"Often we'd secretly like to do the very things we discipline ourselves against. Isn't that true? Well, here in the movies I can be as mean, as wicked as I want to -- and all without hurting anybody. Look at that lovely girl I've just shot!"

British actor (1889-1967). He was born in London and had worked on the stage since he was a child. He fought in World War I and was injured in a gas attack, costing him most of the vision in one eye. After he moved to America in 1914, he worked on a number of productions by the New York Theatre Guild. He wasn't the most attractive actor, but he had a lot of stage presence and a very distinctive voice -- in fact, it was his voice that won him his first role in Hollywood. He enjoyed a colossal screen debut in "The Invisible Man" in 1933 -- he had top billing, but he didn't appear onscreen until the movie's final moments.

Though Universal Studios tried to turn him into a leading man, he seemed to prefer playing character parts, which usually had the most interesting roles. Rains was very good in almost every role he played, and unlike many other character actors, he was well-known enough to be considered a star. He appeared in everything from action movies, like "The Adventures of Robin Hood," "The Sea Hawk," and "The Lost World," to upscale dramas, like "Now, Voyager," "The Greatest Story Ever Told," and "Lawrence of Arabia," to monster movies, like "The Wolf Man" and "The Phantom of the Opera". He received four Best Supporting Actor nominations, for "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Casablanca," "Mr. Skeffington," and "Notorious."

Rains was married six times (divorced four times, widowed twice) and had one daughter, Jessica, who followed him into acting. He died in Laconia, New Hampshire, of an intestinal hemorrhage, in 1967.

Much research from the Internet Movie Database (www.imdb.com)

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