Four Actors Who Played Sherlock Holmes

Jul - 23 2017 | By


Sherlock Holmes is one of the most portrayed fictional characters that the world has ever known. Even during the lifetime of his creator Arthur Conan Doyle, actors were treading the boards and bringing the master detective to life. So famous did the character become than many people actually mistake him for a real character and send letters to 221b Baker Street in the hope that he can help them out with their little problems. Here are four of the best actors to portray Holmes during his long history.

Benedict Cumberbatch

As on of the most recent actors to take on this famous role, a lot laid in the hands of Benedict Cumberbatch when he first graced our screens. Bringing Holmes into the modern day was not a new idea and had actually been done before as long ago as the 2nd World War, although it was a risk still. Happily the risk paid off and the adaptation know only as Sherlock, became one of the BBC’s biggest programmes for a long time, selling all over the world.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Basil Rathbone

Basil Rathbone is the name that most older people will associate with the character and having played him so many times during his life, it is no surprise. The Rathbone Holmes was fairly close to the character laid out in the books although the producers did take quite a few liberties with the story lines in certain episodes. These adaptations made Watson out to be quite a bungling idiot at times, although in the books he is often very helpful to Holmes when it comes to solving cases.

Robert Downey Jnr.

When Guy Richie said that he was going to make a Sherlock Holmes film, a lot of people laughed. Could the man famous for creating Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch really turn his had to something as loved as Sherlock Holmes. Well, gladly the answer was a resounding yes. Although crammed full of fight scenes and action packed chases, the two films Richie made have strong plots, are well acted and there is a twist around every corner.


Jeremy Brett

In my humble opinion, Jeremy was born to play the role of Holmes and in the early episode especially he nailed his performance perfectly. One of the best aspects about ;The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’, and ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’ is that they stayed so true to the original text. A lot of adaptations in the past have strayed somewhat, adding new story lines here and there and changing characters beyond recognition, but if you want a true sense of what Conan Doyle intended when he first put pen to paper, this adaptation is as near as you will get.