Saturday, July 26, 2014

A Character Which This World-Renowned Actor Has Stamped With Undying Fame -- July 26, 2014

Moving Picture World, 01-April-1916

The first actor to become famous for playing Sherlock Holmes was American William Gillette.

Arthur Conan Doyle had killed Sherlock Holmes in 1893, but, needing money, was happy to let Gillette write a four act play, Sherlock Holmes, or The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner. In fact, Gillette had to write the play twice, because the first manuscript burned in the fire at Lucky Baldwin's Hotel and Theater at Powell and Market in San Francisco on 23-November-1898. Gillette played Holmes more than 1300 times, and his play was the basis for later films with John Barrymore and Basil Rathbone. The play also introduced a love interest for Holmes, Alice Faulkner.

Gillette played Holmes in a 1916 Essanay feature film, which is believed to be lost.  Many people felt Gillette was too old by the time the film was produced. 

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