Basil Rathbone

June 13, 1892 – July 21, 1967

Philip St. John Basil Rathbone was an English actor and accomplished performer and is most widely known for starring as Sherlock Holmes in a string of successful movies and radio shows about the legendary detective in the 1940s. Born in South Africa, his family moved back to Britain when he was young. His first appearance on stage was in a 1911 production of Shakespeare‘s The Taming of the Shrew. This started a career that saw him become one of the most accomplished Shakespearian actors of his time. Service in World War I; however, would pause that career briefly.

After the war, Rathbone continued performing on British stages and eventually made his way to New York where he found success on Broadway as well. American audiences and critics loved him and, soon enough, it was off to Hollywood. His film career spanned more than four decades and saw him mainly playing swashbuckling heroes and dastardly villains. He was nominated for two Academy Awards and won a Tony for his role in 1948’s The Heiress. Rathbone spent his later career doing spoken word and narration as well as continuing his film and stage work…oftentimes self-parodying his own characters and acting style.

At the age of 75, Basil Rathbone suffered a fatal heart attack in New York City.


Ferncliff Cemetery – Hartsdale, NY

Specific Location

Shrine of Memories, Unit 1, Tier K, Crypt 117; Enter the Shrine of Memories and take the first right, Basil is interred in the second section of crypts on the right all the way at the top.


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