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Sherlock Holmes actors

SHERLOCK HOLMES ACTORS - The actors who played the greatest detective

Authors: Revati and SherlockExtra - © All rights reserved.

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INFORMATION ON FILM ADAPTATIONS

Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle’s world famous detective was portrayed by countless actors both on the big and the small screen. The character is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records – Holmes appears in the most adaptations in movie history. We have to take into consideration that in case of the older adaptations filming techniques were not so well developed as nowadays. Another point is that brutality and nudity were not so dominantly present onscreen at that time.

It is a common misconception among viewers that movie and film adaptations are faithful to the original Canon of Conan Doyle. The truth is that the text telling „based on the works of Conan Doyle” usually applies only to the names of the characters and to some of their features. We have to bear in mind that in spite of the text many adaptations use a completely new storyline or change almost everything of the characters. So it may even happen that the names of the main characters are familiar, but they are very far from the literary characters they are based on. These adaptations only use the name of Holmes, or some references to the original stories. Conan Doyle created a complex and extraordinary detective, whom it is a real challenge to portray successfully onscreen. Those who only know Sherlock from the tv screen and did not read the stories miss a lot, because the author gave us an exciting and valuable world with the figure of the Baker Street genius. Another misbelief is that modern adaptations (BBC’s Sherlock, the movies starring Robert Downey Jr. or CBS’s Elementary) are faithful to that mentioned world. They only use the name of Holmes and the other characters but are too far from the original – that is why it is correct to see them as modern fanfictions. The most faithful adaptation of the Canon is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes from Granada Television, starring the wonderful Jeremy Brett. Though the series had its faults and there were more or less changes in the stories, it is considered the most faithful. It is highly enjoyable. The world of movies is fascinating, but the original adventures offer an exciting and thought-provoking journey. Never forget: Conan Doyle wrote the Canon – everything else is fanfiction.

In this article we would like to list as much Sherlock actors and movies as possible. You can read more detailed writings on those artists who are most familiar when you follow the links. We have to note that not all adaptations are accessible in Hungary, so we did not have the chance to see many of them. What we want to offer is a kind of overview.

You can easily navigate among the actors by clicking on their names.
You can return using " Top of the page: Sherlock Holmes actors "
This is a long article about 30 actors.
Actors list: A-M

ANTHONY HIGGINS
BASIL RATHBONE
BEN SYDER
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

CHARLTON HESTON
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER
DOUGLAS WILMER
EDWARD WOODWARD

JAMES D'ARCY
JEREMY BRETT
JONATHAN PRYCE
JONNY LEE MILLER

KÁROLY BAUMANN
LARRY HAGMAN
MATT FREWER
Actors list: N-W

NICHOLAS ROWE
NICOL WILLIAMSON

PETER COOK
PETER CUSHING

RICHARD ROXBURGH
ROBERT DOWNEY JR.
RONALD HOWARD
RUPERT EVERETT

SIR CHRISTOPHER LEE
SIR IAN MCKELLEN
SIR MICHAEL CAINE
SIR ROBERT STEPHENS
SIR ROGER MOORE

VASILY LIVANOV
WILLIAM GILLETTE
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ANTHONY HIGGINS

Anthony Higgins as Sherlock Holmes

Anthony Higgins played a detective, who was hibernated and found himself in the 1990s in the movie Sherlock Holmes Returns (1993). The master of logic had to get acquainted with the new environment, which was very amusing. Higgins was a good Holmes. He also played the enemy of the detective in the adaptation entitled Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), and he portrayed the sleuth in other films an even onstage. His acting was pleasant.


