NO SH*T SHERLOCKBrilliant, awkward, cold, Benedict Cumberbatch’s narcissistic Holmes has set the gold standard for crime drama heroes, but the world’s most famous super-sleuth has had many faces.
You can group us in with the “Cumberbitches”, the legions of Benedict Cumberbatch’s self-labelled female fans who caught on early to the rangy actor’s rising star. Already a TV staple before his breakout as the super-sleuth in the BBC series Sherlock, Cumberbatch has gone on to roles in The Hobbit, been nominated for an Oscar in The Imitation Game, and is in Black Mass, the upcoming film about infamous mobster Whitey Bulger, starring Johnny Depp. But it’s his portrayal of the modern-day Sherlock Holmes that got us onto his bandwagon. After trying to kill him off, it seems the habit of shutting down promising shows (The Office, The IT Crowd) has finally been bucked and Holmes and Dr Watson (Martin Freeman) are back not just for a 2015 Christmas special, but for a whole Season 4, which starts filming in early 2016 . Elementary.
But the world’s most famous detective has had many faces over the years, according to Guinness World Records he is one of the “most portrayed movie characters” in history, with over 70 actors playing the part in over 200 films. Here are some of the most iconic portrayals of the super-sleuth.
The South African born English actor was the first “real” face of Sherlock Holmes on the silver screen, playing the character in 14 films between 1939 and 1947. The actor would later find it difficult to shake the association with the famous deerstalker cap and Inverness cape as a result of this.
The character was given the Hammer touch in 1959’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. Horror legend Peter Cushing took on the mantle of Sherlock Holmes in the first ever Sherlock film to be filmed in colour. He went on to play the detective in a number of films and a TV adaptation.
Robert Downey Jr.
The Iron Man picked up the pipe and indulged in narcotics of all kinds for 2009’s Hollywood blockbuster and its sequel in 2011. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the films brought a touch of humour and action to the character in a way only Downey Jr. and the British director could.
This refreshingly new twist on the tale sees Ian McKellen portray a 93-year-old Holmes, living out his days in retirement and struggling to recall the details of his final case while his mind begins to deteriorate.