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Comments 62

12 Days of Christmas

Ok – it’s not actually the first day of Christmas yet, but we’re starting the celebration a little early on THE BAZ and taking a break from the serious biography stuff for the holiday season.

Until Jan 1 We’ll be posting reader suggestions and contributions only – photos, articles, artwork, anything. So, email me if there’s anything you’d like to see featured.

To kick off this photo was sent in by a reader who describes him/herself as a “serious collector.” There are versions of it all over the web, of varying quality, but this one is a scan of a print and gorgeously crisp. The image is named “Rathbone1923” which presumably refers to the date it was taken. Is that accurate? I have no idea. If so it was a big year for him. He was about to star in THE SWAN and later that year he’d meet Ouida Bergere, as she called herself by then.

Rathbone1923

And here’s a closer look at that face.

Rathbone1923d

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62 Comments

  1. Wallace&Gromit says

    I was told about this blog by a friend of mine as we are both fans of the legendary Basil. It’s well worth the visit! Thanks!

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  2. The Ghost In The Invisible Bikini gave good closeup of Baz’s eyes.Def hazel blue with greenish flecks.Good view of his dental work,too in a fight scene.He looked tired,but he was great in it!

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  3. Judy D. says

    Here’s some more stuff to look up: I don’t know when BR/OB lived at The Garden of Allah (Grahame’s book mentions only that after an earthquake he accused her of kicking him out of bed), but here’s some fun research about that fabled place and the sort of folks it attracted, though no doubt you’ve all previously discovered it: waltlockley.com and martinturnbull.com. Oh, and two of Ouida’s PR clients were Nazimova and Lionel Atwill. Wow.

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    • zebedee says

      Basil makes no mention of them ever living in the Garden of Allah in his book so far as I can see.

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  4. Judy D. says

    A Broadway site, ibdb.com, lists Ouida’s Broadway plays, 1911-25 or so. I think also fandango.com; all this is getting mixed in my head. A click shows the cast and number of appearances. Her co-writer was always Arthur Miller! (Or did I misread it.) One of these has her being born in Madrid. Another site, called shagtime.com or something like that (romantic hookups), has a very early picture of Ouida with a hound–must be early, because she’s very slim and aristrocratic-looking. As is also the dog. Speaking of acting, one of the sites (imdb?) also lists her as being in a movie in 1911. Maybe I misread it and it was a play? Kinda typing in the dark here. Some years ago, I thought on imdb, I though I saw a listing of her speaking in some short piece of film or interview or similar thing. It was not available even then, so don’t tear out your hair, anyone. Especially if it’s Titian.

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    • I can only see two entries for Ouida Bergere on IBDB – one the 1911 play I mention in the article (she was in it but didn’t write it), and the other the unhappy 1953 Sherlock Holmes play.

      http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=11124

      Her acting career seems to have been pretty brief if not almost non-existent (presumably because she got that pesky throat infection and lost her voice :wink:)

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      • Judy D. says

        I went back into double-check and got totally distracted by things. Looks like she was in a few early movies though. What a fun thing it is to research, with so much available online. So many goodies, so little time.

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  5. Judy D. says

    Could someone post again the information on the book about soldiers being interviewed during the War, supposedly including BR? I just looked back at all the posts–up to 1,000 yet??–with no luck. It’s sure hard to find things! Want to see if it’s available somewhere. Thanks!

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      • Judy D. says

        Thanks very much! You’re up to over 4K blogs by now–how on earth are you gonna find anything?? I think my little mind combined the Van Emden recent book with the phrase “…which features Rathbone and gives details of his family” that accompanies those wonderful letters from the front. Which certainly seem to be from our guy, but his signed initials distinctly look like “BB” to me, possibly with a middle initial swirled in between. Well, these guys were probably squatting on the ground with a writing tablet balanced on their knees, so it’s a wonder they’re readable at all. Wonder what happened to Johnnie’s letters, whether they hopefully made it back to the family. The photo of the handsome soldier in uniform, isn’t that John, rather than BR? (Wherever it is here.)
        I’ll be sending you more clippings…about to be snowed in, looks like…great scanning weather if a power failure doesn’t butt in.

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        • John’s pic in uniform is in IAOOC. Has anyone ever seen a pic of Sir Franks son Eric in uniform? or any pic of him? I’d love to see the family resneblence there.

