Douglas Rain, HAL 9000's voice in '2001: A Space Odyssey,' has died. He was 90

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HAL made his stamp on popular culture, versions of him have appeared on everything from the Simpsons to South Park .

But Rain had a deep respect for director Stanley Kubrick and actively protected the computer character’s legacy from exploitation, turning down many commercial requests to do the voice, according to his colleagues at the Stratford Festival.


For decades, 2001: A Space Odyssey has been my favorite film (with Kubrick being my all time favorite director). HAL has been iconic since the film’s release all thanks to Douglas Rain’s talents. A double loss of some true pop culture icons today.


“Daisy daisy” has never been the same since, either. :unamused:


I hope he sung that as he faded off… (Too soon?)


Kinda wished someone would have recorded him for use with Siri or Alexa or one of those GPS things that direct people into ditches and canals.

Thank you, Mr. Rain.

“I would 'twere bed-time, Hal, and all well.” - Henry IV, Shakespeare


He did return for the rather sub-par, non-Kubrick sequel 2010 (1984), though.



I’m opening the pod bay doors right now.


Then the director changed his mind. “We had some difficulty deciding exactly what HAL should sound like, and Marty just sounded a little bit too colloquially American,” Kubrick said in the 1969 interview. Mr. Rain recalls Kubrick telling him, “I’m having trouble with what I’ve got in the can. Would you play the computer?”

Interesting that Christopher Nolan, who is well known as a Kubrick fan, made Case and Tars in Interstellar sound colloquially American.

Narrators are incredible actors
Any time I hear a documentary start out with Liev Shreiber (Nova, American Experience, etc) or Frank Lyman (Frontline, Nova, Dos Equis commercial), I’ll watch (listen to) it to the end.

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Douglas Rain and Stan Lee, two voices of my childhood silenced in one day. Rough. Captured together in this ridiculous, weirdo book.

Excelsior and open the pod bay bay doors.



I’ve been reading Dog Man books with my kids, and at least some of them (perhaps all?) in the preview of the next book say, “Dog Man is go!” (Someone will then point out that doesn’t mean anything, but someone will make the counterpoint that Dog Man is go)

The font on the main page makes 9’s hang below the line and 0’s rather small. So when I read the sentence, “He was 90” I read it as “He was go”.

And yeah, the voice of HAL really was go. It’s too bad we haven’t achieved the vision of the singularity-ists. No one more deserved to have their mind uploaded into a computer.


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