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BASIL RATHBONE

Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

The South African born British actor had a speciality: he chopped the end of the words. He appeared in 14 Sherlock movies between 1939 and 1946. His costar was Nigel Bruce, about whom lots of English critics say he was the most authentic Watson. Rathbone’s Sherlock was elegant, sophisticated but very lively and smart. In addition in many scenes he had a striking resemblance to the illustrations of Sidney Paget, and his shadow was the perfect Holmes silhouette. At that time Rathbone was held the perfect Sherlock, so just like later Jeremy Brett, he was identified with the character, though both actors were great in several other roles as well. Basil played the detective not even in black-and-white films, but onstage, in radio plays and commercials as well. Several of his Holmes films were later digitally remastered and coloured to be more enjoyable. More information: Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes

Note: We proudly mention that in his movie Dressed to Kill a beautiful Hungarian doll was sold by auction. Conan Doyle had several references to Hungary in the novels: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Hungary


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BEN SYDER

Ben Syder as Sherlock Holmes

Ben Syder starred in the 2010 movie Sherlock Holmes made by Asylum Films. It was quite a low budget piece and Holmes was Syder’s first movie role. His detective is young, short and usually calm man who even has to fight with a robot dinosaur.. The locations are nice but the creators showed no respect for the original novels – this way the brilliant Mycroft Holmes becomes a blackguard. The idea itself, to bring into the world of Holmes the atmosphere of another Doyle piece, namely The Lost World, is interesting, but the audience did not really like the movie. It is not a classic Sherlock Holmes adventure, so it is not the perfect choice for making the detective more popular.


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BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock

Benedict Cumberbatch plays the sleuth in the acclaimed Sherlock series of BBC. The creators placed Holmes into present-day Great Britain. It got around that the series is very faithful to the novels of Conan Doyle, but it is not exactly true. The writers made several changes in the stories, often modified characters and twisted storylines – so there is more fiction in this series than canon. Though there are some excellent, imaginative name or title alterations, and references throughout the episodes that are enjoyable specifically for those who read the novels and you can feel the love the creators nurture for their topic. We have to underline that while this modern Holmes considers his profession the most important, he did not yet find his real place in life, his character and personality is still evolving – because of this he is often arrogant, aggressive, and sometimes does not take the responsibility for his actions. (A good example for this is the scene when after talking with the boy who makes graffities he leaves John alone with the policeman.) With Season 3 creators wanted to please their teenager fans and the result is many insider joke that can easily be missed by those who are not so up-to-date with the series, and unfortunately Sherlock uses a gun instead of his brain. Hopefully later Sherlock will change positively – the Goethe bust in his bedroom is a good sign, his wisdom is worth to study not only for detectives, as he can tell useful things about the meaning of life. Holmes quoted from Goethe in Doyle’s works. ( More information here: Characterization of Sherlock Holmes ) The further characters of the series are more or less altered (Moriarty, Irene Adler), but they are exciting. Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and their costars are all fantastic actors, the adventures are interesting and have a great deal of humour in them. Some may find the pace of the events too fast compared to the classical adaptations, but it is more or less the requirement of the modern age. This series is a must see.

- It is good to keep in mind:
1, This adaptation is the source of the most dangerous misconceptions around the detective and the other characters, which does no good to Doyle's creations. - Misconceptions
2, In the modern age the sleuth is degraded to be a "simple" genius, while in the Victorian era Holmes was the genius of geniuses. - Recommended site: Mistakes of the modern Sherlock Holmes adaptations

MORE BBC SHERLOCK:

BBC Sherlock
BBC Sherlock series

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CHARLTON HESTON

Charlton Heston Sherlock Holmes

Charlton Heston played the pipe-smoking genius in The Crucifer of Blood (1991). The story is based on the characters of Conan Doyle. Heston successfully portrayed Holmes onstage as well (for a while Jeremy Brett was his Watson). He was already an acclaimed actor when he got the role of Sherlock, and he gives an accurate performance. His detective is an old man, but his mind is still sharp and his body is full of energy, there is no unsolved case for him. The film is worth to watch.