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    • Judy D. says

      Here’s a happy holiday thought, regarding Ouida’s “titian” hair (was it natural?): read recently that the DNA of Homo Sapiens does not include a gene for red hair, and that we apparently inherited the gene by mating with Neanderthals. Somehow that cheers me up considerable.
      Am saving the BR Xmas broadcast until I check out that surprise about TCM running a Holmes/Watson marathon today!!
      Web artistes out there: has anyone thought of downloading the candid photos of BR and updating his hairdo to present styles? And doing something about that ice-cold moustache? And adding some color? Our boyo defrosted would be even more luscious.

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      • Judy are you a red head? So am I. I’m strawberry blond actuly.[think paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood for the coulor.] I always hated haveing red hair till i red how fond Basil was of it.

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        • Judy D. says

          No, not a redhead; a dirty (ha-ha) blonde, somewhat grey withal. My winter project is to grow it long. Mebbe I can style it like the Woman in Green! Before they put me away somewhere.

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        • Alyssia says

          I ‘m a red head! Basil adored red hair, especially Ouida’s – it symbolized her to him, and it was totally natural.

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          • All i can say is i’m a natural one too, from my mom from her mom.Why would anyone dye there hair red? It’s dreadfull isnt it when your in school you get teased so much..add the freckels and i was a lil skinny girl…Dont you gotta wonder if ouida had that red head temper? Which i have spent years trying to overcome.

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            • roesbette says

              Basil also described Ouida on their first meeting as looking like a Renoir. If you know that artist, his models have reddish hair and are “pleasingly plump,” or as my husband would say, “If they were around now, they’d be on a diet — and more’s the shame.” Black and white photos probably don’t serve Ouida well. But as you know, back in the day, many shapes of women’s bodies were considered beautiful, unlike today, where an anorexic figure is subject to adulation. Unfortunately, I’m a little graying brunette, so all I’d have to recommend Basil’s attention is my intellect, which is fast fading.

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              • Rosemarie – remember Olivia de Havilland was a little brunette and he certainly thought she was gorgeous. 🙂

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                • Judy D. says

                  As to redheads: I’m taken aback by just finding out that my favorite childhood sleuth, Nancy Drew, is described by Amazon as being “titian-haired.” Yikes. That Neanderthal gene really gets around. Not that there’s anything wrong with Neanderthals.
                  As to weight: it’s fine to be a bit heavy, food is there to enjoy (eat my cooking and like me you’ll lose weight), but she seems to have gone way overboard (J. Jones photo, and magazine article about party). And she looks somewhat blotched and bloated, as if overindulging in French wine….
                  I notice in the Jones photo, our first good look at Weeds in profile, that she has what used to be called a “retrousse” nose (upturned). Maybe in light of current facts we could call it an “hillbilly redneck” nose.

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                • roesbette says

                  I was always a fan of brunette actresses because I wanted to believe “There’s hope for us yet!”

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        • one of the things i found odd on his discharge pappers was they listed his eyes as dark..they never looked dark to me..mabey my tv?

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          • Judy D. says

            My last comment before bed. And hopefully dreams. For years I thought he must have brown eyes, his eyes appeared so dark in the old b&w films. Then found they were basically blue, or maybe grey. But where does the hazel blue with green flecks come in? Even this guy’s eyes are complicated!

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            • roesbette says

              In Robin Hood, you can clearly see they are hazel tending toward blue. Watch that flick in blu-ray! Every detail, even the fabric of the costumes, really pop!

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            • Hot Chick says

              You get a really big close up of his eyes in COMEDY OF TERRORS – and yeah they are a dark blue, with lovely golden flecks 🙂

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                • Hot Chick says

                  Lucky you with the clear copy! Enjoy for all of us! Anyone else feel a bit sad for Baz’s character in this film? It\s funny but also a bit vulnerable, the way he wakes up in Vincent’s cellar, and he’s scare a bit, you can see. Great acting.

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                  • I hate to here anyone put this movie down,or dismiss it.It IS great acting. I had a old Monsters mag. that had an artical by Fory Ackerman,who was talking about Interviewing them [how many of the 4 im not sure] But it seem a lot of the dialoge was improvised.Which dosent seem unsual for Peter Lorie. Def not unusual for Vincent either he was very whitty.I had this on tape long befor I ever heard of a dvd or a vidio tape.It’s so my 2nd ever Basil movie.

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          • Alyssia says

            His eyes were a sort of dark grey/blue with goldie-green flecks, but he was quite dark/olive-skinned and black-haired so people might have just assumed his eye were brown rather than dark grey.

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        • Judy D. says

          Maybe he had the type of grey eyes that reflect surrounding colors and are impossible to pin down to one color. Our classic mystery man.

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