Douglas Rain Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (2)  | Trivia (11)

Overview (3)

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died in Stratford, Ontario, Canada  (natural causes)
Birth NameDouglas James Rain

Mini Bio (1)

Cinema lovers and sci-fi fans will always remember the great Douglas Rain not exactly by his face but specially because of his vocal talents that brought him attention and eternity in the cinema world as the soothing voice of computer HAL 9000 in the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and its sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984).

What most people don't know is that he wasn't the first choice of Stanley Kubrick for voicing the most famous robot voice of all time: Kubrick had in mind using the voice of more famous and established actors such as Martin Balsam, Jason Robards and Walter Pidgeon (just to name a few). But Kubrick wanted something with an extra-quality and his description to an assistant of what he wanted was to find him an actor who could have an intelligent, sincere and disarming voice with some friendly quality. The rest is history: Rain won the role despite being an almost unknown actor with few theatre and TV film/series roles on his resume; but Kubrick's choice turned out to be the perfect one. HAL 9000 with Rain's voice brought calm and humanity to a machine that seemed perfect in all possible ways in contrast to the robotic and lifeless astronauts of whom he shares company outer space. From then on, Rain's voice was used in documentaries, films and even as an homage to HAL 9000 as an evil machine in Woody Allen's classic Sleeper (1973).

In front of cameras, the Canadian actor can be found in TV series such as General Motors Presents, Startime, Quest and Playdate; or films like Oedipus Rex (1957), Twelfth Night (1964) and the title role in Henry V (1966). On stage, his career consists of several William Shakespeare play adaptations - in fact, Rain was co-founding member of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival - and other authors in between the 1950's and 1990's. In 1972, he was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for the play "Vivat! Vivat Regina!".

He passed away from natural causes at the age of 90 in 2018 - the 50th year anniversary of "2001". He left an important mark and legacy to the cinema world, even though with just one memorable character that paved the way to other actors using his voice talents in other feature films.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Rodrigo Amaro

Family (2)

Spouse Martha Henry (26 January 1968 - ?)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Lois Esther Shaw (1951 - ?)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Parents McIntyre, Mary Crichton
Rain, James

Trivia (11)

Had one daughter with ex-wife Martha Henry, Emma Rain.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1972 Tony Award as Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for "Vivat! Vivat Regina!".
He is best known as the voice of the computer, HAL 9000, in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984). Along with Keir Dullea, he is one of only two actors to appear in both films.
HAL 9000 is listed as #13 on the American Film Institute's America's Greatest Villians.
Douglas James Rain passed away on November 11, 2018, four months away from what would have been his 91st birthday on March 13, 2019.
Attended the University of Manitoba, worked in radio dramas and studied acting at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Alberta. In 1950, he left for a two-year apprenticeship at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
Narrated a 1960 National Film Board of Canada short film called "Universe". An inspired Stanley Kubrick reportedly had seen that film nearly a hundred times and certainly was aware of Rain's abilities when he cast him as the voice of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
Co-founding member of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival.
Performed in a host of Shakespearean plays at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario.
Made his Broadway bow in "Tamburlaine the Great" at the Winter Garden Theatre (1956).
In praising Douglas Rain's contribution to "2001: A Space Odyssey", Stanley Kubrick often said that he would like to direct him again - on-camera this time, but in a non-speaking role. However, they never worked together a second time.

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