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My Visit to the Gravesite of Claude Rains

Every fan of movies from the 1930s and 1940s knows Claude Rains. He was born in 1889 in London, served with the London Scottish Regiment in World War I where he suffered almost complete vision loss in one eye due to a chemical attack, and soon after began an acting career that spanned over forty years on both stage and screen. Some of his more memorable movie roles included Senator Paine in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Prince John in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), and Julius Caesar in Caesar and Cleopatra (1945). However, his most memorable role is that of Captain Louise Renault, the Vichy police officer who walks the line between resistance and collaboration in the classic film Casablanca (1942).

Horror fans will more likely recognize him as Erique from The Phantom of the Opera (1943), Dr. Jack Griffin from The Invisible Man (1933), and Sir John Talbot who beats to death his son Lawrence (Lon Chaney, Jr.) with a silver-tipped wolf cane in The Wolfman (1941).

Claude Rains retired from acting in 1965 and spent his final years in Sandwich, New Hampshire with his sixth wife Rosemary Clark Schrode. He attempted to write his memoirs, a task he failed to complete due to failing health. Claude Rains died of cirrhosis of the liver on 30 May 1967).

Claude Rains and his sixth wife are buried in Red Hill Cemetery in Moultonborough, New Hampshire, on the northern tip of Lake Winnipesauke a few miles from their home in Sandwich. If you look just to the right of center in the bottom photograph, you can see the two graves near the picket fence.

Claude Rains designed the four-foot-tall, bullet-shaped obsidian gravestones and chose the quotation engraved on the front.

This is Claude Rains' residence in Sandwich where he and Rosemary lived until their deaths. If you happen to go looking for the house, please be considerate of the residents who currently live there.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the local grave of a Hollywood legend. I'll hopefully be posting more of these over the summer.

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