William Claude Rains (November 10, 1889 - May 30, 1967) was a British actor whose career spanned almost seven decades. He was a Tony Award winning actor and was a four-time nominee for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Rains was considered to be one of the screen's great character stars who was often at his best when playing cultured villains.
Anthony Adverse (1937)
Four Daughters (1939)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1939)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1940)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1942)
Kings Row (1943)
Lawrence of Arabia (1963)
10 FUN FACTS!
Rains was one of 12 children. Sadly, all but 2 of them died from various maladies during their childhood.
Rains was almost blind in one eye because of an injury received in a gas attack during World War I.
His memorable role as The Invisible Man (1933) was referenced in the opening song to the cult film The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
He was a teacher at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before coming to Hollywood. His students included John Gielgud.
His fifth wife, Agi, was a Hungarian Jew who had escaped the holocaust. She later composed the piano solo "Sonata for the Victims of Auschwitz".
He designed his own tombstone. It reads: "All things once/Are things forever,/Soul, once living,/lives forever.".
In his will, Rains left $25,000 to the Actors Fund of America.
He never attended any of his movie premieres.
In his obituary, The New York Times claimed that Rains was the first British stage and film star to earn a million dollars for a single film, Caesar and Cleopatra (1945).
Rains loved farming and maintained a 350 acre farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania before moving to Sandwich, New Hampshire in his final years.