Douglas Rain, Actor Who Voiced HAL in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ Dies at 90

Canadian-born actor received a Tony Award nomination in 1972 for his performance in Robert Bolt’s “Vivat! Vivat! Regina!”

douglas rain
Warner Bros.

Douglas Rain, the Canadian-born actor best known as the voice of HAL 9000 in “2001: A Space Odyssey” and its sequel “2010: The Year We Made Contact,” died Sunday at St. Marys Memorial Hospital in St. Mary’s, Ontario, according to CTV News. He was 90.

“Canadian theatre has lost one of its greatest talents and a guiding light in its development,” Stratford Festival artistic director Antoni Cimolino said in a release.

“Douglas Rain was that rare artist: an actor deeply admired by other actors. The voice of HAL in ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ Douglas shared many of the same qualities as Kubrick’s iconic creation: precision, strength of steel, enigma and infinite intelligence, as well as a wicked sense of humour.”

Cimolino continued: “But those of us lucky enough to have worked with Douglas soon solved his riddle and discovered that at the centre of his mystery lay warmth and humanity, evidenced in his care for the young members of our profession. Douglas dedicated his talent to the stages of his native land, and we are proud in return to dedicate the coming season’s production of ‘Othello’ to his memory. We owe him so much.”

Rain, who had more than 100 television and film credits, performed with the Stratford Festival more than three decades in productions of everything from “Henry V” to “Homeward Bound” and “The Merchant of Venice.”

In 1972, he was nominated for a Tony Award for his role as William Cecil in “Vivat! Vivat! Regina!”

Rain is survived by two sons, one daughter and a granddaughter.