Douglas Rain, the voice actor of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey from 1968, passed away on 11 November. The Canadian actor has turned ninety years. Before his death, he stayed at the St. Mary’s Memorial Hospital in Ontario. Rain leaves three children and a grandchild behind.
In the course of 2001’s production HAL was played by four actors, including Rain. During the exercises, actress Stefanie Powers was asked to play him and Nigel Davenport played the role on the set. Initially, Martin Balsam did HAL’s voice in post production. Yet director Stanley Kubrick was not completely satisfied with his accent. According to the book The film director as superstar Kubrick found the accent “too general.”
Balsam was then replaced by Rain. Kubrick found his ‘dry, Mid-Atlantic accent’ perfect for the ai. According to Wired Rain received only his text and not the full script. The team took a day and a half to record his part. The song contains the song Daisy Bell which HAL sings while being turned off by Dave Bowman. This was the first song was ‘sung’ by a computer: the IBM 7094 in 1961.
Rain was initially a theater actor. He mostly played in classical pieces, such as Richard III and Oedipus Rex. My Stratford Now reports that he was one of the last living founders of the Stratford Festival, an annual theater festival in the city of the same name. For his role as HAL 9000, he played the lead role in the BBC television film Henry V from 1966, which is based on the play by William Shakespeare. In 1984 a sequel to 2001, called 2010. Rain and Keir Dullea, who played Bowman, were the only actors from the original film who returned to perform their role.