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CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER

Christopher Plummer as Sherlock Holmes

He was Sherlock Holmes in Murder by Decree (1979). His detective is a smart, sentimental and charitable man who is deeply aghast by the brutality and cruelty he has to face. He investigates the case of Jack the Ripper and finds out that the criminal belongs to the high society. This Holmes is a master of disguises, and is quite good in reasoning. The movie is old but we recommend it because Plummer is an excellent actor, the story is gripping and the sets are fine. Fans of the classical Holmes stories will like it. The actor is the cousin of Nigel Bruce, the most famous Watson. Plummer said Jeremy Brett is the best Sherlock Holmes for him. But he can be proud of his version as well. The versatile actor also played Sherlock in the short film Silver Blaze (1977).


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DOUGLAS WILMER

Douglas Wilmer as Sherlock Holmes

Douglas Wilmer played the detective in 13 episodes of the BBC series Sherlock Holmes between 1964 and 1965. This production is considered one of the best. Wilmer portrayed the character of the detective excellently. Later he reprised the role in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975). It is a comedy with Gene Wilder. Wilmer is a honorary member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, who appeared in the episode The Reichenbach Fall of Sherlock in 2012 as a member of the Diogenes Club. - Recommended site: Intellectual Parasites Of Diogenes - IPOD Club


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EDWARD WOODWARD

Edward Woodward as Sherlock Holmes

The British actor portrayed an elderly Holmes in Hands of the Murderer (1990). His detective is shrewd, brave and captivating. In the story we can find Moriarty who is just escaping the gallows, a treacherous lady and an assault that threats the whole nation. It is a really pleasureable movie. Those who liked Charlton Heston in The Crucifer of Blood will very likely enjoy Edward Woodward’s acting.


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JAMES D'ARCY

James D'Arcy Sherlock Holmes Evil Case

He was the title hero in Sherlock - Case of Evil (2002). The movie itself is awful. It tries to explain how the sleuth’s extraordinary abilities developed and why Mycroft Holmes became such a loner. The idea is good, but the realization is horrible and unnatural. Creators wanted to justify Sherlock’s drug use with the fact that Professor Moriarty forced him to be an addict. This shows writers sadly missed the fact that Holmes needed cocaine or other stimulants only when he had no case to keep his mind occupied. The movie depicts the kind and noble dr. Watson as a disgusting idiot. There is only one good part in the movie: when Sherlock and Mycroft deduce remarkable things about strangers – though the scene originates from the adventure of The Greek Interpreter. No doubt that filmmakers wanted to earn lots of money with this film, but did not really succeed.

It is worth to mention that Mycroft was played by the fantastic British actor Richard E. Grant, who took part in another Holmes-related movie, he was Stapleton in The Hound of the Baskervilles (2002). You can watch a Sherlock Holmes documentary narrated by the actor here: Elementary My Dear Viewer


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JEREMY BRETT

Jeremy Brett

Jeremy Brett gave an outstanding performance as the legendary Victorian detective. His Holmes was stricter and sadder than Doyle’s hero, but he still became extremely famous and countless Sherlock fans liked him worldwide. Jeremy Brett’s acting reproduced the sleuth’s love for his profession, his temperament, his vanity, his impishness and crookedness with singular adherence to the original. He absolutely understood the workaholism of Holmes, and he came up with several ideas that were incorporated into the episodes. He decided to be the best Sherlock Holmes of all time. He studied the character of the pipe smoking detective so thoroughly that he even learned the hand movements described by Doyle. Unlike other Holmes actors he dared to use snappy mimic and to crawl on the ground looking for clues. These little things added to his realistic portrayal. Unfortunately as years passed, Jeremy’s health deteriorated, production costs were cut, many crew members left the show and there were more and more alterations in the screenplays of the last few episodes. Creators wanted to film all the adventures, but Brett’s sickness and death did not allow it. Yet this is the most faithful adaptation and it covers most stories of the canon.

Though his beloved wife died and his condition worsened, Jeremy Brett did a heroic job – and this made him worthy to Sherlock Holmes, the genius immensed into his profession.

