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Conan Doyle | Cinema | Radio | Television

Jeremy Brett (1933-1995)

jb.gif (13537 bytes)Born Peter Jeremy William Huggins on 3rd November 1933, the British actor Jeremy Brett was best known for his brilliant portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in a series of episodes for British television filmed between 1984 and 1994. His intense and ascerbic Holmes was an immediate hit with audiences and remains popular in reruns. Other actors featured included David Burke as Dr Watson until 1985, Edward Hardwicke as Dr Watson from 1986.

During his distinguished 40-year career, however, his repertoire included such diverse roles as the foppish Freddie Eynsford-Hill in the 1964 film version of My Fair Lady, Bassanio, Robert Browning, Che Guevara, Dracula, and even Dr. Watson in a 1980 Los Angeles production of the play The Crucifer of Blood, with Charlton Heston as Holmes.

He died of Cardiomyopathy on September 12, 1995

brett2.jpg (18290 bytes)"Jeremy Brett added something to the character of Holmes that no one else whom I have seen has done: He brought a sense of humor to the part. And he and David Burke and Edward Hardwicke let us know that this Holmes was very good friends with John Watson. I think that Sherlock Holmes badly needed this sort of treatment. Conan Doyle never intended Holmes to be taken as seriously as some Sherlockians take him. I see many comic elements in the stories, and these were beautifully dramatized in shows like The Redheaded League and The Copper Beaches, to say nothing of the little routines that were occasionally interpolated in other shows, showing the quirks and problems that roommates can have - particularly these, the most famous roommates in literature.

Heston and Brett (Crucifer of Blood).jpg (9706 bytes)
An earlier role, as Dr. Watson in the 1980 stage production The Crucifer of Blood, with Charlton Heston.

"That was their revolutionary contribution to this tired genre, and the credit for this belongs very much to these three actors. I cannot imagine Brett's Sherlock without his two Watsons, and I am surprised that you didn't have us rate them as a team. Perhaps it is because there really is no argument that the latter two gentlemen are the best who ever played the part of John Watson (with the possible exception of Jeremy Brett, who wowed 'em in Los Angeles 20 years ago in The Crucifer of Blood)" - Nancy Beiman

More on Jeremy Brett's performances can be found at Sherlock Holmes Onscreen.

The Granada TV series consisted of 36 episodes and 4 films in 6 series from 1984 to 1994.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes>(1984-1985, produced by Michael Cox)

  • The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986-1988, produced by June Wyndham-Davies)
  • The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1991, produced by Michael Cox) 2 hours movies
  • The Master Blackmailer, The Last Vampyre, The Eligible Bachelor, (1994, produced by June Wyndham-Davies)
  • The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1994, produced by June Wyndham-Davies)