Claude Rains Biography
(One of the Greatest Character Stars on the Big Screen)
Birthday: November 10, 1889 (Scorpio)
Born In: Clapham, London, England, United Kingdom
William Claude Rains was an English American film actor whose acting career spanned several decades. He was a Tony Award recipient and a four-time Academy Award nominee for Best Supporting Actor. Regarded as one of the greatest character actors of his time, he was best at playing “cultured villains.” He was greatly admired by his contemporaries Vincent Sherman, Albert Dekker, Ronald Neame and Bette Davis, all of whom eventually became close family friends. The son of stage actor Frederick William Rains, Claude Rains spent most of his childhood in the slums of London alongside his siblings. Because his father was an actor, he would spend time in theatres as a child and made his stage debut at the age of ten in Haymarket Theatre’s ‘Sweet Nell of Old Drury’. He then went on to appear in numerous movies, including ‘The Invisible Man’, ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’, ‘Notorious’, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’, to name a few. At one time, Rains also served in the military during the First World War. By the end of the war, he had ascended from the position of a private to that of a captain. The legendary actor married six times in his lifetime. His last marriage was to Rosemary Clark Schrode in 1960.