Saturday, May 21, 2011

Edward Hardwicke (1932-2011) - Dr. John Watson

Edward Hardwicke died Tuesday (May 17) at the age of 78. (His Obituary) He was an actor at age 10! I know him from the Grenada Television Sherlock Holmes series - he played Dr. John Watson. (An awesome role in and of itself, I think.) He played to Jeremy Brett's very cool portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

I watched some of this series in college and then again recently. I've only seen Edward Hardwicke in a handful of the Sherlock Holmes eps but he made his impression on me. He was so soft-spoken and gentle - if I were Watson I'd want to reach out and strangle Holmes on a regular basis!!

Have you seen his Watson? In The Dying Detective, he broke my heart when Sherlock Holmes announced he wanted a doctor he had confidence in, not Watson, and Watson/Hardwicke's face!

And in The Boscombe Valley Mystery, when Holmes asks if Watson (who is on vacation) would accompany him on a case. Watson says of course he'll come. Holmes seemed surprised and grateful - then said their train leaves in 35 minutes.

Edward Hardwicke's performance of Watson reminded me so much of Clive Swift's portrayal of Richard Hyacinth on Keeping Up Appearances. The sweet, kind, ever patient, completely reliable, loyal, long-suffering partner.

He said this about the role: "Close friendships need humour and tolerance. Watson needs a sense of humour to survive Holmes' worst excesses."

I adored his Watson and think he brought an understated intelligence to the role.

Edward Hardwicke will be missed by fans around the world, but never forgotten.

What do you think about his take on the timeless Dr. John Watson?

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