Brett portrayed Sherlock successfully onstage for years in the play The Secret of Sherlock Holmes. In addition, he played the role of Watson besides legendary Hollywood star Charlton Heston’s Holmes in The Crucifer of Blood. Jeremy told in an interview that playing Watson helped him a lot to understand the eccentricity of the detective.

As a part of ITV’s Telethon (a charity event) Jeremy also impersonated Holmes. But the actor was so immensely popular that he was often asked to „play” Holmes in the streets.

„I have no doubt that few performances in the history of television drama were as perfect, passionate, exquisitely realised and definitely delivered as that of Jeremy Brett’s extraordinary Sherlock Holmes.” – told Stephen Fry, British actor, writer, humorist and filmmaker.

We also have to mention that Jeremy Brett had a very energetic voice which gave his Holmes elemental power. Unfortunately not a single dubbed version could give an experience similar to the original. Hungarian Sherlock fans are very lucky, because an outstanding actor, László Tahi Tóth lent his voice to Brett’s detective. Thanks to him and the dubbing crew the Hungarian version of the series is excellent. - Here you can read more about the actors who dubbed the great detective: The dubbed versions of Sherlock Holmes

The charitable Jeremy Brett
A fantastic actor with a good heart: The charitable Jeremy Brett


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JONATHAN PRYCE

Jonathan Pryce Sherlock Holmes

Pryce starred in Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars (2007). His detective is like a kind grandfather, but even Sherlock cannot be young forever. The film has nothing to do with Doyle’s Canon or with the novel series by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin under the same title. According to the story two Scotland Yard officers are poisoned and the clues lead to Holmes. The sleuth becomes a suspect and he is under house arrest – the Irregulars have to investigate the case. The evil of the movie is not Moriarty, this time Irene Adler is the cold-blooded murderer. The set and the costumes are nice, and the creators tried to modernize the story. English viewers do not really like this version because of the changes in characters and the story and the fact that it is much below the standards set by the Granada series.


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JONNY LEE MILLER

Jonny Lee Miller Sherlock Holmes

The British actor portrays the world famous detective in Elementary since 2012. His Holmes is a police consultant in present-day New York, who has a female Watson as his partner. Miller’s sleuth is not so eccentric and rude as the title hero of BBC’s Sherlock, and he truly respects his partner. The main characters understand the emotions of each other, they can help each other. Cops are not portrayed as stupid and they can work together with the consultants successfully. This Holmes has a really good heart. In the series there are many references to the original adventures. From the leading actors of the modern Holmes adaptations Miller resembles the most to the classic Sidney Paget illustrations. More information: CBS Elementary

Walter Paget, Sherlock Holmes, Jonny Lee Miller

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KÁROLY BAUMANN

Károly Baumann

Originally Károly Grünberg (1871-1920) was a Hungarian actor and singer who had a play with songs about the sleuth entitled Sherlock Hochmec, the Greatest Detective. The adventures of Holmes were accessible in Hungary as cheap booklets. Baumann is very important because he acted and sang in Hungarian when the official language of the cultural life was German. Acknowledging his efforts, the capital gave him a honorary grave. The creators of Sherlockian-Sherlock.com are very proud of the actor. More information: Károly Baumann


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LARRY HAGMAN

Charlton Heston Sherlock Holmes

Hagman played a modern-day „detective” in The Return of the World’s Greatest Detective (1976). He has a female Watson, a police psychiatrist as his helper. The ironic movie is quite enjoyable and has several references to the Canon. More information: Larry Hagman


