Basil Rathbone's
Appearances on Radio

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You can help make this page a complete and comprehensive list of all the radio and television programs in which Basil Rathbone participated. If you know of any programs that are missing from these lists, please e-mail me. THANKS! 

Look for the speaker button below to hear sound clips from various radio shows. An asterisk (*) in various colors after the listed show or episode indicates that it is available to purchase or download. See the bottom of the page for links to the sites that offer those episodes for sale or download.

"Radio is unquestionably a superior medium to television because it makes us use our imaginations. . . . In the days of radio, The Theatre Guild of the Air . . . was ever striving for quality, intelligence, and good taste. I have played many times for them and every time I was invited it was a worthwhile experience."
(Basil Rathbone, In and Out of Character, page 176)

November 22 -- Hollywood Hotel (CBS): "Captain Blood" (with Errol Flynn and Olivia deHavilland)

April 18 -- The Shell Chateau (NBC): "Mrs Moonlight," (with Billie Burke)

February 4 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby with the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra (NBC). Rathbone was a guest along with Bob Burns, Marion Claire, and William Frawley.
February 22 -- Lux Radio Theatre (CBS): "Captain Blood," (with Errol Flynn & Olivia deHavilland)**
Click here to listen to this radio episode!

March 18 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby (NBC), guest appearance (with Bob Burns, Vitya Vronsky & Victor Babin, and Harriet Hilliard)
May 6 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby (NBC), guest appearance (with Bob Burns, Janice Porter, and Mary Garden)
July 30 -- Hollywood Hotel (CBS): "Make a Wish" (with Bobby Breen)
December 8 -- Your Hollywood Parade (NBC). Rathbone was an opening night guest. Dick Powell was emcee.
December 18 -- The Cinnamon Bear (syndicated): "The Flying Hat" (episode 20).* I believe Basil played the Grand Wonky. This claim is based solely on voice recognition; I have not been able to find cast information on The Cinnamon Bear program that included the Grand Wonky, and who played him.

"The Flying Hat" episode of The Cinnamon Bear

Basil Rathbone, Olivia deHavilland and Errol Flynn performing "Captain Blood" for Lux Radio Theatre

December 23 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby with the John Scott Trotter orchestra (NBC), guest appearance (with Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Paul Taylor Choir, The Kraft Choral Society, and Madge Evans)
Jan. 7 -- Hollywood Hotel, "Tovarich" (with Claudette Colbert, Charles Boyer and Melville Cooper) 
Jan. 10 -- Lux Radio Theatre (CBS): "Enter Madame," (with Grace Moore, Sharon Lynn and William Frawley)**
Feb. 8 -- The Lifebuoy Program (NBC), with star Al Jolson
Feb. 22 -- On the Way to Yorktown (NBC), with Conrad Nagel, Edward Arnold and George Jessel
April 15 -- Hollywood Hotel (CBS): "Adventures of Marco Polo" (with Gary Cooper, Sigrid Gurie and Alan Hale)
May -- "The Adventures of Robin Hood" (a broadcast of Erich Korngold's music for the film, with Basil Rathbone narrating the story), NBC
May 8 -- Warner Bros. Academy Theatre. After a presentation of "That Certain Woman" (with Rosella Town and Jeffrey Lynn) Rathbone is interviewed about his new film The Adventures of Robin Hood and he participates in a sketch.
May 12 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby with the John Scott Trotter orchestra (NBC), guest appearance (with Ken Carpenter, The Paul Taylor Chorus, Toscha Seidel, and Isabel Jewell)
June 6 -- Lux Radio Theatre (CBS): "A Doll's House," (with Joan Crawford, Sam Jaffe, and Nedda Harrigan)***
Click here to listen to this radio episode!

July 10 -- The Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show (NBC): "Talking Tough"
July 14 -- Elza Schallert Reviews (KECA Los Angeles): "Blue Ribbon Roundtable." Schallert interviewed five guests: Max Reinhardt, Thornton Wilder, Richard Hageman, Don E. Gilman and Basil Rathbone. Rathbone discussed theater, art, film and radio.*
Sept. 22 -- The Rudy Vallee Show (NBC), guest appearance
Sept. 27 -- Information Please (Blue Network);  Rathbone was on the panel of this intellectual quiz program.**
In this sound clip from Information Please, Rathbone answers a series of Shakespeare questions correctly.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Rathbone
Erich Korngold and Basil Rathbone

Nedda Harrigan, Basil Rathbone, Sam Jaffe, and Joan Crawford, Lux Radio Theatre

Oct. 31 -- Lux Radio Theatre (CBS): "That Certain Woman," (with Carole Lombard & Jeffrey Lynn)**
22 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby with the John Scott Trotter orchestra (NBC), guest appearance (with Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Kraft Choral Society, and Benita Hume). Rathbone did a poetry reading.

