Philip St. John Basil Rathbone, MC was a South African-born English actor. He rose to prominence in the UK as a Shakespearean stage actor and went on to appear in over 70 films, primarily costume dramas, swashbucklers and, occasionally, horror films.
He frequently portrayed suave villains or morally ambiguous characters, such as Mr. Murdstone in David Copperfield and Sir Guy of Gisbourne in The Adventures of Robin Hood. His most famous role, however, was heroic — that of Sherlock Holmes in fourteen Hollywood films made between 1939 and 1946 and in a radio series. His later career included roles on Broadway, as well as self-ironic film and television work. He received a Tony Award in 1948 as Best Actor in a Play.