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MATT FREWER

Matt Frewer Sherlock Holmes

The actor played Holmes in four Hallmark Channel TV movies: in The Hound of the Baskervilles (2001), in The Sign of Four (2001), in The Royal Scandal (2001) and in The Case of the Whitechapel Vampire (2002). There are some changes in the stories and new elements are also added, so they are not completely faithful to the Canon. Sometimes two stories are melted together. The character of Watson is quite weak, and Frewer’s acting divides viewers, some like him, others not. In some countries there are poor quality dubbed versions of the films which spoils the pleasure as well. His detective wears the deerstalker in London, though this special hat is originally part of the country outfit. Our opinion is that this series is not the best choice as the first encounter with the character of Sherlock Holmes. - Recommended site: Deerstalker of Sherlock Holmes


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NICHOLAS ROWE

Nicholas Rowe Sherlock Holmes

He put on Sherlock’s hat in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). It is more like a tale than a detective story, but the writers knew the characteristics of the sleuth very well. At the end credits the differences between the movie and the Canon are listed. Those who liked the Harry Potter movies will enjoy this rendition. The special effects are great and the scene of the killer sect reminds us of an Indiana Jones film. This version’s Watson is a kind cookie lover.

Recommended article: Harry Potter and Sherlock Holmes

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NICOL WILLIAMSON

Nicol as Sherlock Holmes

He is a great actor, though at the beginning of The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) he easily persuades us that he is terrible. It soon turns out that his Sherlock is annoying because he is close to death thanks to his drug addiction. To save him, Watson takes Holmes to Vienna, where dr. Sigmund Freud cures him. Being there, the duo gets involved in some exciting adventures. An elder and famous singer is in danger. Sherlock, in full possession of his wonderful skills again, begins to investigate, but he has two helpers: Watson and Sigmund Freud. With outstanding teamwork they solve the case. It is a likeable movie with interesting details. Under the credits we can see illustrations from Sydney Paget, and the cast includes Charles Gray, who can be familiar from the Granada Sherlock Holmes series, and Laurence Olivier, the legendary actor, who plays Professor Moriarty.


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PETER COOK

Peter Cook Dudley Moore Baskervilles

Maybe Peter Cook could have been an excellent Sherlock Holmes actor, but this will never turn out. His comedy The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the most awful adaptations ever sold with the legendary character. It is full of pathetic, unnatural and disgusting jokes. Naturally we cannot expect anything else from a movie of which its poster stated we will p… ourselves laughing. Sadly the film rather makes us cry from the physical pain it causes. It would not be rightful to judge the acting abilities of Peter Cook solely based on this movie. What is unpardonable that he wrote the story together with his friend Dudley Moore. Moore plays dr. Watson and some other male and female characters as well, what does no good to the standards of the production. This adaptation is a tragedy, and not a comedy. But we have to note that Cook and Moore were significant comedians of black humour. They were role models of Hungarian humorist Miklós Galla, who made black humour popular in Hungary.

Interestingly, Peter Cook had a small role in the film Without a Clue, starring Michael Caine.


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PETER CUSHING

Peter Cushing Sherlock Holmes

He starred in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), which was the first Sherlock colour movie. He appeared in the 16 episodes of the series Sherlock Holmes (1968) and in The Masks of Death (1984). His Holmes is mesmerizing. He simply glows from the love towards his profession. Investigating is a true joy and thrill for him. The character is chiselled, for example when arriving to the crime scene he thoroughly looks around on the street and in the garden. He is a very humane and good-hearted sleuth, and his adventures can be enjoyable for the fans of the Canon or those who love British theatre. Cushing’s detective is calmer and happier than Brett’s, he is more similar to the Holmes of Vasily Livanov or Basil Rathbone. You can read more about this brilliant actor here: Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes


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RICHARD ROXBURGH

Richard Roxburgh as Sherlock Holmes

The Australian actor played the legendary detective in the 2002 BBC production The Hound of the Baskervilles with Ian Hart as Watson. Another TV movie was planned with the duo, but in the end Holmes was played by Rupert Everett in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004), because Roxburgh went to Prague to shoot Van Helsing.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is not the best adaptation of the story, but a fairly good one. The creators succeeded in evoking the Victorian atmosphere, and though there are some changes in the events, it is really enjoyable. When the movie came out, many were upset because of the looks of Holmes. It is true that Roxburgh is not „canonical” (skinny, pale and dark haired), but he is a believable super sleuth. Interestingly shortly after finishing Hound, the actor played Professor Moriarty, the nemesis of the detective in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003).

