Douglas Rain, the acclaimed Shakespearean actor whose chilling performance as the voice of the homicidal HAL 9000 computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey” rendered the amoral emptiness of outer space in sound, died Sunday at age 90.
The Stratford Festival, the Canadian theater company of which Rain was a founding member in 1953, confirmed his death on Sunday night. A cause of death wasn’t reported.
For many kids my age back then, fascinated with space exploration, this scene was scary for one reason: It was the first time we realized that things could go bad in space and there was very little or nothing that could be done. We discovered the awful sense of impotence against a seemingly invincible foe and fell even smaller than what we were.
And that, ladies and gentlemen is great voice acting.