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Claude Rains

Claude Rains once promised himself that when he reached the age of 60 he would retire. At 60, he advanced the retirement age to 65. Now, playing the role of Dryden in Lawrence of Arabia, he is in his 70s.

At least he was in his 70s when he joined the cast. But his wife declares that when a new role comes along, 15 years drop from his shoulders.

London-born, Claude Rains played hooky from school when he was 10 years old. Soon he was appearing as a boy singer in Sweet Nell of Old-Drury at the Haymarket Theatre.

In the world of the footlights, Rains has been callboy, carpenter, electrician, treasurer and company manager. He was seven years with Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. He made his actual acting debut in The Gods of the Mountain at the Haymarket. At the age of 21, he went to Australia with Maeterlinck's The Blue Bird. He made his American stage debut at New Haven in Androcles and the Lion.

When the First World War began, Rains returned to England to enlist. Impressed by the colorful kilted uniforms, he joined a London Scottish regiment, swearing that his family was of Scottish descent. He was in the trenches in France, was gassed at Vimy Ridge and emerged from the war a captain.

Rains had his first film assignment in a picture in which he was never seen: The Invisible Man. On his own list of his favorite screen vehicles are Mr. Skeffington, Caesar and Cleopatra, Casablanca, Here Comes Mr. Jordan and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

In 1951, as star of the Broadway hit Darkness at Noon, Sidney Kingsley's dramatization of the Arthur Koestler novel, he won all six of the year's major drama awards. Claude Rains died in 1967.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Claude Rains Facts

BirthdayNovember 10, 1889
BirthplaceLondon, England, United Kingdom
Date of deathMay 30, 1967 (age 77)
Height5' 6½" (1m69)  How tall is Claude Rains compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Lawrence Of Arabia
The Adventures of Robin Hood
TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Humphrey Bogart
The Wolf Man: Complete Legacy Collection
Mr. Skeffington
Universal Monsters: The Essential Collection
Classic Monsters
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