick Rains, and the young Rains made his stage debut at 11 in Nell of Old Drury. His acting talents were recognised by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, founder of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Tree paid for the elocution lessons Rains needed in order to succeed as an actor. Later, Rains taught at the institution, teaching John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier, among others. Rains served in the First World War in the London Scottish Regiment, with fellow actors Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman and Herbert Marshall. Rains was involved in a gas attack that left him nearly blind in one eye for the rest of his life. However, the war did aid his social advancement and, by its end, he had risen from the rank of Private to Captain. Rains began his career in the London theatre, having a success in the title role of John Drinkwater's play Ulysses S. Grant, the follow-up to the playwright's major hit Abraham Lincoln, and traveled to Broadway in the late 1920s to act in leading roles in such plays as Shaw's The Apple Cart and in the dramatizations of The Constant Nymph, and Pearl S. Buck's novel The Good Earth, as a Chinese farmer. Rains came relatively late to film acting and his first screen test was a failure, but his distinctive voice won him the title role in James Whale's The Invisible Man (1933) when someone accidentally overheard his screen test being played in the next room. Rains later credited director Michael Curtiz with teaching him the more understated requirements of film acting, or "what not to do in front of a camera".

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Nov 10, 1889 In London, England, UK
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Invisible Man 1933-11-13
Latest Project:
Movie Classic Movie Bloopers: Uncensored 2013-01-29
Known For
Poster of Classic Movie Bloopers: Uncensored
Poster of Breakdowns of 1938
Poster of Breakdowns of 1937
Poster of The Invisible Man
Movie Classic Movie Bloopers: Uncensored Himself (archive footage) 2013-01-29
Movie Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage Himself (archive footage) 1983-02-25
Movie The Greatest Story Ever Told King Herod 1965-02-15
Movie Twilight of Honor Art Harper 1963-11-13
Movie Lawrence of Arabia Mr. Dryden 1962-12-10
Series Sam Benedict Unknown 1962-09-15
Series Dr. Kildare Unknown 1961-09-27
Movie Battle of the Worlds Professor Benson 1961-03-01
Movie The Lost World Prof. George Edward Challenger 1960-07-13
Movie This Earth Is Mine Philippe Rambeau 1959-06-26
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Series Naked City Unknown 1958-09-30
Movie The Pied Piper of Hamelin Mayor of Hamelin 1957-11-26
Movie Lisbon Aristides Mavros 1956-08-17
Series Alfred Hitchcock Presents Unknown 1955-10-02
Movie The Man Who Watched Trains Go By Kees Popinga 1952-12-01
Series Hallmark Hall of Fame Unknown 1951-12-24
Movie Sealed Cargo Capt. Skalder 1951-05-19
Movie Where Danger Lives Frederick Lannington 1950-07-14
Movie The White Tower Paul Delambre 1950-06-24
Movie Rope of Sand Arthur 'Fred' Martingale 1949-08-03
Movie The Passionate Friends Howard Justin 1949-05-17
Movie Song of Surrender Elisha Hunt 1949-10-27
Series The Ed Sullivan Show Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie The Unsuspected Victor Grandison 1947-10-11
Movie Deception Alexander Hollenius 1946-10-18
Movie Angel on My Shoulder Nick 1946-09-20
Movie Notorious Alexander Sebastian 1946-08-15
Movie Strange Holiday John Stevenson 1945-01-01
Movie Caesar and Cleopatra Julius Caesar 1945-12-11
Movie This Love of Ours Joseph Targel 1945-11-02
Movie Mr. Skeffington Job Skeffington 1944-05-25
Movie Passage to Marseille Captain Freycinet 1944-02-16
Movie Phantom of the Opera Erique Claudin 1943-08-27
Movie Forever and a Day Ambrose Pomfret 1943-01-21
Movie Kings Row Dr. Alexander Tower 1942-04-18
Movie Breakdowns of 1942 Himself (uncredited) 1942-01-01
Movie Casablanca Captain Louis Renault 1942-11-26
Movie Moontide Nutsy 1942-05-29
Movie Now, Voyager Dr. Jaquith 1942-10-31
Movie The Wolf Man Sir John Talbot 1941-12-12
Movie Breakdowns of 1941 Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) 1941-11-14
Movie Here Comes Mr. Jordan Mr. Jordan 1941-08-07
Movie Four Mothers Adam Lemp 1941-01-04
Movie Lady with Red Hair David Belasco 1940-11-30
Movie The Sea Hawk Don José Alvarez de Cordoba 1940-07-01
Movie Saturday's Children Mr. Henry Halevy 1940-05-11
Movie Four Wives Adam Lemp 1939-12-25
Movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Sen. Joseph Harrison Paine 1939-10-19
Movie Daughters Courageous Jim Masters 1939-07-22
Movie Juarez Emperor Louis Napoleon III 1939-06-10
Movie Sons of Liberty Haym Salomon 1939-05-20
Movie They Made Me a Criminal Det. Monty Phelan 1939-01-28
Movie Gold Is Where You Find It Colonel Ferris 1938-02-12
Movie Breakdowns of 1938 Himself 1938-02-07
Movie White Banners Paul Ward 1938-06-23
Movie The Adventures of Robin Hood Prince John 1938-05-13
Movie Four Daughters Adam Lemp 1938-08-09
Movie They Won't Forget District Attorney Andrew J. Griffin 1937-10-09
Movie The Prince and the Pauper Earl of Hertford 1937-05-08
Movie Stolen Holiday Stefan Orloff 1937-02-06
Movie Breakdowns of 1937 Himself 1937-01-23
Movie Breakdowns of 1936 Himself 1936-12-30
Movie Anthony Adverse Marquis Don Luis 1936-08-29
Movie Hearts Divided Napoleon Bonaparte 1936-06-20
Movie The Last Outpost John Stevenson 1935-10-11
Movie Mystery of Edwin Drood John Jasper 1935-02-04
Movie The Man Who Reclaimed His Head Paul Verin 1934-12-24
Movie Crime Without Passion Lee Gentry 1934-08-30
Movie The Clairvoyant Maximus 1934-01-01
Movie The Invisible Man Dr. Jack Griffin aka The Invisible Man 1933-11-13