Canadian stage legend Douglas Rain, the actor and entrepreneur who co-created the world-famous Stratford Shakespeare Festival and was most famous for voicing the murderous computer HAL-9000 in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey -- as well as Peter Hyams' 2010: The Year We Make Contact and a number of remarkable SCTV parody sketches -- passed away at home of natural causes at the age of 90.
Most people aren't aware that Rain was only hired after principle photography was completed, with HAL being voiced by veteran actor Martin Balsam of falling-backwards-down-a-staircase infamy in Psycho. During post, however, Kubrick found the gruff Balsam's voice was “too colloquially American,” and cast the Canadian actor after hearing his narration in the 1960 documentary Universe (which itself was a huge influence on 2001, particularly in the special effects department). In a letter to a colleague, Kubrick remarked that Rain's voice, “is neither patronizing, nor is it intimidating, nor is it pompous, overly dramatic or actorish. Despite this, it is interesting.”
SCTV 2001 PARODY featuring Douglas Rain as HAL-9000