A scene from Act 1 of "That Certain Woman" (with Carole Lombard and Jeffrey Lynn) A scene from Act 1 of "Can We Forget?" (with Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery)
Another scene from Act 1 of "That Certain Woman" (with Carole Lombard) A scene from Act 2 of "Can We Forget?" (with Bette Davis)
Cecil B. DeMille talks with Carole Lombard and Basil Rathbone after the performance of "That Certain Woman"    

The cast of "Can We Forget?"
(Louise Beavers, Robert Montgomery, Bette Davis, George Murphy, Basil Rathbone, Frank Capra)

Jan. 11 -- Texaco Star Theater (CBS): "The Stronger Man" (with John Barrymore and Georgia Backus)
Jan. 22 -- Screen Guild Theater (the CBS Gulf Oil Program): "Can We Forget?" (with George Murphy, Louise Beavers, Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery)*
Feb. - July 9 -- The Circle (NBC, sponsored by Kelloggs). The following stars appeared on this hour-long discussion/entertainment program and talked about literature, drama, and current events: Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll, Cary Grant, Carole Lombard, Lawrence Tibbett, Groucho Marx, Chico Marx and Basil Rathbone. The stars took turns being emcee, and they also acted, played music, and told jokes. The Circle debuted on January 15, 1939, without Rathbone. Ronald Colman quit the program after five weeks and Rathbone replaced him. 
May 18 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby with the John Scott Trotter orchestra (NBC), guest appearance (with Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Music Maids, and Patricia Ellis)
June 11 -- A special tribute to the British King and Queen, who were visiting the USA (NBC). Many British performers took part in the program, performing a song or a dramatic reading. Rathbone read the poem "How Do I Love Thee."
Vivien Leigh and Basil Rathbone reading love poems by Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
Nigel Bruce, Sir Cedric Hardwicke and C. Aubrey Smith singing "Three Little Fishies"

Dec. 17 -- Screen Guild Theater (CBS): "Smilin' Through" (with Norma Shearer & Louis Hayward)* 

 A special tribute to the British King and Queen, with British stars Greer Garson, Leslie Howard, Vivien Leigh, Brian Aherne, Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone

Vivien Leigh and Basil Rathbone in broadcast to King and Queen

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
WJZ-NBC ("NBC Blue"), October 2, 1939, to March 11, 1940
Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone
Dr. Watson: Nigel Bruce
Sponsor: Bromo Quinine

Oct. 2 --- The Sussex Vampire
Oct. 9 --- Silver Blaze
Oct. 16 -- The Speckled Band
Oct. 23 -- The Man with the Twisted Lip
Oct. 30 -- The Devil's Foot

Nov. 6 --- The Bruce Partington Plans**
Nov. 13 -- The Lion's Mane
Nov. 20 -- The Dying Detective
Nov. 27 -- The Creeping Man
Dec. 4 --- Charles Augustus Milverton
Dec. 11 -- The Musgrave Ritual
Dec. 18 -- Wisteria Lodge
Dec. 25 -- The Three Garridebs
Jan. 1 --- The Blue Carbuncle
Jan. 8 --- The Priory School
Jan. 15 -- The Greek Interpreter
Jan. 22 -- The Cardboard Box
Jan. 29 -- The Second Stain
Feb. 5 --- Abbey Grange
Feb. 12 -- Shoscombe Old Place
Feb. 19 -- The Blanched Soldier
Feb. 26 -- The Reigate Squires
March 4 -- The Beryl Coronet
March 11 -- The Retired Colourman**

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce


April 25 -- The Kraft Music Hall, starring Bing Crosby with the John Scott Trotter orchestra (NBC), guest appearance (with Ken Carpenter, Bob Burns, The Music Maids, Carole Landis, and Spring Byington)
Oct. 20 -- Screen Guild Theater: "Variety" (with Jack Benny, Claudette Colbert, Edward Arnold and Ernest Lubitsch)**
Nov. 4 -- Lux Radio Theater. "Wuthering Heights" (with Ida Lupino)** Click links below to listen to this broadcast: 
Wuthering Heights
Part One
Wuthering Heights
Part Two
Wuthering Heights
Part Three
Wuthering Heights
Part Four
Wuthering Heights
Part Five

"I have been told by literally hundreds of people that when we were doing the Sherlock Holmes series they would turn out the lights or if they had a fire sit round it and let their imaginations go fancy free."
(Basil Rathbone, In and Out of Character, page 176)

Sherlock Holmes
WJZ-NBC, September 29, 1940 to March 9, 1941
Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone
Dr. Watson: Nigel Bruce

Sept. 29 -- The Empty House
Oct. 6 -- The Copper Beeches**
Oct. 13 -- The Noble Bachelor
Oct. 20 -- The Engineer's Thumb
Oct. 27 -- The Red-Headed League
Nov. 3 -- Thor Bridge
Nov. 10 -- The Crooked Man
Nov. 17 -- The Norwood Hills Mystery
Nov. 24 -- The Three Students
Dec. 1 --- The Dancing Men
Dec. 8 --- Black Peter
Dec. 15 -- The Lost Naval Treaty
Dec. 22 -- The Boscombe Valley Mystery
Dec. 29 -- The Missing Three-Quarter
Jan. 5 --- The Mazarin Stone
Jan. 12 --  The Hound of the Baskervilles (Part 1)
Jan. 19 -- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Part 2)
Jan. 26 -- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Part 3)
Feb. 2 --- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Part 4)
Feb. 9 --- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Part 5)*
Feb. 16 -- The Hound of the Baskervilles (Part 6)
Feb. 23 -- The Resident Patient (The Chess Club Murders)
March 2 -- The Speckled Band
March 9 -- Shoscombe Old Place


Rathbone as Holmes

Jan. 28 -- The Bob Hope Show (NBC): "X Marks the Spot." Basil Rathbone made a guest appearance to promote his new movie The Mad Doctor, and to help Hope find his "Yehoodi."**
Click here to listen to this radio episode!

