kids encyclopedia robot

Douglas Rain facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Douglas Rain
Rain in 1968
Douglas James Rain

(1928-03-13)March 13, 1928
Died November 11, 2018(2018-11-11) (aged 90)
Stratford, Ontario, Canada
Alma mater University of Manitoba
Banff School of Fine Arts
Bristol Old Vic Theatre School
Occupation Actor, voice actor
Known for Voice of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Spouse(s) Lois Shaw
Martha Henry
Children 3
Awards Dora Mavor Moore Award

Douglas James Rain (March 13, 1928 – November 11, 2018) was a Canadian actor and narrator. Although primarily a stage actor, he is perhaps best known for his voicing of the HAL 9000 computer in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and its sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984).

Early life

Rain was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the son of Mary, a nurse, and James Rain, a rail yard switchman, both from Glasgow, Scotland.


Rain graduated with a B.A. from the University of Manitoba in 1950, then studied acting at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. He was a founding member of the Stratford Festival of Canada in 1953 and was associated with it as an actor until 1998.

He performed a wide variety of theatrical roles, such as a production of Henry V staged in Stratford, Ontario, that was adapted for television in 1966. In 1972, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actor (Dramatic) for his performance in Vivat! Vivat Regina!

Voice of the HAL 9000 computer

Stanley Kubrick cast Rain as the voice of the HAL 9000 computer for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) after hearing his narration of a short documentary titled Universe and later chose him as "the creepy voice of HAL". In the film, his voice was also sometimes processed with an electronic device called the Eltro information rate changer.

Rain reprised the role for the sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984). He also briefly parodied it in Woody Allen's film Sleeper, and in a sketch on Second City Television where Merv Griffin (played by Rick Moranis) takes his eponymous talk show into outer space.


Rain died on November 11, 2018, at the age of 90 at St. Mary's Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, Ontario of natural causes. He was married twice and had three children and a grandchild.


  • Oedipus Rex (1957) — Messenger
  • Just Mary (1960, TV series) — voice
  • The Night They Killed Joe Howe (1960, TV drama, co-starring Austin Willis and James Doohan) — Joseph Howe
  • Universe (1960, short film) — Narrator
  • One Plus One (1961) — segment "The Divorcee"
  • William Lyon Mackenzie: A Friend to His Country (1961, short) — William Lyon Mackenzie
  • Robert Baldwin: A Matter of Principle (1961, short) — William Lyon Mackenzie
  • The Other Man (1963, TV miniseries) — David Henderson
  • Twelfth Night (1964, TV movie)
  • Fields of Sacrifice (1964) — Narrator
  • Henry V (1966, TV movie) — Henry V
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) — voice of HAL 9000
  • Talking to a Stranger (1971, TV miniseries) — Alan
  • Sleeper (1973) — voice of Evil Computer / Various Robot Butlers
  • The Russian-German War (1973, documentary) — Narrator
  • The Man Who Skied Down Everest (1974) — Narrator
  • One Canadian: The Political Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker (1976, TV miniseries, voice)
  • SCTV (1982, "The Merv Griffin Show") — voice of HAL 9000
  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact (1984) — voice of HAL 9000
  • Love and Larceny (1985, TV movie) — Ashton Fletcher
kids search engine
Douglas Rain Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.