Douglas Rains played the voice of HAL 9000, the rogue computer in Stanley Kubrick's film, "2001: A Space Odyssey."
Photo: Jeff Goode/Toronto Star/Getty Images
Photo: Jeff Goode/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Douglas Rain, voice of HAL from ‘2001: A Space Odyssey,’ dead at 90

Douglas Rain, the actor who provided the creepy, chilling voice of the HAL computer in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” died Sunday in Stratford, Ontario, the BBC reported. He was 90.

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Rain was a Shakespearean actor who was nominated for a Tony Award in 1972, the BBC reported. 

But he will be remembered for the calm, homicidal voice of the rogue AI computer in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science fiction movie classic.

When the computer makes an error in the film, it leads Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and Dr. Frank Poole (Gary Lockwood) to decide to turn off HAL -- but the computer resists, leading to the deaths of four of the five members of the crew, NPR reported. Bowman manages to deactivate the computer, but the exchange between the astronaut and the computer made for riveting theater.

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"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that," Rain, as the voice of HAL, tells Bowman. “Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye.”

As HAL is disconnected by Bowman, Rain famously sings “Daisy Bell” as his voice fades away in a chilling coda, NPR reported.

The film won an Academy Award for Kubrick for best visual effects, the BBC reported.

Actor Anthony Hopkins, who won an Oscar for playing serial killer Hannibal Lector in “The Silence of the Lambs,” said HAL influenced his performance, the BBC reported.

Rain was born in Winnipeg on March 13, 1928, and spent 32 years acting as Iago from “Othello” and Malvolio in “Twelfth Night,” at the annual Stratford Festival, NPR reported.

He also had dozens of theater, film and television credits, according to the IMDb database.

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