Oct. 26 -- Screen Guild Theater (CBS): "Good-bye Mister Chips" (with Greer Garson)*
Nov. 2 -- The Jack Benny Show (NBC): "Halloween with Basil Rathbone"**

On Halloween Jack Benny has just thrown a rock through Basil Rathbone's window. Basil finds Jack hiding behind a bush. (file size: 486 KB)

Jack Benny, Basil Rathbone, and Mary Livingstone
Photo by Charles Rhodes, Nov. 2, 1941


Sherlock Holmes
WEAF-NBC, October 5, 1941 to March 1, 1942
Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone
Dr. Watson: Nigel Bruce

Oct. 5 --- The Illustrious Client
Oct. 12 -- The Six Napoleons
Oct. 19 -- The Devil's Foot
Oct. 26 -- The Solitary Cyclist
Nov. 2 --- The Walking Corpse
Nov. 9 --- The Stockbroker's Clerk
Nov. 16 -- The Missing Papers
Nov. 23 -- The Magician
Nov. 30 -- A Case of Identity
Dec. 7 --- Mrs. Warren's Key*
Dec. 14 -- The Dark Gentleman
Dec. 21 -- Donald's Death
Dec. 28 -- The Gloria Scott
Jan. 4 --- The Second Stain
Jan. 11 -- The Haunted Bagpipes
Jan. 18 -- The Three Gables
Jan. 25 -- The Lion's Mane
Feb. 1 --- The Five Orange Pips
Feb. 8 --- The Voodoo Curse
Feb. 15 -- The Dark Tragedy of the Circus
Feb. 22 -- The Sussex Vampire
March 1 -- The Giant Rat of Sumatra

Rathbone and Bruce


Rathbone and Bruce

Jan. 6 -- The Burns and Allen Show (NBC)
April 13 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC), heroic war stories presented by DuPont Chemical Co. to support the country and the war. Rathbone starred as Benedict Arnold in "A Continental Uniform," with Rosemary DeCamp, Lou Merrill, Eric Rolf, Gale Gordon, Jerry Mohr, Eliott Lewis and Hans Conreid.***
Nov. 5 -- The Abbott and Costello Show (NBC). Basil plays a detective who helps Lou find a dog.
Nov. 9 - June 21, 1943 -- Ceiling Unlimited (CBS), a patriotic wartime drama program describing aviation's role in the war. Rathbone was on this program at least once--exact dates are unknown.
Nov. 16 -- Screen Guild Theater (CBS): "Good-bye Mister Chips" (with Merle Oberon)


Rathbone with Gracie Allen and George Burns
Rathbone with George Burns and Gracie Allen

Promo photo of Rathbone for Cavalcade of America
Jan. 4 -- Screen Guild Theater (CBS): "Suspicion," with Joan Fontaine and Nigel Bruce.* (Brian Aherne was originally scheduled, but due to illness was replaced at the last minute by Basil Rathbone.) 
February 5 -- Mail Call (CBS), guest appearance
February 23 -- Mail Call (AFRS), guest appearance*
February 27 -- United Nations War Relief radio program
March 11 -- Roma Wine Show (CBS), guest appearance
April 1 -- The Rudy Vallee Show, guest appearance along with Joan Davis
May 6 -- Rudy Vallee's Sealtest Hour, guest appearance
Aug. 9 -- Screen Guild Theater (CBS): "Spitfire," with Reginald Gardner and Heather Angel.
September 13 -- Lux Radio Theatre (CBS): "The Phantom of the Opera," with Nelson Eddy and Susanna Foster **

Click here to listen to this radio episode!

September 27 -- Cavalcade of America, NBC (heroic war stories presented by DuPont Chemical Co. to support the country and the war), "The Hated Hero of 1776"***
October 13 -- Mail Call (AFRS), guest appearance
December 24 -- "A Christmas Carol," as Scrooge, with Cynthia Rathbone (special broadcast to troops overseas)
December 25 -- Stars over Hollywood (CBS): "A Christmas Carol" (Rathbone as Scrooge)
December 27 -- Front Line Theater (AFRS): "Ham for Sale," starring Jack Benny, Basil Rathbone, Barbara Stanwyck, and Michael Curtiz*


A scene from "Ham for Sale," in which Jack Benny challenges Basil Rathbone for a part opposite Barbara Stanwyck

Another scene from "Ham for Sale," in which Rathbone plays the part of a husband, Barbara Stanwyck plays the wife, and Jack Benny plays the butler.
Jan. 23 -- The Silver Theater (CBS): "Quite an Order" (Hosted by Conrad Nagel and John Loder)
Jan. 30 -- The Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show (NBC): "Charlie the Detective"*
March 27 -- Screen Guild Theater (CBS): "Why Jack Is not Going to Appear on the Show" (with Jack Benny, Barbara Stanwyck and John Hersholt).
Click here to listen to this radio episode!

April 9 -- The Jack Benny Show (NBC): "Repairing Jack's Sidewalk"**
April 13 -- Three of a Kind, (a Treasury Department program on CBS): guest appearance
June 6 -- Duffy's Tavern (Blue Network): Guest appearance on episode #133
June 24 -- Stars over Hollywood (CBS, sponsored by Dari-Rich products), guest appearance
Aug. 8 -- The Globe Radio Theater (AFRS): "The Ghost Goes West," hosted by Herbert Marshall (with Eugene Palette, Marsha Hunt and Charles Irwin)
Click here to listen to this radio episode!

Aug. 21 -- Screen Guild Theater (CBS): "The Ghost Goes West" (with Eugene Palette, Marsha Hunt and Charles Irwin)*
September 6 -- The Jack Carson Show (CBS), guest appearance
Oct. 25 -- Which Is Which? (CBS), a quiz program in which people from the audience try to guess from the voice alone if someone behind a curtain is a real celebrity or an impersonator. Rathbone appeared as a real celebrity on the opening show. Ken Murray was the emcee.
December 25 -- Stars over Hollywood (CBS): "A Christmas Carol" (Rathbone as Scrooge)
1944? -- Yarns for Yanks (a program for the Armed Forces Radio Service): "The Canterville Ghost"

Stars over Hollywood

In this clip from "The Ghost Goes West" you'll hear Basil speaking with a Scottish accent. He plays the role of the ghost, Murdoch Glourie.

Basil also plays the role of Donald Glourie, a descendent of the ghost. In this clip from "The Ghost Goes West," Donald meets a pretty American girl, and is flustered.

WOR-MBS (The Mutual Network), May 7, 1943, to May 28, 1945
Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone
Dr. Watson: Nigel Bruce
Sponsor: Petri Wine

May 7 -- The Copper Beeches
May 14 -- The Man with the Twisted Lip
May 21 -- The Devil's Foot
May 28 -- The Red-Headed League
June 4 --- The Engineer's Thumb
June 11 -- Silver Blaze
June 18 -- The Dying Detective
June 25 -- Wisteria Lodge
July 2 --- The Priory School
July 9 --- The Creeping Man
July 16 -- The Musgrave Ritual
July 23 -- The Greek Interpreter
July 30 -- Murder in the Waxworks
Aug. 6 --- The Missing Leonardo da Vinci
Aug. 13 -- The Syrian Mummy
Aug. 20 -- The Missing Dancer
Aug. 27 -- The Cardboard Box*
Sept. 3 --- The Retired Colourman
Sept. 10 -- The Bruce-Partington Plans
Sept. 17 -- The Dying Rosebush
Sept. 24 -- The Missing Black Bag
Oct. 1 --- The Speckled Band
Oct. 8 --- The Dundas Separation Case
Oct. 15 -- The Old Russian Woman
(Mutual began broadcasting the show on Monday night instead of Friday.)
Oct. 25 -- Ricoletti of the Club Foot
Nov. 1 --- The Brother's Footsteps
Nov. 8 --- The Shocking Affair of the S.S. Friesland
Nov. 15 -- The Apparition at Sadler's Wells
Nov. 22 -- Murder at the Park
Nov. 29 -- Mrs Farintosh's Opal Tiara
Dec. 6 --- The Camberwell Poisoning Case
Dec. 13 -- The Jumping Jack
Dec. 20 -- The Missing Black Dog
Dec. 27 -- The Tired Captain


The cast rehearses an episode of the Sherlock Holmes radio show.


Rathbone and Bruce

Rathbone and Bruce


1944 (Sherlock Holmes)
Jan. 3  -- The Incredible Mystery of Mr. James Philmore
Jan. 10 -- The Unlucky White Horse
Jan. 17 -- The Departed Banker
Jan. 24 -- The Amateur Mendicant Society
Jan. 31 -- The Dog that Howled in the Night
Feb. 7 --- Death at Cornwall
Feb. 14 -- The Red Leeches
Feb. 21 -- Dr. Moore Agar
Feb. 28 -- The Missing Bullion
March 6 -- Death on the Scottish Express
March 13 -- The Peculiar Persecution of John Vincent Hardin
March 20 -- The Man who Drowned in Paddington Station
March 27 -- The Haunted Bagpipes
Apr. 3 --- The Fingerprints that Couldn't Lie
Apr. 10 -- The Man Who Was Hanged
Apr. 17 -- The Singular Contents of the Ancient British Barrow
Apr. 24 -- The Dentist Who Used Wolfbane
May 1 --- Holmes and the HalfMan
May 8 ---The Phantom Iceberg
May 15 -- The Missing Bloodstains*
May 22 -- The Superfluous Pearl*
May 29 -- Skull and Bones
June 5 -- The Corpse in a Trunk
June 12 -- The Monster of Gyre
June 19 -- The Man with the Twisted Lip
June 26 -- The Dissimilar Body
July 3 -- The Amateur Mendicant Society
July 10 -- The Devil's Foot
July 17 -- The Bruce-Partington Plans
July 24 -- The Strange Case of the Aluminium Crutch
July 31 -- The Giant Rat of Sumatra
Aug. 7 --- The Lighthouse, the Frightened Politician and the Trained Cormorant
Aug. 14 -- Murder by Remote Control
Aug. 21 -- The Missing Corpse
Aug. 28 -- The African Leopard Man
Sept. 4 --- Dimitrios, the Divine
Sept. 11 -- Guardian of the Dead
Sept. 18 -- The Invisible Necklace
Sept. 25 -- The Vampire of Cadiz
Oct. 2 --- 200 Year-Old Murderer
Oct. 9 --- The Third Hunchback
Oct. 16 -- The Missing Treaty
Oct. 23 -- League of Unhappy Orphans
Oct. 30 -- The Haunted Chateau
Nov. 6 --- Murder under the Big Top
Nov. 13 -- The Strange Case of the Veiled Horseman
Nov. 20 -- The Secret of Glaive
Nov. 27 -- The Steamship Friesland
Dec. 4 --- The Telltale Bruises
Dec. 11 -- The Island of Uffa
Dec. 18 -- The Wandering Miser
Dec. 25 -- The Blue Carbuncle




Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes


"I love Radio, but then I am an awful ham!"
Basil Rathbone, comment written in a radio recording studio's guestbook.


1945 (Sherlock Holmes)
Jan. 1 --- Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?
Jan. 8 --- The Play's the Thing
Jan. 15 -- Dr. Anselmo
Jan. 22 -- The Elusive Umbrella
Jan. 29 -- The Werewolf of Vair
Feb. 5 --- The Dead Adventuress
Feb. 12 -- The Newmarket Killers
Feb. 19 -- The Surrey Inn
Feb. 26 -- Lady Frances Carfax
March 5 -- The Doomed Sextet
March 12 -- The Erratic Windmill
March 19 -- The Secret of Stonehenge
March 26 -- The Book of Tobit**
Apr. 2 --- The Amateur Mendicant Society**
Apr. 9 --- The Viennese Strangler**
Apr. 16 -- The Remarkable Worm
Apr. 23 -- The Notorious Canary Trainer**
Apr. 30 -- The Unfortunate Tobacconist**
May 7 --- The Purloined Ruby**
May 14 -- In Flanders Field**
May 21 -- The Paradol Chamber**
May 28 -- Dance of Death

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce


March 1 -- Command Performance (a weekly program for WWII servicemen on AFRS), #164, Rathbone Theatre Group (with Roy Rogers, Jack Carson, Helen Forrest, Alexis Smith, Andy Russell, Arthur Treacher, Charlie Cantor and Hoosier Hot Shots)*
May 9 -- The Billie Burke Show (CBS), guest appearance
May 13 -- The Andrews Sisters Show (CBS), guest appearance
September 27 -- Village Store, guest appearance
November 4 -- Request Performance (a CBS comedy/variety program): "Sherlock Holmes." Guest appearance together with Nigel Bruce, Dick Powell, June Allyson and Lee de Forrest.*

In this clip from Request Performance, Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce swap roles; Bruce plays Sherlock Holmes and Rathbone plays Watson. Enjoy Rathbone's imitation of Nigel Bruce!
"On one occasion Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce appeared as guests on a comedy radio show and swapped their regular parts, with Rathbone as a bumbling Watson and Bruce as a sharp decisive Holmes. It is reported that Rathbone's imitation of Nigel Bruce stopped the show. But then Rathbone was such a talented actor that he could deal with that sort of situation with ease."
(Michael Pointer, The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes, p. 89)

WOR-MBS, September 3, 1945, to May 27, 1946
Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone
Dr. Watson: Nigel Bruce

Sept. 3 --- The Limping Ghost**
Sept. 10 -- Colonel Warburton's Madness**
Sept. 17 -- The Case of the Out of Date Murder**
Sept. 24 -- The Eyes of Mr. Leyton**
Oct. 1 --- The Problem of Thor Bridge**
Oct. 8 --- The Vanishing White Elephant**
Oct. 15 -- The Manor House Case**
Oct. 22 -- The Great Gandolfo**
Oct. 29 -- Murder by Moonlight**
Nov. 5 --- The Gunpowder Plot**
Nov. 12 -- The Adventure of the Speckled Band**
Nov. 19 -- The Double Zero**
Nov. 26 -- The Accidental Murderess**
Dec. 3 --- Murder in the Casbah**
Dec. 10 -- A Scandal in Bohemia (The Woman)**
Dec. 17 -- The Daughter of Irene Adler (The Second Generation)**
Dec. 24 -- The Night before Christmas (The Christmas Eve Show)**
Dec. 31 -- The Iron Box**
Jan. 7 --- The Strange Case of the Murderer in Wax (The Hampton Heath Killer)**
Jan. 14 -- Murder in the Himalayas (Murder Beyond the Mountains)**
Jan. 21 -- The Telltale Pigeon Feathers**
Jan. 28 -- Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber**
Feb. 4 --- The Indiscretion of Mr. Edwards (The Cross of Damascus)**
Feb. 11 -- The Guileless Gypsy**
Feb. 18 -- The Camberwell Poisoning Case**
Feb. 25 -- Murder at the Opera (The Terrifying Cats)**
March 4 --- The Submarine Caves**
March 11 -- The Living Doll**
March 18 -- The Blarney Stone**
March 25 -- The Girl with the Gazelle**
Apr. 1 --- The April Fool's Adventure**
Apr. 8 --- The Vanishing Scientists**
Apr. 15 -- The Headless Monk**
Apr. 22 -- The Tankerville Club**
Apr. 29 -- The Waltz of Death**
May 6 --- The Man with the Twisted Lip**
May 13 -- The Uneasy Easy Chair**
May 20 -- The Haunting of Sherlock Holmes**
May 27 -- The Singular Affair of the Baconian Cipher**
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce





