Douglas Rain, Voice of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000, Dead at 90

Photo: Doug Griffin/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Douglas Rain, best known for voicing the calmly malevolent computer HAL 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died at the age of 90. Ontario’s Stratford Festival announced the actor’s passing on Sunday; Rain was a member of their founding company.

Primarily a stage actor, Rain gave life to Hal in 1968’s 2001 and its sequel 2010: The Year We Made Contact. An alum of London’s Old Vic theater and a frequent Shakespearean performer, Rain made his Broadway debut in 1956’s Tamburlaine the Great, later appearing in Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Broken Jug and The Golden Age. For his Featured Actor performance as William Cecil in 1972’s Vivat! Vivat Regina!, Rain received one of the plays four Tony Award nominations.

Douglas Rain, Voice of 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL, Dies