PHOTOS
Comments 45

photo comparison and thanks

Hey guys, feeling a bit better today, up to a few minutes at the old laptop, and just have to post this – sent in by Tony -. It’s a side-by-side comparison between the Baz playing Richard III and the newly-revealed face of the real live (or rather dead) king of that name. Tony thinks there is a definite resemblance. I’m neutral. what do you guys think?

PS – thanks for all your good wishes and good vibes – they are definitely welcome 🙂

richard-basil-comparison

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45 Comments

  1. Judy D. says

    Yes, “Doughboy” awarded by the US Infantry School, Fort Benning, GA, undated. Also National War Fund Citation, “for meritorious service and outstanding leadership during the time of national crisis,” 11/30/43; and two US Treasury Dept. Awards, 5/21/44 and 7/13/45, “for patriotic cooperation rendered in behalf of the War Finance Program.” (I’ve just taken a quick dekko of the Gravesend Books catalog of 1975 or so. Most of the contents are in the BU archives.)
    Here are a few misc. goodies I find: While BR in the play “The Marriage Go Round” in Australia, 1960, Ouida’s niece Ouida Wagner viewed the play and a photo was taken. BR for most of his career, from Shakespeare forward, kept scrapbooks of his plays and movies and in the Gravesend catalog related materials are listed with them. Many scrapbooks contain clippings from newsclip services, but nothing in the way of “autobiographical” writings, except letters to/from people or photos or scripts with annotations about stage direction.
    June 8, 1959 letter from OR to BR before his first appearance in “J.B.” Gravesend describes it as “A deeply moving letter which more than any other piece in the collection gives insight into their relationship. So much lies beneath the words. Rathbone in IAOOC discusses the conflict between the two over his appearance in this play and this letter reflects that conflict.” OR had written a play that she wanted BR to appear in (“Dark Angel”), but he chose JB. Enola Stewart (Gravesend) describes her plays as having “a heavy-handed style” and “the essence of being written in magic-marker with mittens.” The plays, she says, were mostly derivative, taken from other plays or her own work. Stewart in working obviously very long hours on his collection admits in the catalog to developing “something akin to a coolness” toward OR.
    OR wrote teleplays, as well as stage plays. BR wrote a couple of plays.
    Here’s St. John L. Clowes, author of playscript “Dear Murderer,” undated; a relative of Ouida (run, don’t walk, to Google!!).
    “Adv. of Robin Hood”–according to BR scrapbook clips, both BR and Errol Flynn were hurt during filming, and an archery expert shot an arrow within six inches of BR’s face.
    From Boston, Oct. 19, 1951,”Dream World: Radio Broadcast Radioscript,” tribute to United Nations written by Paul W. Keyes, performed by Luise Rainer, BR, Cynthia Rathbone, Leonard Lyons and Mrs. FDR. So Cynthia did at least one more broadcast than a “Sherlock Holmes” with her father.
    Once when BR apparently disappeared on tour Ginger Rathbone (their dog) typed a letter (undated) to Holmes asking for help in finding her master. Letter is “clever,” says Stewart, and it’s assumed that OR typed it. (Well, certainly not Ginger the dog.)
    After “The Swan” closed OR took a house in Pangbourne, Berks., UK, and BR and Jack Miltern joined her there, before their marriage (7-8/24?). The Rathbones, and OR/G. Fitzmaurice before, took many, many photos in Europe, etc., and with many celebrities. One clipping states that BR “had one of the finest collections of candid camera studies of Hollywood personalities in the world.”
    The Gravesend Books collection: a year after OR died,in Nov. 1974, part of the collection was purchased from an estate buyer, who had in turn purchased it from the lawyer for the estate (books), and the other part was purchased from the collection willed to the Actor’s Fund (scrapbooks, photos, etc.). Stewart wrote to me, when she very kindly sent me the catalog in 1993, that over 95% of the catalog was purchased by “an intermediary acting for a university” and the collection “now resides at Boston University.” So there is all this stuff, lucky for us.
    She never knew BR but was a fan. In her letter to me she says, “Even Rathbone [meaning Rodion] was cautious in what he told us (e.g. how Cynthia came to the family). After handling the collection I despised Ouida and I think I made that evident (although professionally stated) in the introduction to the catalogue.”
    I don’t know whether Ms. Stewart and Gravesend Books still exist, but she did a wonderful job and all her catalogs of mystery books were a delight. I hope she wouldn’t be distressed at my quoting her here for the benefit of BR’s fans.

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    • OR must’ve eaten 3 replies I made today!Too bad Rodion or his kids never wrote a book after OR gone.No matter what her family would say,if I were them,I’d keep quiet so as not to advertise being related to her and make people wonder if it runs in families.Good to hear Cynthia also did some acting work.The offstage prank Baz and Boris did to Vince in TOL,sounded typical of Baz’s fun nature,tension-relieving,endearing,and him not taking what would make someone else’s blood boil as it in insults,put-downs I can respect him.

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    • rosebette says

      I’m about 25 miles north of Boston, and I’ve spent about a day seeing the BR Archive at Boston University and really didn’t get to see all of the collection. However, I did see several photo albums with candids of British colony theater and actor friends, probably from the late 20s and early 30s. I did not get to go through entire the Hollywood box, but I can attest that the Rathbones were avid scrapbookers and loved to take photos. I was hoping to get back there in February but weather, car issues, and work issues got in the way.

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      • Wow! I my self am deeply Jelious! Your that close? Like Wow! Im gona gush here a min. YOU TOUCHED STUFF BASIL TOUCHED????Like Wow! All I ever touched he touched was Vincent Price[not bad though;}] Oh wait I did walk on the same stage. and see a couple of theaters he was in. Still jelious. Ok done gushing..

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        • rosebette says

          Yes, I did. I spent about 6 hours looking at the archive, and would like to spend many more. While there is some wonderful stuff there, including a few personal letters, I didn’t find anything “gossip worthy” except for many wonderful letters to B in his theater years about his performances. He was quite the matinee idol in the 20s and got mash notes from women and men. It’s a very rich collection if you want a history of his career, but I think Ouida stripped it of anything really intimate. The photo albums and scrapbooks are also wonderful, pictures of folks from way back in Hollywood and theater. The sad thing is that on the back of some of the photos, including some stunning portraits and glossies, are prices — .50 and .25, as if they were part of an estate or “yard sale”. These pictures would go for a several hundred on ebay. I left the archives in a kind of dreamy daze — I long to go back and explore some more. BTW, there is a copy of “Judas” as well as another pay B wrote, “Dawn” there.

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      • Judy D. says

        Ah! I couldn’t quite remember who it was who had BU access, and I wrote my thing hoping it might help that person-you–find things like that definitive letter from OR. I did google St. John Legh Clowes, the alleged OR relation (was in imdb, I believe), and the “Dear Murderer” playscript was written or performed in 1947. He lived 1907-1951, born in S. Africa, died in London, and was apparently a fairly successful playwright. No biographical info, so unclear if he actually was a relative, but at least it gives a date to the undated script in the BR collection. Maybe eventually when the weather gets decent and you have the time you’ll be able to get there again. You’re our big link to fact, as opposed to speculation! It’s really kind of strange that a writer, as he definitely was, did not leave a diary, if he felt compelled to leave all this other record of his career. Maybe there were separate diaries and someone still has them….or they were destroyed?!?

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      • Judy D. says

        As to Cynthia: I got this bright idea yesterday, and did a bit of research today. I compared her picture, age 14 with that of Rodion. He was here, acting in his father’s movies, when she was born. I see a definite resemblance. He does not resemble his father much, and she does not resemble BR either, so that would make sense: young man kicking up his heels in Hollywood, as any young man would, and BR/OR taking in the child? That would also make OR’s attitude toward Rodion more understandable, and be a weapon OR could hold over both of them. I feel it’s not quite proper to discuss this, but on the other hand, everyone is now long dead, and if it were all true it would be preferable to suspecting BR of fathering [another] child. What do you fans think of all this?

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        • I wondered if that were possible,too.I know he married in 1938,but he acted w/Baz in DP and TOL.Thought Rodion went in service in 1939,but 1st child born ~1943?Had thought adoption was to avoid some scandal since 1st heard.What mysteries are resolved by all the input on this site!Brilliant,everyone!

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        • Thing is, I think he does look like his dad.Mabey diffrent people see diffrent things in people..if you know what i mean.And the tiny bit of acting he gets to do on screen..ie the small but wonderfull lil speach about Richard being a usuper..when he points to the tower he looks and moves so like his dad. If we could only see Marion we might see he looks more like her.But most childeren look like a mix of both parents. All I know about what Marion looks like is she has dark hair.