Jan. 20 -- The Cass Daley Show (NBC), guest appearance
March 23 -- Truth or Consequences (NBC), guest appearance on 6th anniversary show
The four guys on the right singing the Quartet from "Rigoletto" on the Truth or Consequences anniversary show. (1.13 MB)
April 18 -- The Rudy Vallee Show (NBC), guest appearance with Patsy Moran*
April 25 -- The Rudy Vallee Show
(NBC), guest appearance*
April 27 -- Three Hundred Party (Mutual): Rathbone makes a guest appearance on a variety show featuring favorites of the Mutual network.
May 10 -- The Danny Kaye Show (CBS): "Julius Caesar," guest appearance with Butterfly McQueen*
May 22 -- The Eddie Cantor Show (NBC), guest appearance
On The Eddie Cantor Show Rathbone sings, imitating Jimmy Durante (551 KB)
May 28 -- Perry Como's Supper Club, guest appearance (Sherlock Holmes comedy skit) Listen here:
Perry Como's Supper Club (1.22 MB)

Basil Rathbone, William Bendix, Charlie Cantor (Finnegan of "Duffy's Tavern") and John Charles Thomas (baritone, star of Sunday Westinghouse show) on Truth or Consequences


October 13 -- The Campbell Room (NBC), starring Hildegarde, guest appearances by Rathbone, Irving Berlin, Tito Guizar and Dave Apollon
October 15 -- Voice of the Army, "Reunion" (with Larry Robinson, Henry Norrell and Paula Victor)
October 20 -- The Fred Allen Show (NBC), guest appearance
October 27 -- Theatre Guild on the Air, "Accent on Youth" (with Jane Wyatt)
November 3 -- The Victor Borge Show, with Benny Goodman
November 24 --
The Campbell Room (NBC), starring Hildegarde, guest appearance with Tallulah Bankhead and Maura Laverty
December 24 -- Paul Whiteman's Christmas Party (ABC). Paul Whiteman hosted this Christmas Special with Walter Winchell, J. Scott Smart, Bing Crosby, Henry Morgan, Basil Rathbone, Kenny Baker, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Don McNeill, Tom Brennaman, Don Wilson, Patrice Munsel, Lum and Abner, and Arnold Stang

Victor Borge, Benny Goodman, and Basil Rathbone on The Victor Borge Show

Jan. 9 -- The Radio Reader's Digest (CBS), "Doctor Donald" (with Al Hodge)*
Jan. 19 -- Theatre Guild on the Air (ABC), "A Doll's House" (with Dorothy McGuire)
Jan. 27 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC), "A Chance for Jimmy"*
Jan. 21 - Dec. 29 -- Scotland Yard, a series for the Mutual Network. Rathbone played Inspector Burke.
Feb. 16 -- The Fred Allen Show (NBC), guest appearance
Feb. 22 -- WOR Twenty-Fifth Anniversary (WOR), special broadcast with several Broadway celebrities celebrating the station's 25th anniversary
April 21 -- Cavalcade of America, NBC, (heroic war stories presented by DuPont Chemical Co. to support the country), "The President and the Doctor," with Thomas Mitchell*
June 8 -- Theatre Guild on the Air, "A Church Mouse" (with Pamela Brown)

Basil Rathbone and Thomas Mitchell, Cavalcade of America

June 29 -- Hollywood's Open House, guest appearance with Henny Youngman and host Jim Ameche.
July 21 -- The Bell Telephone Hour: "Peter and the Wolf"*
July 24 -- Guest Star (Treasury Dept. syndication), "The Radio Detective," comedy skit on a public service program with Kenny Delmar

"The Radio Detective" comedy skit with Rathbone and Kenny Delmar

Oct. 5 -- Theatre Guild on the Air, "The Admirable Crichton" (with June Duprez)

1947 -- The Burns and Allen Show
1947 -- The Jack Benny Show
1947 -- The Fitch Bandwagon (a.k.a. The Phil Harris/Alice Faye Show), NBC: "Cass Daley meets Basil Rathbone"

Clip 1 from The Fitch Bandwagon

Clip 2 from The Fitch Bandwagon

Jan. 5 -- Cavalcade of America, NBC (heroic stories presented by DuPont Chemical Co. to support the country), "The Justice and the Lady"*
March 22 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC): "The President and the Doctor," with Thomas Mitchell**
April 11 -- The Fred Allen Show (NBC): "One Long Pan Skit" (guest appearance).*** Here are four sound clips from that show:

Fagel's Frozen Watermelon jingle
(91.4 KB)

