Basil, Belated

Speaking of hottie Englishmen with big noses….
I forgot about Basil Rathbone’s birthday while I was in Toronto! I feel so bad. This post should have been on June 13. Sorry, Basil-babe. It won’t happen again.

Basil R
Suave. Smart. Sword-wielding.
Happy Birthday to hottie Basil Rathbone!

Basil is best known for two things: playing Sherlock Holmes countless times, and always playing the villan to Errol Flynn’s swashbucking heroes. But he was a lot more than that. He was trained in classical Shakespearean theater, he was an intelligence officer in WWI, an author, and a Tony-award-winning Broadway actor. He was also the finest fencer in Hollywood history. Watch any of his movies with Flynn where Basil plays the villan; maybe ‘Robin Hood’ or ‘Captain Blood.’ Their fencing is a thing of beautfy. Basil said that he didn’t consider swordsmanship a sport, but one of the fine arts, and he and Errol certainly kicked it up to that level.

I dare you not to root for Basil in any of his villain roles. He invented that whole ‘this villan is so sexy and smart, I want HIM to win in the end’ thing. For example, Jeremy Irons and Alan Rickman in the ‘Die Hard’ movies are treading a path laid out by Basil Rathbone. Basil got tired of villans, and that’s why he enjoyed Sherlock Holmes so much; it was the only time he could be the hero. In the casting couch of my mind, I think Basil could/should have been the screen’s definitive Duke of Wellington. The physical resemblance is already there. (Check out that nose!) And he had the cool, haughty, intelligent bearing thing down pat. If only someone had made a movie about Wellington back then. The missed opportunity of it almost makes me cry.

If you want to read all about Basil, visit

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