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          • Talking about the speculation of Rodion being father to Cyn..is one of those knoty puzzels like when your doing genealogy and you find your great great great grand ma had no hubby for any of her kids..or your great great great grandpa was a mild manored clerk by day and firefall fiddel the feind of the fells by night. It’s interesting to read about but there are decendents to consider.Not of Cyn’s..of Rodians. Every body likes to read bbout a highwayman but nobody wants to find him hanging from there family tree.

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          • proof12 says

            I think if Cynthia was adopted to avoid scandal, my own inclination is that she was Basil’s child. As a teen, she looks more like Basil than Rodion — long face and jaw, and she’s a bit light, and Basil’s sister and brother were both fair. I think one of our posters mentioned meeting one of Basil’s female grandchildren and remarking that she had some of his characteristics, but wasn’t pretty at all (Basil wouldn’t make a very “pretty” girl!) Cynthia was a bit plain as a teen and young adult. We know now that some “adopted” children, such as Loretta Young’s daughter by Clark Gable, were actually the natural child of the adopting parent.

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      • Rosebette,you must be having some really rough storms No. of Boston.We’re in Central CT and haven’t had it quite as bad as yourselves.Hope you made out okay during the blizzard a few weeks back.Enjoy all you dig up in archives and thanks for making my life richer for everything you find,and everyone else,too.Loved reading other actors bios with info on Baz,too bad he’s no longer with us,or that he had such disappointment in his career,esp such a sweet guy.

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    • That is so cool. Can you link to the google thing? This interested me “Even Rathbone [meaning Rodion] was cautious in what he told us (e.g. how Cynthia came to the family). After handling the collection I despised Ouida and I think I made that evident (although professionally stated) in the introduction to the catalogue” Do you have the catalouge? Or just the ladies letter about it? Was Cyn still alive when she wrote this? mabey her Bro was trying to proctet her. And how sweet. Is so.

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      • Judy D. says

        This thing is all pre-computer–the quote is from a letter to me from the proprietor of Gravesend Books, when she sent me a copy of the catalog. Cynthia would have died (1969) long before the catalog (1975) or the letter to me (1992).

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  2. roesbette says

    I think Basil and Ouida were both quite active in the serviceman canteens. At the BU archive, Basil has a certificate that he was made an “Honorary Doughboy”! So charming.

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  3. Judy D. says

    If he had only invested in Hollywood real estate, he’d have had plenty of money in later years for taking on any sort of plays that interested him, even donating his time, plus funding charitable works. He was interviewed occasionally about the need for serious funding of a theater program in the U.S. Must read his book again, after all your great comments. Remember him making quite an emphatic point about OR having a large part in setting up the servicemen canteens, which doesn’t seem to be true after all. But I do have somewhere a photo of professional-looking sketches supposedly prepared by OR for a movie or play set. “Dig We Must”!

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    • Basils La Fleize blv[sp?] house was up on the net about a year or so ago to rent.They didnt have furntuer in it but there was a few pics of how it looks now.Amazed at how ordinay it looks in the photos of it when he lived there it looks like a lil Tyder mansion. Now except for the fab kitchen it looks pretty ordinary..there are houses around here..well by that i mean a bit north of where i live..think mc mansions ‘dr.’s, lawers. indian chifes,’ etc. type comunity that have far more impresive houses.But boy howdy if he’d have kept it…Wonder what his NY City rent was?

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    • A few actors became Real Estate agents and said they made more than in acting.I agree he should’ve invested in property,but getting 1st crack at his wages seemed a prob.He must’ve felt tortured working in subpar movies.saw him on TCM in a Director’s Production,or something like that as a Doc on a Sumatra plantation,or something,hamming it up drinking,forget who else in it,watched cuz his name on info,wish DVR’d it.He made me laugh,slurring,staggering.

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  4. roesbette says

    Greetings, Neve. Just checking in on how you are recovering. I’ve made my daily visits here to “Basilland” and haven’t seen your “writings on the wall.” Hope you’re fortifying yourself with some zinc, Vitamin C, a hot toddy, and maybe a good dose of black and white flicks.

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    • Thanks – I’ve been better :(. I’ve been asking my roomies to approve comments and I think a lot might have been spammed by accident. I’m on antibiotics for this bronchitis or whatever it is, and I’m sleeping a lot – and watching awful TV when I’m not. I should be up to doing the blog at the weekend.