As for the characteristics of his Holmes, he is more likely to the classical portrayals of Rathbone and Brett. He has a fantastic voice (it is obvious that he was a successful and acclaimed stage actor), he is elegant, observant and sometimes sarcastic. My opinion is that the only serious failure in this adaptation is that Holmes and Watson do not really trust each other and it is even stressed in the end of the film. Some people remonstrate that Holmes does not wear a deerstalker and he smokes cigarettes, not pipes, but these are just minor things and are more or less misbeliefs. For example, Jeremy Brett’s sleuth also smoked cigarettes and cigars, not just pipes, and the deerstalker was the part of Sherlock’s country outfit.


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ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

Robert Downey Sherlock Holmes movie

He plays the title hero in the Guy Ritchie movies Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011). These films are very popular, but they have almost nothing to do with Doyle’s hero. Their Holmes has good deductive skills, but he rather fights than takes the time to think logically. And his appearance is quite ravaged. Seeing him we may think his temperament is very sad, he just idles day after day and he is rarely happy. He does not really take care of himself. He revives only when his life is full of action. We hope as time passes, he will find happiness in everyday life, and the same goes to BBC’s Sherlock.

The strength of the movies lies in the modern action and fight scenes, but sometimes the creators carry things too far, there are too many shootings and explosions. Sherlock’s disguises look great only when they are generated by computers. Special effects are of extremely high quality. The cast is brilliant, lots of renowned actors appear in the films. They are worth to watch, because Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law give outstanding performances. The score is wonderful, thanks to the fantastic Hans Zimmer.

Sherlock Holmes Online Games

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RONALD HOWARD

Ronald Howard Sherlock Holmes

Ronald Howard is not widely known in Hungary, where the creators of the site live, but we are proud of the fact that he is of Hungarian origin and we think he deserves an article for his Holmes portrayal. You can read more here: Ronald Howard as Sherlock Holmes


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RUPERT EVERETT

Rupert Everett as Sherlock Holmes

Everett played Holmes in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Silk Stocking (2004). His detective has most of the characteristics of Doyle’s hero and there are lots of classic Holmes quotes in the movie. He is an outstanding actor and the adaptation is enjoyable, but the character of the detective seemed shallow for many fans after Jeremy Brett’s mesmerizing portrayal, so the film was not as popular as BBC expected.


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SIR CHRISTOPHER LEE

Christopher Lee as Sherlock Holmes

The actor played the legendary sleuth in the movies Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1991) and Incident at Victoria Falls (1992). These show the investigations of an elder Holmes, and he is quite like a grandfather. The events are slow, so these films are not suitable for those who love fast action and adventure. They are rather adventure movies and not detective stories. In the first one Hungary is one of the locations, and Sherlock and Irene Adler have romantic feelings towards each other. We have to note that Sir Christopher played Mycroft Holmes in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), the detective himself in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962), and Sir Henry in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) – in the latter Holmes was portrayed by Peter Cushing. The two actors were very close friends.

Note: Doyle had several references to Hungary in the novels: Conan Doyle and Hungary


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SIR IAN MCKELLEN

Ian Mckellen Mr. Holmes

’Mr. Holmes’ is a 2015 BBC production. Those who are accustomed to Benedict Cumberbatch’s fast, brutal and young detective will be disappointed to see the main character of this film. Mr. Holmes is an old man and he faces losing his memory, while he has to bear the burden of his past deeds as well. Undoubtedly Sir Ian McKellen is an excellent actor, who genuinely portrays the sleuth. The sets for the film are fascinatingly cozy, we see wonderful landscapes and the colours are intense. But the protagonist resembles Conan Doyle’s hero only in his name and in some minor characteristics. His name could be anything else, it would make no difference. The story barely has any crime-related plot, it rather shows the tragic days of an old man and his friendship with a young boy. It places emphasis on the fact how much old people are neglected. They are physically and mentally defenceless.

