Basil Rathbone's
Appearances on Television
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Five Minutes to Live
Rathbone as Svengali
Svengali and the Blonde
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2/2/1955 "The Reluctant Dragon," as narrator (The World of Disney, ABC)
5/23/1955 "Always the Butler," skit on The Eddie Cantor Show (CBS?)
7/30/1955 "Svengali and the Blonde," as Svengali (NBC special, musical), with Carol Channing.
8/12/1955 "The Stones Began to Move," as Dr. Victor Berenson (Science Fiction Theatre, NBC), with Robin Short, Jean Willis, Jonathan Hale, Richard Flato, Carol Thurston, Russ Conway and Helen van Camp. Directed by Lew Landers, produced by Ivan Tors.


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Dr. Berenson in "The Stones Began to Move"
October, 1955 "Luncheon at Sardi's"
11/24/1955 "CBS Thanksgiving Day Special," co-host with Burl Ives
12/22/1955 "The Selfish Giant," as narrator of the Oscar Wilde tale (Star Tonight, ABC)
1955 "Billy Budd," as Captain Vere, with Patrick Macnee and William Shatner (CBC). Order from Roberts Hard-to-Find Videos.
See a clip of William Shatner talking about an incident that happened during this live broadcast:
1/17/ 1956 "The Sculpture Show" (The Red Skelton Show, CBS), as a British artist
2/1/1956 "Five Minutes to Live," (Kraft TV Theatre, NBC), with Dennis O'Keefe, Gloria Holly, Richard Shepard, Felicia Montealegre and Neil Hamilton
2/22/1956 "Affair in Sumatra" (Screen Director's Playhouse, NBC), with Ralph Bellamy and Rita Gam. Hal Roach directed. Rathbone played Paul Charters.
Click here to see a video clip.
12/23/1956 "The Stingiest Man in Town," as Scrooge (The Alcoa Hour, NBC), with Vic Damone, Martyn Greene, Patrice Munsel and Betty Madigan

Click here to see a video clip.

Rathbone and Martyn Greene

Click here to buy the DVD.

Above and right: promotional photos from "The Stingiest Man in Town"

"On TV, I've been a bank robber, a nicely crazy old man and some other things, and now Scrooge."
 -- Basil Rathbone, newspaper interview, 1956

Vic Damone, Patrice Munsel and Rathbone

Rathbone and Martyn Greene

Buy the soundtrack CD at
Listen to Basil Rathbone sing tunes from "The Stingiest Man in Town." Click the links to download:


1/11/1957 Person to Person, hosted by Edward R. Murrow (CBS)
2/10/1957 "The Lark," as the chief inquisitor (Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC) with Julie Harris, Eli Wallach and Boris Karloff
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10/17/1957 Arthur Murray Party (ABC), Basil Rathbone and June Taylor danced a paso doble.
11/20/1957 "Huck Finn," as the Duke (The U.S. Steel Hour, CBS), a musical with Jimmy Boyd, Jack Carson and Florence Henderson

Rathbone with Florence Henderson and Jack Carson in "Huck Finn"
Jimmy Boyd, Rathbone and Jack Carson in "Huck Finn"
Rathbone with Jimmy Boyd and Jack Carson in "Huck Finn"

12/11/1957 "Heroes Walk on Sand," as General Zomback (Kraft TV Theatre, NBC), with Walter Abel, Ann Harding, Gene Rayburn and Elliott Nugent
2/9/1958 "Hans Brinker of the Silver Skates," as Dr. Boekman (Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC), with Tab Hunter and Peggy King
The cast of "Aladdin"
2/21/1958 "Aladdin," (Cole Porter musical) as the Emperor (DuPont Theatre, CBS), with Dennis King, Sal Mineo, George Hall & Cyril Ritchard
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April 1958 Make Me Laugh, guest appearance
1958 The Betty White Show (ABC), guest appearance
2/4/1958 The Arlene Francis Show (NBC), episode #1.107, guest appearance
1958 "A Christmas Carol," as Scrooge (Tales of Dickens, British TV series, Tower of London Productions) Frederic March was host.

