Following The Invisible Man, Universal Studios tried to typecast him in horror films, but he broke free, starting with the role of Prince John in, The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), then with his Academy Award-nominated performance as a corrupt senator in, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and followed with probably his most famous role, the French police Captain Renault in, Casablanca (1942).
Next Rains, performed as, Julius Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra (1945). He also played a refugee Nazi agent opposite Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in, Notorious (1946). He then performed in, The Passionate Friends(1949).
Rains remained a popular character actor in the 1950s and 1960 and performed in many films. Two of his well-known later screen roles were as Dryden, a cynical British diplomat in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and King Herod in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), his final film role.
TCM is celebrating Claude Rains birthday with the films listed below:
They Won't Forget (1937) . Bigotry flares when a Jewish businessman is accused of killing a small-town girl in the South. Cast: Claude Rains, Gloria Dickson, Allyn Joslyn. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy.
Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938). The bandit king of Sherwood Forest leads his Merry Men in a battle against the corrupt Prince John. Cast: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone. Dir: William Keighley, Michael Curtiz.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) .An idealistic Senate replacement takes on political corruption. Cast: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains. Dir: Frank Capra.
Saturday's Children (1940) .A young inventor's new marriage is jeopardized by financial problems. Cast: John Garfield, Claude Rains, Anne Shirley. Dir: Vincent Sherman.
Now, Voyager (1942) . A repressed spinster is transformed by psychiatry and her love for a married man. Cast: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains. Dir: Irving Rapper.
Mr. Skeffington (1944) . A flighty beauty marries a stockbroker for convenience and almost ruins both their lives. Cast: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Walter Abel. Dir: Vincent Sherman.
Passage to Marseille (1944) . Devil's Island escapees join up with the Allies during World War II. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Claude Rains, Michele Morgan. Dir: Michael Curtiz.