Douglas Wilmer, English actor, Died at 96


Douglas Wilmer was born on January 8, 1920, and died on March 31, 2016.

He was an English actor.

He was popularly known for playing Sherlock Holmes in the 1965 TV series.

Douglas made his theatre stage debut in 1945 in repertory at Rugby.

Wilmer appeared numerous times on the London stage, mainly in classical and Shakespearean roles.

Wilmer married Elizabeth Joan Melville in Westminster, on February 16, 1946.

Douglas Wilmer appeared in his first major film in Laurence Olivier’s Richard III (1955); thereafter he appeared in a large number of films, mostly in supporting roles.

Which include several epic films: preforming as M. Desmoulins in The Battle of the River Plate (1956), as Al-Mu’tamin in El Cid (1961), Cleopatra (1963), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), as Khalifa Abdullah in Khartoum (1966), as Maj. Gen. Francis de Guingand in Patton (1970), as Sir Thomas Fairfax in Cromwell (1970), and Antony and Cleopatra (1972).

His many other appearances include Jason and the Argonauts, the Pink Panther films A Shot in the Dark (1964) and Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978), The Vampire Lovers (1970), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), and Octopussy (1983).

Douglas Wilmer was mostly associated with the role of Sherlock Holmes which he first played in the BBC’s 1964 production of The Speckled Band.

Along with co-star Nigel Stock, whom played Doctor Watson, Wilmer was brought back for a further twelve episodes of the series.

During 1973, he played the character author Jacques Futrelle’s Holmesian detective Professor Van Dusen in The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes for ITV.

He only once again appeared as Holmes (albeit in a supporting role) in Gene Wilder’s The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother in 1975, with Thorley Walters as Dr. Watson.

He had also played Sir Denis Nayland Smith in two Harry Alan Towers’ Fu Manchu films The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966) and The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967).

Also known as an honorary member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London.

Douglas Wilmer has recorded a series of the stories on audio cassette for Penguin audiobooks and has appeared as a guest at several UK and US events, the most recent being the Society’s Golden Jubilee Dinner in January 2001.

Douglas Wilmer did other television works, his credits include The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Saint, The Troubleshooters, The Avengers, The Baron, UFO, and Space: 1999.

He published his autobiography entitled Stage Whispers, during 2009.

On 24 March 2009, Wilmer was a guest of honour at a launch party for his book held at the National Liberal Club in Whitehall Place, London.

During 2012, Wilmer made a cameo appearance in the “The Reichenbach Fall” episode of Sherlock as an irate old man in the Diogenes Club.

Douglas Wilmer passed away at 96 yrs old.