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      • Catching up on sleep,lots of fluids,warm(hot) teas,toddies,keeping warm best thing you can do to recover from bronchitis,taking care not to add asthma attacks along with everything else.Feel better every day!

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  5. Think Rodion had a little more resemblance.Did Richard have nice legs like our Baz?He certainly had chiseled good features,Baz that is.Prob true that R the III was maligned by his haters,like those who wish celebs ill today.

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    • Did Richard have sexy legs? Let me hop in my tardis and I’ll be back to let you know tomorrow.Basil does fill out a pair of tights quie nicely dosent he?! Which Hollyweird star was it I rember reading about that they made wear tights with padded calfs,cause he had bird legs?

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        • When I read Eva’s bio that came out a few years ago,the pic of her father def said “Baz and he looked quite like bro’s”believe Eva’s father a poet,not sure if he was an actor,but think that’s why Baz & Eva hit it off cuz she maybe was reminded of her dad,both men being sensitive souls.

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  6. It’d be fun to think of Basil as a descendant of the Plantagenets, but I don’t think there’s too much a resemblance; noses and eyes are different; mabye a bit around the chin.

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  7. LARRY CLIFTON says

    AT RADA I HEARD OLIVIER PRAISE RATHBONE AS ONE OF THE BEST OF SHAKESPEAREAN ACTORS: OLIVIER’S ADULATION OF R’S ‘PRINCE HAL’; R’S IAGO, FOREVER CHANGING THE TRADITIONALLY REPULSIVE CHARACTERIZATION INTO ONE OF ‘BEAUTIFUL VILLAINY,’ AND R’S TYBALT AS A ‘FIREBRAND’ WONDERFULLY PERSONIFIED. R’S ‘RICHARD’ IS EQUAL TO OLIVIER’S ENACTMENT–SO SAID OLIVIER–EVEN THOUGH THIS GREAT MONSTER BELONGS IN UNKNOWING UNIVERSAL’S TROVE. OBVIOUSLY, OUIDA’S PERSONALITY DAMAGED R’S CAREER–HOLLYWOOD IS UPSET OFTEN BY FAMILY INTERFERENCE–WITH R SEEMINGLY & OBLIVIOUSLY DEDICATED TO HER. YOUR WEB IS EXACTING & NEEDED!

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    • Really good to hear that Lord Olivier thought so well of Baz.I’d thought he went back to the stage to be amongst Larry and some of the other stage greats.Too bad he did have a controller to jeopardize his standing,maybe interfering with his marketability,but H’wood is superficial.All anyone listens for now is a stupid catchphrase,or to hear FX.Saw Baz in Woman In Green this am,and Ronald Howard in Adv of Sherlock,much prefer Baz,probably user friendly Shakespeare.Loved him as Richard in TOL 1939.Best thing about Romeo & Juliet was watching Baz explode as Tybalt.

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      • Ellen the way your post alines on my computer it read ‘much prefer Baz, probly user friendly’ end of line.Please let us know when you find out.:>

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      • Think I mean I thought TOL w/Baz more user friendly than Shakespeare re-enactments.Also prefer him for Sherlock,only one close is Peter Cushing.Still love Baz’s rumpled hair at end of fight w/Col Moran in Terror By Night,and liked the kicking in of window while he surfs the rails outside the train.

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        • Mabey thats realy why the Pope resigned. He didnt like liveing anyplace near old Henry ‘if my mouth is moveing i’m lyeing’ Tyder. Seing as how the church used to sell saints relics.singel or in ‘the holy apendage pack’.no telling who it might be..[snark].. for refrence see Back Adder

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          • Enjoy reading everything you’ve posted.If I’d your dedication,would’ve found my Irish relagives (intentional spelling,big Mel Brooks fan)long ago.But maybe they want to stay hiding from the Yanks,afraid they’d come to visit.The Italian relatives often think you’ve come back to reclaim,but I can find a shack anywhere.Can you tell it’s been a long winter with only this site to brighten my days?

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      • Just musing again;Baz seems the personification of singer Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page”:Out there in the spotlight you’re a million miles away,every ounce of energy you try to give away…”He was my fav Sherlock,always will be no other Richard III anywhere to me.

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  8. roesbette says

    No, I don’t think so. The composite looks more like a Johnny Depp type to me. No acquiline nose or strong cheekbones like our Baz.

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