Biography

Claude Rains (10 November 1889 – 30 May 1967) was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned 47 years; he later held American citizenship. He was known for many roles in Hollywood films, among them the title role in The Invisible Man (1933), a corrupt senator in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and, perhaps his most famous performance, Captain Renault in Casablanca (1942).

Rains was born William Claude Rains in Camberwell, London on November 10, 1889. He grew up, according to his daughter, with "a very serious cockney accent and a speech impediment". His father was British stage actor Frederick Rains, and the young Rains made his stage debut at 11 in Nell of Old Drury.

His acting talents were recognised by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, founder of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Tree paid for the elocution lessons Rains needed in order to succeed as an actor. Later, Rains taught at the institution, teaching John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier, among others.

Rains served in the First World War in the London Scottish Regiment, with fellow actors Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman and Herbert Marshall. Rains was involved in a gas attack that left him nearly blind in one eye for the rest of his life. However, the war did aid his social advancement and, by its end, he had risen from the rank of Private to Captain.

Rains began his career in the London theatre, having a success in the title role of John Drinkwater's play Ulysses S. Grant, the follow-up to the playwright's major hit Abraham Lincoln, and traveled to Broadway in the late 1920s to act in leading roles in such plays as Shaw's The Apple Cart and in the dramatizations of The Constant Nymph, and Pearl S. Buck's novel The Good Earth, as a Chinese farmer.

Rains came relatively late to film acting and his first screen test was a failure, but his distinctive voice won him the title role in James Whale's The Invisible Man (1933) when someone accidentally overheard his screen test being played in the next room. Rains later credited director Michael Curtiz with teaching him the more understated requirements of film acting, or "what not to do in front of a camera".

Claude Rains (10 November 1889 – 30 May 1967) was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned 47 years; he later held American citizenship. He was known for many roles in Hollywood films, among them the title role in The Invisible Man (1933), a corrupt senator in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and, perhaps his most famous performance, Captain Renault in Casablanca (1942).

Rains was born William Claude Rains in Camberwell, London on November 10, 1889. He grew up, according to his daughter, with "a very serious cockney accent and a speech impediment". His father was British stage actor Frederick Rains, and the young Rains made his stage debut at 11 in Nell of Old Drury.

His acting talents were recognised by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, founder of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Tree paid for the elocution lessons Rains needed in order to succeed as an actor. Later, Rains taught at the institution, teaching John Gielgud and Laurence Olivier, among others.

Rains served in the First World War in the London Scottish Regiment, with fellow actors Basil Rathbone, Ronald Colman and Herbert Marshall. Rains was involved in a gas attack that left him nearly blind in one eye for the rest of his life. However, the war did aid his social advancement and, by its end, he had risen from the rank of Private to Captain.

Rains began his career in the London theatre, having a success in the title role of John Drinkwater's play Ulysses S. Grant, the follow-up to the playwright's major hit Abraham Lincoln, and traveled to Broadway in the late 1920s to act in leading roles in such plays as Shaw's The Apple Cart and in the dramatizations of The Constant Nymph, and Pearl S. Buck's novel The Good Earth, as a Chinese farmer.

Rains came relatively late to film acting and his first screen test was a failure, but his distinctive voice won him the title role in James Whale's The Invisible Man (1933) when someone accidentally overheard his screen test being played in the next room. Rains later credited director Michael Curtiz with teaching him the more understated requirements of film acting, or "what not to do in front of a camera".

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 73

Birthday 1889-11-10

Day of Death 1967-05-30

Place of Birth Clapham, London, England, UK

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2013 Classic Movie Bloopers: Uncensored as Himself (archive footage)
1996 Ingrid Bergman Remembered
1983 Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage as Himself (archive footage)
1965 The Greatest Story Ever Told as King Herod
1963 Twilight of Honor as Art Harper
1962 Lawrence of Arabia as Mr. Dryden
1962 Sam Benedict(1 episode)
1961 Dr. Kildare(1 episode)
1961 Battle of the Worlds as Professor Benson
1960 The Lost World as Prof. George Edward Challenger
1959 This Earth Is Mine as Philippe Rambeau
1959 Rawhide(1 episode)
1958 Naked City(1 episode)
1957 The Pied Piper of Hamelin as Mayor of Hamelin
1956 Lisbon as Aristides Mavros
1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents(5 episodes) as John Fabian
1952 The Man Who Watched Trains Go By as Kees Popinga
1951 Hallmark Hall of Fame(2 episodes)
1951 Sealed Cargo as Capt. Skalder
1950 Where Danger Lives as Frederick Lannington
1950 The White Tower as Paul Delambre
1949 Song of Surrender as Elisha Hunt
1949 Rope of Sand as Arthur 'Fred' Martingale
1949 The Passionate Friends as Howard Justin
1948 The Ed Sullivan Show(1 episode)
1947 The Unsuspected as Victor Grandison
1946 Deception as Alexander Hollenius
1946 Angel on My Shoulder as Nick
1946 Notorious as Alexander Sebastian
1946 Blow-Ups of 1946 as Himself
1945 Caesar and Cleopatra as Julius Caesar
1945 This Love of Ours as Joseph Targel
1945 Strange Holiday as John Stevenson
1944 Mr. Skeffington as Job Skeffington
1944 Passage to Marseille as Captain Freycinet
1943 Phantom of the Opera as Erique Claudin
1943 Forever and a Day as Ambrose Pomfret
1942 Casablanca as Captain Louis Renault
1942 Now, Voyager as Dr. Jaquith
1942 Moontide as Nutsy
1942 Kings Row as Dr. Alexander Tower
1942 Breakdowns of 1942 as Himself (uncredited)
1941 The Wolf Man as Sir John Talbot
1941 Breakdowns of 1941 as Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
1941 Here Comes Mr. Jordan as Mr. Jordan
1941 Four Mothers as Adam Lemp
1940 Lady with Red Hair as David Belasco
1940 The Sea Hawk as Don José Alvarez de Cordoba
1940 Saturday's Children as Mr. Henry Halevy
1939 Four Wives as Adam Lemp
1939 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington as Sen. Joseph Harrison Paine
1939 Daughters Courageous as Jim Masters
1939 Juarez as Emperor Louis Napoleon III
1939 Sons of Liberty as Haym Salomon
1939 They Made Me a Criminal as Det. Monty Phelan
1938 Four Daughters as Adam Lemp
1938 White Banners as Paul Ward
1938 The Adventures of Robin Hood as Prince John
1938 Gold Is Where You Find It as Colonel Ferris
1938 Breakdowns of 1938 as Himself
1937 They Won't Forget as District Attorney Andrew J. Griffin
1937 The Prince and the Pauper as Earl of Hertford
1937 Stolen Holiday as Stefan Orloff
1937 Breakdowns of 1937 as Himself
1936 Breakdowns of 1936 as Himself
1936 Anthony Adverse as Marquis Don Luis
1936 Hearts Divided as Napoleon Bonaparte
1935 The Last Outpost as John Stevenson
1935 Mystery of Edwin Drood as John Jasper
1934 The Man Who Reclaimed His Head as Paul Verin
1934 Crime Without Passion as Lee Gentry
1934 The Clairvoyant as Maximus
1933 The Invisible Man as Dr. Jack Griffin aka The Invisible Man

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page