Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hollywood Home Tour - Claude Rains

The Hollywood Homes Tour was temporarily cancelled the last few weeks owing to motor trouble, but now the bus is fixed and revving to go and Al, our driver, is here to tell all the passengers where the bus will be taking them next. 

357 Rt. 109, Sandwich, New Hampshire

"Hello everybody! It's good to be back in the driver's seat today, and to thank you for your patience, I've got a real treat in store. We will be going on an extended journey for this outing. In fact, we won't even be anywhere near Hollywood. So if you want to take a bathroom break please do so now, because we will be on the road for 46 hours. We're off to Sandwich, New Hampshire! Did I not tell you that you will be getting your money's worth for this ticket price?

"If you want to grab a sandwich, it might be a good idea to get that now too, for who knows if they serve sandwiches in Sandwich. In spite of the long hours, it is well worth the road trip to drive past the home of one of the greatest character actors Hollywood ever saw the likes of - the great Claude Rains. 

"Rains began his acting career at the age of 10 when he performed on stage in his hometown of London, England. By 1914 he was in New York working at New York Theatre Guild, and by the end of the 1920s was in Hollywood, where he stayed for the remainder of his career after becoming a smash success in the 1933 Universal horror classic The Invisible Man

"As much as he loved acting, he never desired to live among the glitter and glamour of Hollywood. Rains always wanted a farm and in 1933, at the age of 44, he used his savings to purchase a 50-acre farm in Hunterton Hills of New Jersey. Once he was raking in the big-dough he upgraded to a 320-acre estate in West Bradford Township, Pennsylvania where he, his fourth wife, and only daughter, lived from 1941-1956.

"It was after Rains married his sixth wife in 1960 that he decided to move to New Hampshire. His friend Charles Uhle, was a summer resident of Sandwich and often invited Rains to visit him there. The quaint town touched his heart and he purchased this stately country house at the junction of Little Pond Road and Rt.109 in 1963. He believed in honoring the integrity of historic homes and kept much of the house as it was when he purchased it, except for updating the kitchen and turning an ice house into an art studio for his wife Rosemary.

"Rains is an avid reader and this house boasts a bookshelf that reaches from floor to ceiling with books that Rains cherishes. He also takes pride in the yard and, as you can't see ( because it is autumn ) it is brimming with magnolias, hydrangeas and lilacs. Townsfolk claim he often takes long walks but since we won't be staying long I'm afraid we probably will not be catching a glimpse of him outside the house. Too bad, for they say he wears a cape, broad-brimmed hat and dark glasses so as not to be recognized. Perhaps he really is invisible under that disguise!

Up-to-Date Info : Claude and Rosemary Rains died in the late 1960s and are buried at Red Hill Cemetery in Center Harbor, New Hampshire. On his stone is the epitaph "All things once/Are things forever/Soul once living/lives forever"

1 comment:

  1. Great info, gals! I didn't know Rains got married six times, but I'm sure he had a lot of charm.
    The first thing I thought when I saw his home was the house in the beginning of Selznick's productions!
    Oh, and thanks for putting a pic of Claude as thje Phantom of the Opera. He sure is an underrated Phantom.