Thursday, November 15, 2018
Stratford Actor Douglas Rain, Who Supplied HAL’s Voice, Dies at 90
Canadian actor Douglas Rain, one of the co-founders of the Stratford Festival, passed away of natural causes at the age of 90 at St. Marys Memorial Hospital, just outside of Stratford, Ontario. He spent 32 years playing several Shakespearean characters on stage at the festival until 1998. His roles included Claudio in "Measure for Measure" in 1954, Malvolio in "Twelfth Night" in 1957, Edgar in "King Lear" in 1964 and Prince Hal in "Henry IV, Part 1" in 1958. Rain is survived by his two sons, David and Adam, daughter Emma, granddaughter, Salima, and a daughter-in-law, Asira.
It was the aloof and frightening voice of the artificially intelligent HAL 9000 in 1968's film 2001: A Space Odyssey that brought Rain into the public sphere. HAL is the onboard master computer on the spaceship Discovery 1 but goes rogue, at one pointing balking to an astronaut tells it to open the pod doors, "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it." When the spaceship occupants manage to shut the computer down, HAL sings Daisy Bell and utters, "I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it."
The American Film Institute named HAL the 13th greatest movie villain of all time, joining a list that includes Hannibal Lecter and Darth Vader.
See Mark Kennedy, Actor Douglas Rain, Who Supplied HAL's Voice, Dies at 90, ABC News, November 12, 2018.