Douglas Rain, the iconic voice behind the haunting HAL 9000 computer in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: a space odyssey, has passed away at the age of 90.
According to the Stratford Festival, which Rain co-founded in 1952 and performed at for over 45 years as a longtime Shakespearian thespian, the actor died of natural causes at St. Marys Memorial Hospital in St. Marys, Ontario.
“Canadian theatre has lost one of its greatest talents and a guiding light in its development,” the festival’s artistic director, Antoni Cimolino, said in a press release (via Variety). “Douglas Rain was that rare artist: an actor deeply admired by other actors.”
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1928, Rain went on to study acting at the Banff School of Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, England. Largely a theater actor, Rain starred in a Stratford production of Henry V, which was adapted for television in 1966, and nabbed a Tony nomination for his performance in Vivat! Vivat Regina!.
In addition to his vocal performance in 2001, a role he revisited 16 years later for its sequel 2010, Rain’s voice was also featured in Woody Allen’s tongue-in-cheek sci-fi comedy Sleeper, and documentaries such as Fields of Sacrifice, The Man Who Skied Down Everest, One Canadian: The Political Memoirs of the Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker, and The Russian-German War.
Earlier Sunday evening, director Edgar Wright paid his respects on Twitter: