The Basil Rathbone Gallery

Candid Photos, 1940s

Page Six

Click on thumbnail images to see larger pictures.

Rathbone enjoys hunting with the bow and arrow. He never uses a gun on game, saying the bow and arrow is more sporting. Photos by Hal A. McAlpin, 1941



Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce with Rupert Hughes, Rathbone is receiving a certificate declaring him to be a "full and participating member" of the Baker Street Irregulars.

Basil Rathbone and Los Angeles sheriff Eugene Biscailuz examine evidence at L.A. County's crime detection laboratory. NBC photo, November 21, 1941.
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Morton Lowry, Basil Rathbone, Gladys Cooper, Muriel Hutchison, Henry Stephenson, and Lillian Kemble Cooper rehearsing "The Astonished Heart" (1940)
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Rathbone, Frank Forest and Nigel Bruce

Rathbone and Bruce admiring an ice sculpture at the Brown Derby Restaurant

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Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce with actress Irene Rich

"Arthur Treacher, Butler for a Night"
The $300,000 butler serves tea to guests at a party at Atwater Kent's home in Bel Air. Kent bought $300,000 in war bonds to have Treacher's services for the party. Left to right here are: Jerome Courtland, Claire Trevor, Treacher, Basil Rathbone, Mrs. Walter Wurdeman, Alan Mowbray, and Anne Jeffreys. (November 1944)

Photo shows (L to R) show comedians putting on their act for actress Joan Fontaine, Brian Aherne (top), Basil Rathbone, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Reginald Gardiner. 11/20/1940. The act was part of the Christmas Show for British War Relief, staged in a huge tent on Wilshire Boulevard's Miracle Mile. Acme Photo

Samuel Whitting Lewis, the Farrel, Penn., boy who travels incognito under the name of "Four-eyed" Lewis, proved his right to the claim of "king of gate crashers" when he not only crashed the gates of Paramount studio, but also crashed the dressing room of Basil Rathbone on the set of The Mad Doctor. Lewis was tossed out a few minutes later by a studio cop. 


Rathbone with Pat Patterson (Mrs. Charles Boyer), Jack Benny and Myrna Loy. Hurrell studio photo, January 1942

Basil and Ouida are chatting with Aristotle Onassis at the Mitropoulos party. Photo by Nat Dallinger, 1944

Brian Aherne, Greer Garson, Joan Fontaine and Rathbone
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Rathbone and Nigel Bruce posing with some people from India

Basil Rathbone, star of the Broadway play The Heiress, congratulates jockey T. Malley for winning the Heiress purse at Monmouth Park Race Track in honor of the hit show. 1948

at the Hollywood Canteen, 1944

Rathbone visiting a serviceman in the hospital

British actress Wendy Hiller wearing white satin ballerina dress with blue trimmings gets a hand from Basil Rathbone at the 1948 March of Dimes Fashion Show at the Waldorf Astoria. The New York Dress Institute sponsored the show for the National Infantile Paralysis Fund. Photo by Al Gretz.
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Visiting wounded in hospital
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At the Hollywood Canteen during war years
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Basil visiting servicemen in hospital
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Basil and Willie Howard

Basil patting someone on the back at the Hollywood Canteen
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Willie Howard and Basil in the Hollywood Canteen (photo by Gene Lester)

A group of stars at a fund raising event arranged with the US Navy during WW II. Center left is Capt. Alfred Jack Bolton thanking another officer for his participation.  At far left is Roy Rogers.  At far right are Basil and Ouida Rathbone. The woman standing next to Roy looks like Virginia O'Brien. The woman behind the microphone (looking up) might be Lady Sylvia Ashley.

Basil Rathbone, the "Sherlock Holmes" of screen and radio, and Nigel Bruce, the "Dr. Watson" character, invaded San Francisco in their sleuthing quest on "The Case of the Missing Bond Buyer," a stunt to promote the Sixth War Loan Drive. Their first move was to visit the Hall of Justice and sell a bond to Inspector George Page. Left to right: Police Chief Charles Dullea, Rathbone, Bruce and Inspector Page.
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Rathbone and Reginald Gardiner
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Basil and Ouida

Basil Rathbone, Virginia Field, Nigel Bruce, and Dick Greene, introducing a drink called "ski-ball" -- hot tea, lemon, cloves and cinnamon

Rathbone assists a magician.

making a goofy face

writing a telegram

Rathbone admires a portrait of Katherine Cornell, 1949.


at Paramount studios, 1940

Hollywood Treat for Polio Victims--Film Actor Basil Rathbone, in his best Hollywood voice, reads Christmas Carols to Warren Rodgers, 4, and Louis Hernandez, 3, at a pre-Christmas party given by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis at the hospital for special surgery in New York. Photo by Barney Coons.

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Basil in mink (Photo by Raymond K. Martin)
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Rathbone with four servicemen: Rylands, Ellis, Withercomb and Bakewell
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Basil, Ouida and friends

Rathbone with Billy Gilbert and Mischa Auer

Left to right: Van Johnson, Paul Henry, Sonja Henie, Basil Rathbone

Two snapshots (above and right) of Rathbone with Hollywood correspondent Inez Wallace

The following pictures are from the May 1942 issue of Click magazine, a photo feature called
"Sherlock Holmes solves the Rathbone murder."

Surrounded by luxury the famous actor, Basil Rathbone, sits reading while his perfect butler (strange resemblance!) arranges the flowers. "Why," the butler asks himself, "should he have everything? I'm just as good!" And in his jealous mind rises the idea--murder!

Ten minutes later butler Basil, costumed for murder, slips through the door, knife in hand. He steps toward his master and strikes.

Mortally wounded, Rathbone staggers to the telephone and calls his friend Sherlock Holmes. "Catch my killer!" he pleads.

When Sherlock Holmes arrives, he is greeted by butler Basil. "Sorry to trouble you, sir," says the perfect butler, "but the master is dead."

Sherlock Holmes glances around the living room, points grimly at the butler and announces, "You committed this crime!"

"Because you're the perfect butler," Holmes says, "you put the phone back. I heard it drop. You're a murderer, Basil Rathbone!"




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All original content is Marcia Jessen, 2013