Rathbone as Scrooge in
"A Christmas Carol"

Rathbone in "I, the Leader"
July, 1958 Pantomime Quiz, (ABC)
1959 "I, the Leader" (CBS), as the leader of a gang of jewel thieves. With Richard Jaekel, Lou Perri, Vince Barbi, Tom Barto and Dave Starr.
Click here to see a video clip.
1959 The Jack Paar Show (NBC), guest appearance
1/1/1959 Time to Remember, "1896-1902: Turn of the Century" (Season 1, episode 1), as narrator.
4/19/1960 "Super-Cauliflower" (The Red Skelton Show, CBS), as Hugh Rubicoff
12/4/1960 The Christopher Program, guest appearance. Host and founder of "The Christophers": Father Keller
Click here to watch a clip from this program.  Order from Roberts Hard-to-Find Videos.
sometime between 1952 and 1960 Masquerade Party. A celebrity appeared in make-up and/or costume before a panel of celebrities who asked yes or no questions in order to guess the celebrity's identity. The original run of the show was from 1952 to 1960; the date of Rathbone's appearance is unknown.

Ouida and Basil before being made-up for Masquerade Party

Basil and Ouida on Masquerade Party

1961 "Mystic Prophecies and Nostradamus," as narrator. (Produced and directed by Merle S. Gould)
11/30/1961 "Victoria Regina," as Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC) with Julie Harris as Queen Victoria. Cast included James Donald, Inga Swenson, Barry Jones, Isabel Jeans, Felix Aylmer and Pamela Brown. (See pictures below)
1963 Warbirds (20th Century Fox) with David Macklin (pilot for unsold series, never broadcast)
2/18/1963 The Merv Griffin Show, guest appearance
4/7/1965 "Who Killed Hamlet?" (episode of Burke's Law, ABC) starring Gene Barry. Rathbone played Milo James.

Rathbone as Milo James in "Who Killed Hamlet?"
Rathbone in "Who Killed Hamlet" (Burke's Law)

5/2/1965 Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (NBC), Rathbone narrated the adventures of J. Thaddeus Toad in "The Wind in the Willows"
6/10/1965 The Celebrity Game (CBS, hosted by Carl Reiner), guest panelist
12/27/1965 "Perfect Is Too Hard To Be" (part one of two-part episode of Dr. Kildare, NBC), Susan Oliver and Rathbone were guest stars. Rathbone played Frederick Foray, a concert pianist with Parkinson's disease.

Click here to see four video clips.

12/28/1965 "Duet for One Hand" (part two of two-part episode of Dr. Kildare, NBC), Susan Oliver and Rathbone were guest stars.

with Raymond Massey (Dr. Kildare)

with Raymond Massey (Dr. Kildare)
1965-1966 The Sherlock Holmes Theatre, which showed the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes films of the 1940s, was hosted by Rathbone.
6/16/1966 "The Baffling World of ESP," as narrator (ABC documentary special)
8/26/1966 The Pirates of Flounder Bay, (ABC, pilot for unsold series), with William Cort, Bridget Hanley, Jack Soo, Harold Peary, Charles Dierkop, Burt Mustin, Jim Connell, Jim Begg, Peter Bonerz and Keenan Wynn. Rathbone played the Governor in this comedy about bumbling pirate Barnaby Kidd (Cort) and his crew of idiots.
4/26/1967 "Soldier in Love," as the Duke of York (Hallmark Hall of Fame, NBC), with Claire Bloom, Keith Mitchell, Ray Poole, and Jean Simmons
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Rathbone as Scrooge, 1958
as Scrooge

getting makeup applied for role of Svengali

getting hair styled for role of Disraeli

Rathbone as Disraeli in "Victoria Regina"

in "Huck Finn"

Bridget Hanley and Rathbone in "The Pirates of Flounder Bay"
The Pirates of Flounder Bay


Rathbone also made numerous commercials for cigarettes, liquor, insurance (Prudential), diet food, and more.

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All original content is Marcia Jessen, 2013