Claude Rains: An Actor's Voice

Claude Rains: An Actor's Voice

by David J. Skal, Jessica Rains

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Claude Rains: An Actor's Voice 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this in a short time. I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first full length biography about Claude Rains. The book is based on taped interviews Rains gave in the 1960's. There are many never before revealed details about his childhood, marriages, theatre career, film work and private life.

As always, David Skal gives us a well written and very informative book. Rains daughter, Jessica, contributed many interesting details about her father. There are many never before seen photos. Of special interest to any film buff is the extensive notes section at the end of the book.

It may have taken 40 years for Claude Rains personal memories to be published but this book proves it was well worth the wait.
reannon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've adored Claude Rains in movies as long as I can remember, so was excited to find out there's a biography of him.Rains came from a very poor background in England. His father acted, among other things, and Claude was apprenticed to the theater by age 12 to help bring in money. He worked his way up in the theatre, becoming a stage manager and acting in occasional small parts. He stuttered, and did not have a strong voice, but it improved through time, and, ironically, through being gassed during his military service in WWI. He went back to acting and got better and better parts. A bitter divorce (he was married a total of six times) led him to emigrate to the U.S. where he was successful on the stage and then turned to acting in film. From there he did almost no more stage work. Skal gives brief portraits of his films, Rain's roles, and the impact of the movie.The author was lucky enough to have tapes that Rains made when another author was interested in doing a biography, but both that author and Rains died before it was done. Skal also talked extensively to Rain's daughter Jessica. The book has an excellent appendix detailing Rain's theatre and film work, and a good bibliography and index. It is a workmanlike book, but fairly pedestrian... it never sings.
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