IN AND OUT OF CHARACTER by Basil Rathbone

IN AND OUT OF CHARACTER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Basil Rathbone is an actor and a gentleman of the old school; thus In and Out of Character, his memoir, has a sort of dated charm: the people are gay, the events gallant, the prose gilded. A very honorable, apparently honest book. Not a snippet of scandal peeps through; Aunt Edna should love it. At cricket-classy Repton School he learns esprit de corps; as a World War hero he recites Rupert Brooke to a French lass; after Stratford-on-Avon repertory and matinee idol success on the West End, he's off to New York, playing with Helen Mencken in Captive, Doris Keane in Czarina, and Romeo to Kit Cornell's Juliet, then Hollywood and the wonderland of names and games (""From Romeo to Murdstone, back to Romeo, and now to Karenina with Garbo. Good night, dear Kit. 'Good night, good night'""); later the famed Sherlock Holmes series and the post-war return to Broadway via Heiress and J.B. There are amusing anecdotes (the Jekyll and Hyde life of his butler), numerous effusions (""Dear Talluiah... you were ever such fun... remember me?""), and untold garlands tossed at personages like Barrymore and Colbert, Olivier and Kaye. However, the real star is Ouida, his redoubtable spouse for 36 years; said Ouida after seeing him on stage: ""One day I'm going to marry that man"". Replies Rathbone to his readers: ""I ask you... what chance do we men have?"". God knows! At any rate, a refreshing change from the usual garbage and glamour ""revelations"".

Pub Date: Nov. 16th, 1962
ISBN: 0879101199
Publisher: Doubleday