Basil's "Half-safe" joke
(244 KB)

sapsucker bit from the "One Long Pan" skit
(133 KB)

sunglasses joke from the "One Long Pan" skit
(117 KB)
June 28 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC), "The Common Glory"**
October 3 -- The Electric Theater (CBS), a dramatic program presenting film adaptations and other stories. The October 3 episode starred Henry Fonda, Basil Rathbone and Margaret Sullavan.
October 15 -- Great Scenes from Great Plays (Mutual), "The Barretts of Wimpole Street," with Beatrice Straight
December 9 -- Hollywood's Open House (NBC syndicated): "The Master Builder," guest appearance, along with Buddy Moreno and Virginia Wiedler
Tales of Fatima (sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes)
CBS, January 8 - October 1, 1949
 Radio mystery series starring Basil Rathbone
Jan. 8 -- "The Strange Mr. Smith"
Jan. 15 -- "Mystery at Mirador"
Jan. 22 -- "The Fires at Schuyler Square"
Jan. 29 -- "The Frozen Forest"
Feb. 5 -- "The Cairo Curse"
Feb. 12 -- "The Twisted Talisman"
Feb. 19 -- "The Jilted Juvenile"
Feb. 26 -- "The Invisible Caballero"
March 5 -- "The Cry for a Cat"
March 12 -- "The Tower of Ice"
March 19 -- "Design for Death"
March 26 -- "Murder on Stage"
April 2 -- "The Biggest Game"
April 9 -- "Murder at the Circus"
April 16 -- "Duet and Death"
April 23 -- "Country Killing"
April 30 -- "The Cautious Corpse"
May 7 -- "Murder at the Ball Game"
May 14 -- "Over My Dead Body"
May 21 -- "A Much Expected Murder"
May 28 -- "Time to Kill"
June 4 -- "One Foot in the Grave"
June 11 -- "Murder in Pig Latin"
June 18 -- "Death Sits With the Baby"
June 25 -- "Dead or Alive"
July 2 -- "The Dark Secret"
July 9 -- "The Sleeping Dog"
July 16 -- "Cargo of Death"
July 23 -- "Memory of Murder"
July 30 -- "Next of Kin"
Aug. 6 -- "Portrait of Death"
Aug. 13 -- "Dead and Buried"
Aug. 20 -- "Prescription for Death"
Aug. 27 -- "Intent to Kill"
Sept. 3 -- "A Dose of Death"
Sept. 10 -- "The Men in the Shadows" (guest: Bela Lugosi)
Sept. 17 -- "Portrait of Fear" (guest: Lili Palmer)
Sept. 24 -- "The Most Dangerous Game" (guest: Rex Harrison)
October 1 -- "Study in Suspicion"


Listen to three sound clips from "A Time to Kill" (May 28, 1949):

(426 KB)
In the backseat of his car Rathbone discovers a beautiful woman named Bunny.

(262 KB)
Rathbone does a commercial for Fatima cigarettes.

(372 KB)
Rathbone makes bad jokes.

Jan. 30 -- Spike Jones (CBS): "Portia and the Hollywood Wolf" (guest appearance)*
April 16 -- Spike Jones (CBS), guest appearance
April 24 -- The Fred Allen Show (NBC): "The Mad Doctor Downing Street" (guest appearance)*
Dec. 1 -- Duffy's Tavern (NBC): Guest appearance on episode #340
Dec. 4 -- Theatre Guild on the Air: "The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse" (with Madeleine Carroll)

Basil Rathbone and Madeleine Carroll
Theatre Guild on the Air

Year? -- Inside Hollywood, a 5 minute interview with Basil Rathbone

Year? -- Sounds of Freedom, #3, #7, #10. Air Force Reserve syndication. Rathbone narrated something patriotic.

Feb. 17 -- The MGM Theatre of the Air: "Queen Christina" (with Lilli Palmer)
May 19 -- Stars and Starters (NBC), guest appearance
May 23 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC), heroic stories presented by DuPont Chemical Co., "A Portrait of the Author"***
July 14 -- Bill Stern's Sports Newsreel (NBC), Basil Rathbone substitutes as host for vacationing Bill Stern.*
Aug. 29 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC), "John Yankee"**

May 29 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC), "The Torchbearer." Rathbone played Richard Lawrence in the story of Nathaniel Bacon.*
Sept. 4 -- Cavalcade of America (NBC), "Towards a New World." Rathbone played Joseph Priestly, the discoverer of oxygen.*
Sept. 9 -- Theatre Guild on the Air: "The Heiress" (with Cornell Wilde and Betty Field)
Oct. 19 -- Dream World, a radio tribute to the United Nations, broadcast from New England Mutual Hall, Boston. Performers were Basil Rathbone, Cynthia Rathbone, Luise Rainer, Leonard Lyons and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Feb. 24 -- Theatre Guild on the Air, "Oliver Twist" (with Boris Karloff and Leween McGrath)
April 23 -- MGM Musical Comedy Theater of the Air (MBS): "Three Darling Sisters," with Edith Fellows and Gladys Swarthout
May 19-31 -- Wayne Howell's Favorites of the Famous classical disk jockey show. Guests are interviewed by Wayne and talk about their classical music interests and their lives. The interview with Rathbone was broadcast between May 19 and May 31.  
Oct. 24 -- United Nations Radio (messages for United Nations Day, 1952)
Nov. 2 -- Theatre Guild on the Air: "Lo and Behold" (with Ann Blyth and Jeffrey Lynn)
Nov. 23 -- Theatre Guild on the Air: "That Winslow Boy" (with Alan Webb and Margaret Philips)

