London: Sherlock Holmes actor Douglas Wilmer has died at the age of 96. He donned the famous deerstalker in the mid-1960s to play Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s character in a BBC series. Wilmer died in hospital in Ipswich on Thursday after suffering from pneumonia, Roger Johnson, the spokesman for the Sherlock Holmes Society Of London, confirmed.
Douglas Wilmer worked consistently for 40 years. He appeared as the Lord Dorset in Laurence Olivier’s 1955 film version of Richard III, several Pink Panthers and the James Bond film Octopussy (1983) opposite his friend Roger Moore.
He was also a regular TV presence, gracing such hits as The Avengers and Mogul with a sharp intelligence and just a dash of eccentricity. Indeed, he enhanced many a pedestrian British film or TV show with a sprightly cameo.
It’s not for nothing that the Sherlock Holmes Society of London voted Wilmer the best screen Holmes of all time. He may not be a name which resonates like Jeremy Brett, Basil Rathbone or Benedict Cumberbatch, but in his thoughtful and often compelling portrayal of the world’s most famous detective, he deserves to be better known.