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Claude Rains Phantom Mask

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After the war ended, Rains remained in England, where he continued to develop his acting talents. These talents were recognised by Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, the founder of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Tree told Rains that in order to succeed as an actor he would have to get rid of his Cockney accent and speech impediment. With this in mind, Tree paid for the elocution books and lessons that Rains needed to help him change his voice. Rains eventually shed his accent and speech impediment after practicing every day. His daughter Jessica, when describing her father's voice, said, "The interesting thing to me was that he became a different person. He became a very elegant man, with a really extraordinary Mid-Atlantic accent. It was 'his' voice, nobody else spoke like that, half American, half English and a little Cockney thrown in. " Jessica Rains speaks of this in the interview on Universal Studio's 2004 DVD release of Phantom of the Opera, recorded in 2000. Soon after changing his accent he became recognised as one of the leading stage actors in London. At the age of 29, he played the role of Clarkis in his one (and only) silent film, a British film titled Build Thy House (1920).



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