Gladys Swarthout and Basil Rathbone


June 7 -- Theatre Guild on the Air: "Julius Caesar" (with Maurice Evans) [final show of the series]
June  -- National Blood Program #2, with John Lund, Phil Rizzuto, and Cornelia Otis Skinner

January 1 -- Stage Struck (CBS): "A Review of the Theatrical Highlights of 1953" (with Robert Alda, Geraldine Page, Ben Gazara, Gwen Verdon, Lilo, Ralph Meeker, Rosalind Russell, Menesha Skulnik, Brooks Atkinson, Shirley Booth, Basil Rathbone, Martha Scott, and Burgess Meredith. Hosted by Mike Wallace)*
January -- One minute spot to promote the March of Dimes (the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis). Broadcast between Jan. 2-31. Several other celebrities also recorded one minute spots.
November 7 --
Anthology (NBC): "The Caedman Story" (with Judith Anderson and Ogden Nash)*

January 23 -- Anthology (NBC): "Thomas Hornsby Ferrell"*
October -- Luncheon at Sardi's (WOR). This hour-long radio show was broadcast live from the dining room of
Sardi's Restaurant, a Broadway institution in New York. The host moved from table to table, interviewing celebrities, including Rathbone.

(date unknown) -- Basil Rathbone Presents Great American Women. Produced by RCA Thesaurus. Rathbone narrated stories about 65 women, including the following:
Jane Addams, Louisa May Alcott, Marian Anderson, Ethel Barrymore, Mary Ann Bickerdyke, Elizabeth Blackwell, Carrie Jacobs Bond, Rachel Crothers, Charlotte Cushman, Emily Dickenson, Dorothy Dix, Amelia Earhart, Fanny Farmer, Hetty Green, Sarah Hale, Elsie Janis, Helen Keller, Dolly Madison, Grandma Moses, Annie Oakley, Lydia Pinkham, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dorothy Shaver, Mary Martin Sloop, Helen Wills, Babe Didrikson Zaharias
Each story was between 3 and 4 minutes long. They were recorded onto transcription discs and sent to radio stations. The shows were broadcast from 1956 to 1960.

September 5 -- Recollections at 30 (a special series celebrating NBC's 30 years of broadcasting): "Bon Voyage to King George VI" (from the June 11, 1939 broadcast)*

September -- Helen Hayes Story Circle (guest appearance)
 The World's Greatest Mysteries. Rathbone appeared as host of the series, introducing the stories, but is not heard in the stories. Some of the programs are the adventures of a character named Spike Harrigan. Others are the adventures of Mike Connoy, a reporter in Paris who writes a column called "Europe Confidential."


Listen to twenty-two full episodes of "Europe Confidential" here
or download them at


October 1959-Feb. 1960 -- Basil Rathbone, Word Detective

Listen to episodes of Basil Rathbone, Word Detective:
1. Tantalize 6. Tangerine
2. Derrick 7. To Get One's Goat
3. Widow's Peak 8. Saxophone
  4. Tuxedo 9. Melba Toast
  5. Quiz 10. Stoic
Flair (ABC radio daytime magazine show patterned after NBC's Monitor. Host: Dick Van Dyke)
  On Flair Basil talks about keeping hens as pets! Click to listen. (1.3 MB)

Monitor (NBC radio series that was broadcast from June 12, 1955 to January 26, 1974). Rathbone read poetry on this program. The exact dates he appeared on it are unknown.

Tales from the Reader's Digest. As a guest host for Boris Karloff, Rathbone narrated five episodes in 1963 (from April 29 to June 13) and during the week of February 3, 1964.

1964? -- Readings by Basil Rathbone. Reading for Library Week selected from Certain Precepts for the Well Ordering of a Man's Life by William Cecil, Lord Burghlay

Year? -- Celebrity Talk with Maggie McNallis (celebrity interview program), guest appearance.



Beyond the Green Door, (short spooky or bizarre tales written by Robert Scheckley, and read by Basil Rathbone on NBC's Monitor)

Listen to episodes of Beyond the Green Door:
1. The Matland Indians 6. Buried Alive
2. The Disposal Service 7. A Drunkard's Agreement
3. The Yukon Cabin 8. Wattings Wax Works
  4. One Wish 9. Quicksand!
  5. The Ape 10. Billy's Friends
Three more episodes, as well as information about the writer Robert Scheckley, can be found at this site:



mic10.GIF (2580 bytes)

* These Sherlock Holmes radio episodes are available for free download in mp3 format at Edited episodes (the commercials edited out) on CD are available to buy from

*I wish to express my deep appreciation to Jerry Haendiges, whose comprehensive Radio Logs helped fill in the blanks in my list of Basil Rathbone's appearances on radio. Jerry also has some titles available to order.

* Radio Revisited has several Rathbone radio programs on CD available to purchase, including some of the Lux Radio Theater and Cavalcade of America programs.

Old Time Radio Catalog ( is another site that has several Rathbone radio programs on CD available to purchase.

* If you'd rather download radio programs in mp3 format, visit RUSC.COM Old Time Radio. A low monthly fee entitles you to unlimited downloads. RUSC has several radio shows with Basil Rathbone.



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All original content is Marcia Jessen, 2015