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In remembrance of Jeremy Brett

Created by Revati, Radix Pedis Diaboli and SherlockExtra - Translator: Revati

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„ Jeremy Brett is not like Sherlock Holmes, he IS Sherlock Holmes ” – many sources tell this from the brilliant British actor. It is true, the world famous detective in his interpretation set the sample for the upcoming generation of actors, even if his Sherlock was more strict and sad than Doyle’s original. In this article we would like to show how the memory of Jeremy Brett is treasured. Let’s begin with the opinion of actors and other artists.

Stephen Fry, British humorist, writer, actor and filmmaker

„ 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. ” - Quote from the BAFTA petition comments (provided by

Jeremy Brett and Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry Jeremy Brett

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Sir Ian McKellen, who also portrayed Sherlock (Mr. Holmes)

Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes

„ My favourite Sherlock Holmes, to date, was the late Jeremy Brett for Granada TV in UK in 1984 for 10 years. He co-joined the neurotic and the narcotic and made the detective utterly believable – and dangerous. ”

( Source: Ian McKellen - Facebook, 29/09/2020 17:39 )

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Benedict Cumberbatch, the title hero of BBC’s Sherlock

„ He was magisterial and tragic ”

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jeremy Brett

The Sherlock star admires one of the most iconic incarnations of the great detective – and rues his descent into mental illness. Some Sherlock Holmes fans would cite Basil Rathbone as the ultimate screen incarnation of the detective – these days, others might suggest Benedict Cumberbatch himself – but for very many devotees of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation, one man, Jeremy Brett, inhabited the role like no-one else. They'll be pleased, then, to hear that Sherlock star Cumberbatch is also a huge admirer of Brett’s work on the Granada series The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which ran for a decade between 1984 and 1994. “ I saw that version when I was growing up, I remember at my nan’s in Brighton we used to watch that on the telly, ” said Cumberbatch, “ but I know much more of it now having watched it after we first incarnated our version of him. ” Cumberbatch said he had always been impressed by Brett’s portrayal. “ Even when I was younger I was still struck by this extraordinary hawk-like, magisterial, cold disconnect, ” he told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. “ And this incredible physique, as well - that wonderful beak of a nose, the swept back hair, the lips and those slightly mad eyes, which, sadly, became a lot madder. ” Cumberbatch called Brett’s infamous descent into mental illness “a tragedy” that “shaped the performance – which was extraordinary – but at such a cost to the man.” ( Source: )

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Edward Hardwicke, Jeremy’s second Watson

Edward Hardwicke and Jeremy Brett

„ Jeremy was wonderful. It was a bit like playing tennis with a great tennis player. (…) And he had the ability…I never really understood how he did it – that he was able to bring the whiff of Edwardian acting onto the small screen, which is minimalist television….And we shared the same sense of humour….And he made it very easy, he would do extraordinary things…He had some very, very eccentric habits. He was an extraordinary man… he was an outstanding Holmes. ”

Video by: SherlockExtra
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Eric Porter on the role of Moriarty and on Brett

Eric Porter and Jeremy Brett

" [Moriarty] is such an incredibly complex figure--in his way every bit as obsessed and driven as Holmes--that even on the brief canvas of his appearance in The Final Problem there are still endless opportunities for an actor to pursue. I have always felt some of the performances of the earlier Moriartys lacked any real depth. He was just played as an unregenerate villain without any attempt to show the real motivations of ego and pride that drove him to the confrontation with Holmes to prove which of them was the better man. I found acting with Jeremy Brett a splendid challenge, too, for he was so deeply involved with Holmes that he understood every nerve and fibre of the man. I like to think I gave a good account of Moriarty--though like Jeremy I could hardly bear to watch the two stunt men going over the cliffs. "

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Denise Black, who also portrayed Carrie Evans (Shoscombe Old Place)

Denise Black actress

„ I don't know what it was about Jeremy Brett but I fell in in love with him immediately and unconditionally and have never reviewed it. He was so very, very special as Sherlock Holmes, a very special human being I think. "

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The following six opinions were made accessible by In Memory of Jeremy Brett website (formerly BAFTA 4 JB): - They were listed with the now closed petition "The Give Jeremy Brett a Posthumous BAFTA Award Petition". Please note that the comments and opinions are no more public. Our sincere thanks for Stacey Wardle, administrator of the site for the generous help.

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Jonathan Hyde, who played Culverton Smith in The Dying Detective

Jonathan Hyde and Jeremy Brett

„ A fabulous, charismatic actor, wonderful onstage and on both big and little screens, and, particularly in his signature role, when I almost killed him in an episode, but was, not surprisingly, outwitted. ”

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Christopher Plummer, who also portrayed Holmes (Murder by decree)

Christopher Plummer as Sherlock Holmes

„ His Sherlock Holmes for example, which made him an international star, is the best interpretation of the role I have ever seen - the most complete, the most eccentric, the truest by far. ”

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What artists told about Jeremy Brett

Carole Nelson Douglas

Carole Nelson Douglas, American writer of Irene Adler books

„ Jeremy Brett was a brilliant actor, and when he came to the task of playing Sherlock Holmes, his fresh and captivating portrayal totally reinvigorated the character. He drew on elements in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories that had been forgotten or downplayed by previous enactments, capturing the mercurial and eccentric nature of the character as well as its deeply human qualities. That created controversy at first, but many came to hail this as an original, incandescent and supremely logical depiction of Holmes, not to mention peerlessly entertaining. ”

Gyles Brandreth

Gyles Brandreth, British writer, former politician

„ Jeremy Brett was the definitive Sherlock Holmes. His in depth interpretation of this complex and world famous fictional character was breath-taking and could not be surpassed. ”

Michael Cox

Michael Cox,
British producer and Sherlock Holmes fan (the Granada series was made from his idea)

„ He never received the award he deserved for such a remarkable piece of acting but over the years, he came to realise how much he had achieved and what pleasure he had given to millions of people from young children to the oldest and most critical Sherlockians. ”

Sir David Hare

Sir David Hare, British playwright and director

„ I have always been an admirer of Jeremy Brett. He was a fine British actor and deserves to be acknowledged for his talent. ”

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You can read the second part of the article here:

In memory of Jeremy Brett

In remembrance of Jeremy Brett

Sherlockian Holmesian

Recommended site:

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Jeremy Brett: Sherlock Holmes, the Granada series

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