THE IDEAL HOLMES SHOW; as the Latest Incarnation Storms the Box Office, Who IS the Definitive Sherlock?
Byline: CLAIRE COHEN
YOU need only three clues to his identity; a tweed cape, a deerstalker hat and a pipe. Elementary, my dear reader -- Sherlock Holmes is back. Directed by Guy Ritchie, this latest incarnation sees the great detective -- played by Robert Downey Jnr -- reinvented as an arrogant, swashbuckling, womanising Victorian hero. But ever since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned the first Sherlock Holmes story -- A Study In Scarlet -- in 1887, his character has never been far from the limelight. There have been more than 260 Holmes films, two musicals, various radio plays -- and even a ballet. All in all, more than 200 actors have played him. Here, CLAIRE COHEN takes a look at the most distinguished ...
1920 BRITISH actor Eilee Norwood holds the record for playing Holmes -- with 47 silent films
1922 HOLMES was John Barrymore in this silent movie by William Gillette, who gave him the deerstalker and pipe
1929 THE first Holmes film to have sound starred Clive Brook. It also contains the first use of the phrase 'Elementary, my dear Watson'
1939 BASIL RATHBONE is best-known for his articulate, acerbic portrayal of Holmes with a real ability to adopt a disguise
1959 PETER CUSHING had a long association with the character -- but would rather have swept floors than repeat the experience
1962 HAMMER film star Christopher Lee not only donned the deerstalker but also later played Mycroft (Sherlock's brother)
1970 BILLY WILDER'S vision of Holmes as a man riddled with self-doubt drove classical actor Robert Stephens to despair
1976 HOLMES popped up in New York looking rather like Roger Moore, at the height of his success as 007. …