This film contains only minor hints on Sherlock Holmes which are half true. Watch it if you’d like to see a non-violent story on a bittersweet, quiet night. On a night, when we are interested in the authentic acting of Sir Ian McKellen and Milo Parker. This is the latter's first movie role.


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SIR MICHAEL CAINE

Michael Caine as Sherlock Holmes

In Without a Clue (1988) Caine plays an actor who is called upon by dr. Watson to impersonate the detective who is well-known from The Strand Magazine. In this adaptation Watson is the genius, while Holmes is a mere sidekick. The comedy is gorgeous (, but many jokes are lost from the Hungarian version because of the poor dubbing.) Sir Michael Caine and Sir Ben Kingsley are excellent British actors and they really enjoy their parts. Kingsley read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in 2007 for an audiobook.


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SIR ROBERT STEPHENS

Robert Stephens The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Robert Stephens donned the deerstalker in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1976). It was a funny movie, with numerous references to the original stories. And, in spite of the title, the detective remains a bachelor. Stephens was a fantastic, acclaimed actor. Him and Jeremy Brett became lifelong friends while both were in the company of the Library Theatre in Manchester. They shared rooms and roles and served as each other’s best man. It is said they had conversations about the character of Holmes. Stephens was astonishingly unforced in each role he played. Yet, he was always very anxious about his performances. He almost died while portraying Holmes, and according to his wife the role of King Lear shortened his life with years.

The score of the film was the work of Hungarian composer Miklós Rózsa (1907-1995). It used themes from another of his works, from Violin Concerto Op. 24. We are very proud of this connection between Sherlock Holmes and Hungary. The composer was nominated for the Oscar ten times, and he won the award three times. You can hear his music in several famous movies. (Spellbound, Ben-Hur, A Double Life) He met success in concert halls too and taught the composing of film music at the University of Southern California for 20 years. He was the first film music teacher in the United States.

More information: Sherlock Holmes and Hungary


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SIR ROGER MOORE

Roger Moore Sherlock Holmes in New York

The legendary actor impersonated Holmes in Sherlock Holmes in New York (1976). According to the plot Irene Adler has a son, whose father is the sleuth. Because of this we cannot regard the movie as a classic adaptation, it rather seems to be a version of The Saint or a James Bond story. Moore is excellent as always, but this rendition is too far from the genius of Conan Doyle’s Canon. The story is a romance, and not a detective drama.


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VASILY LIVANOV

Vasily Livanov Sherlock Holmes

He played Sherlock in eleven episodes (edited into five TV movies) between 1979 and 1986 in Russian television. The stories sometimes melted two original adventures, but the creators took care of the details and the sets reflected the Victorian era excellently. Livanov’s Holmes was not so strict as Brett’s and he smiled more often. Dr. Watson was portrayed by Vitali Solomin. English viewers liked the series very much. Livanov was honored with the title Member of the Order of British Empire in 2002 for his performance. We plan to publish a separate article dealing with the fantastic actor.


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WILLIAM GILLETTE

William Gillette Sherlock Holmes

William Gillette played Holmes in silent movies as well, he is more famous from portraying the leading character more than 1300 times in a stage play that was written by himself. He added so many things to the figure that he deserves to have a separate article. You can read here: William Gillette, the true friend of Sherlock Holmes


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" SHERLOCK HOLMES ACTORS - The actors who played the greatest detective "
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Authors: Revati and SherlockExtra - Translator: Revati - © All rights reserved.


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Sherlock Holmes is The World's Greatest Detective. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the canon. EVERYTHING else is fanfiction.

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