Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jeremy Brett's Birth Day

Today is the birthday of the most elegant Holmes ever to grace a deerstalker hat: Jeremy Brett. (1933-1995) He is, now and forever, the Ultimate Sherlock Holmes. Though I have fond memories and a great deal of affection for the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce duo in Holmes movies of the 1940's, it is Jeremy Brett who, for me, most embodied Holmes as he was written in the Arthur Conan Doyle stories. Brett had the facility of allowing you to see Holmes think. He brought a steely grace and a whole retinue of quirky, often exagerated, mannerisms to the role which endeared Holmes to me even more.

I talked about Jeremy Brett and the excellent Granada TV Sherlock Holmes series several weeks ago. If you'd like to revisit, here's the link.

Happy Birthday, Jeremy Brett. Wish you were still with us.
Read more about Brett and the series, over at squeezegut alley.
In case you didn't know: You can watch all the Granada Sherlock Holmes shows with Jeremy Brett over at Netflix. They have them (very conveniently) on Instant Play. I watch them on my computer whenever the mood hits.


  1. A lovely tribute, Yvette. Like you, Rathbone is very close to my heart but Brett will always be the ultimate Holmes. It struck me looking at the photos you'd chosen just how stylish Brett was in the role. I think this is something that really appealed to me as a teenager (I started wearing a fob watch to school as a result!). I especially like that one of Brett and Burke above - they just look perfect in the roles!

  2. Thanks for this, Yvette. Brett is one of my idols. He was quite simply superb.

  3. Nicolas: Yes, Jeremy Brett was IT. A fob watch is a very cool thing! I liked Burke as Watson a lot. I've always wondered why he didn't continue in the role. He was a very dynamic Watson.

  4. Roberta: You're welcome, thanks for dropping by. Brett was a very special actor and as Holmes, he reached his zenith. Holmes now and forever.

  5. Re: Burke. I believe he was offered a season at the Royal Shakespeare Company which also meant he could spend more time with his family. It was Burke who recommended Edward Hardwicke as his replacement! While I love Hardwicke in the role, I do tend to lean towards the Burke episodes for preference. Dynamic is a good word to describe them.

    Oh, and the fob is cool, and much loved. I still wear it from time to time!

  6. Thanks so much for letting me know, Nicolas. I hadn't realized that Burke recommended Hardwicke. I thought Hardwicke was especially good in THE ADVENTURE OF THE EMPTY HOUSE, when Holmes comes back from the dead. I liked him too, but there was just something about Burke...

  7. I would just like to say that Jeremy Brett was truly amazing. I doubt there will ever be someone like him ever again and i'm truly sad that i wasn't around when he was alive. I have watched all the Sherlock Holmes that he played and i have read about his life and family. I feel sorry that he became such a great actor, yet his father made him change his name for the families sake. I'm not quite sure if he lived a happy life: his wives died and he never really recovered from the second wife's death. |to sum it all up, it's birlliant to find another person who truly appreciates Jeremy Brett.

  8. Mash Mash: There are a lot of us who love Jeremy Brett's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes. To my mind, he was the perfect Holmes. There will never be anyone like him.

    I don't think he lived a 'happy' life either, but at least, he gave us a superb Holmes to remember him by.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. ;)


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