Edward Hardwicke

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Edward Hardwicke
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Edward Hardwicke, 2008
Edward Cedric Hardwicke

(1932-08-07)7 August 1932
London, England
Died16 May 2011(2011-05-16) (aged 78)
Burial placeChichester Crematorium [1]
Other namesEdward Hardwick
Years active1943–2011
Spouse(s)Anne Iddon (1957 – ?, divorced)
Prim Cotton (1995 – his death)

Edward Cedric Hardwicke (7 August 1932 16 May 2011) [2] [3] was an English actor, who had a distinguished career on the stage, as well as being known for his portrayal of Dr. Watson in the Granada TV series Sherlock Holmes .

<i>Sherlock Holmes</i> (1984 TV series) British TV series produced between 1984 and 1994

Sherlock Holmes is the overall title given to the series of Sherlock Holmes adaptations produced by the British television company Granada Television between 1984 and 1994. The first two series were shown under the title The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes and were followed by subsequent series with the titles of other short story collections by Arthur Conan Doyle. The series was broadcast on the ITV network in the UK and starred Jeremy Brett as the famous detective. His portrayal remains very popular and is accepted by some as the definitive on-screen version of Sherlock Holmes.


Early life

Hardwicke was born in London, England, the son of actors Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Helena Pickard. [3] [4] He began his film career in Hollywood at the age of 10, in Victor Fleming’s film A Guy Named Joe which starred Spencer Tracy. [3] He returned to England, attended Stowe School, and fulfilled his national service as a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force. [3] He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and trained as an actor. [3] [5]

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Cedric Hardwicke English actor

Sir Cedric Webster Hardwicke was an English stage and film actor whose career spanned nearly fifty years. His theatre work included notable performances in productions of the plays of Shakespeare and Shaw, and his film work included leading roles in a number of adapted literary classics.

Helena Pickard British actress

Helena Pickard was a British stage, film and television actress. Pickard was a prominent character actress in West End plays such as When We Are Married and Flare Path and also appeared on Broadway. She made her screen debut in the 1924 silent film The Clicking of Cuthbert. She played the female lead in the 1931 comedy Splinters in the Navy but mostly appeared in supporting roles. While working in the United States she appeared in two Hollywood productions before returning to Britain. During her later career she appeared occasionally on television in series including The Four Just Men, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Vanity Fair, and in the BBC radio series Saturday Night Theatre.


Hardwicke played at the Bristol Old Vic, the Oxford Playhouse and the Nottingham Playhouse before in 1964 joining Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre. [6] He performed regularly there for seven years. He appeared with Olivier in William Shakespeare’s Othello and Ibsen’s The Master Builder . He also appeared in Peter Shaffer’s The Royal Hunt of the Sun (with Robert Stephens), Charley's Aunt , Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead , Congreve's The Way of the World , Georges Feydeau’s A Flea In Her Ear (directed by Jacques Charon of the Comédie Française ), The Crucible , Luigi Pirandello's The Rules Of The Game, Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Idiot and George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession . [7] He returned to the National in 1977 for a production of Feydeau's The Lady from Maxim's. [8]

Bristol Old Vic theatre in Birstol, England

Bristol Old Vic is a British theatre company based at the Theatre Royal, Bristol. The present company was established in 1946 as an offshoot of the Old Vic in London. It is associated with the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which became a financially independent organisation in the 1990s. Bristol Old Vic runs a Young Company for those aged 7–25.

Oxford Playhouse theatre in Oxford, England

Oxford Playhouse is an independent theatre designed by Sir Edward Maufe. It is situated in Beaumont Street, Oxford, opposite the Ashmolean Museum.

Nottingham Playhouse theatre in Nottingham, England

Nottingham Playhouse is a theatre in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England. It was first established as a repertory theatre in 1948 when it operated from a former cinema in Goldsmith Street. Directors during this period included Val May and Frank Dunlop. The current building opened in 1963.

In 1973 he played Dr Astrov in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya opposite Peter O'Toole at the Bristol Old Vic, and had an uncredited role as Charles Calthrop in the film The Day of the Jackal . [3] In 1975 he appeared in Frederick Lonsdale's On Approval at the Haymarket Theatre, and in 1976 he played Sir Robert Chiltern in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, a production with which he toured Canada.

Anton Chekhov Russian dramatist, author and physician

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer, who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is often referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."

<i>Uncle Vanya</i> play by Anton Chekhov

Uncle Vanya is a play by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. It was first published in 1898 and received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski.

<i>The Day of the Jackal</i> (film) 1973 film by Fred Zinnemann

The Day of the Jackal is a 1973 British-French political thriller film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Edward Fox and Michael Lonsdale. Based on the 1971 novel The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth, the film is about a professional assassin known only as the "Jackal" who is hired to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle in the summer of 1963.

In 1993 he played the role of C. S Lewis's brother Warnie opposite Anthony Hopkins in Shadowlands , directed by Richard Attenborough.

Warren Lewis Irish author

Warren Hamilton Lewis was an Irish historian and officer in the British Army, best known as the elder brother of the author and professor C. S. Lewis. Warren Lewis was a supply officer with the Royal Army Service Corps of the British Army during and after the First World War. After retiring in 1932 to live with his brother in Oxford, he was one of the founding members of the "Inklings", an informal Oxford literary society. He wrote on French history, and served as his brother's secretary for the later years of C. S. Lewis's life.

Anthony Hopkins Welsh actor

Sir Philip Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor, director, and producer. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992, and was nominated three additional times. Hopkins has also won three BAFTAs, two Emmys, and the Cecil B. DeMille Award. In 1993, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts. Hopkins received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, and in 2008, he received the BAFTA Fellowship for lifetime achievement from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

<i>Shadowlands</i> (1993 film) 1993 British biographical drama film directed by Richard Attenborough

Shadowlands is a 1993 British biographical drama film about the relationship between Irish academic C. S. Lewis and American poet Joy Davidman, her death from cancer, and how this challenged Lewis's Christian faith. It was directed by Richard Attenborough with a screenplay by William Nicholson based on his 1985 television film and 1989 stage play of the same name. The 1985 script began life as I Call It Joy written for Thames Television by Brian Sibley and Norman Stone. Sibley later wrote the book, Shadowlands: The True Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman.

In 1995 he appeared in Ian McKellen's updated film of Richard III. His father, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, had appeared in the Laurence Olivier 1955 film version.

Ian McKellen English actor

Sir Ian Murray McKellen is an English actor. His career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Critics' Choice Awards. He has also received nominations for two Academy Awards, five Primetime Emmy Awards and four BAFTAs. He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including the titular King in Richard III (1995), James Whale in Gods and Monsters (1998), Magneto in the X-Men films, and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.

<i>Richard III</i> (1995 film) 1995 film by Richard Loncraine

Richard III is a 1995 British drama film adapted from William Shakespeare's play of the same name, starring Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, John Wood, Tim McInnerny and Dominic West. The film sets the play in 1930s Britain with Richard as a fascist sympathiser plotting to usurp the throne.

Laurence Olivier English actor, director and producer

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career, he had considerable success in television roles.

In 2001 he played Arthur Winslow in The Winslow Boy at the Chichester Festival Theatre, a role played by his father in the 1948 film. [3]

TV and Sherlock Holmes

Hardwicke had a small role in the "The Greek Interpreter" episode of the 1968 series Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes featuring Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes. [9]

Hardwicke played Judas Iscariot in the Dennis Potter TV play Son of Man (1969). He became familiar to television audiences in the 1970s drama series Colditz , in which he played Pat Grant, a character based on the real-life war hero Pat Reid. [3] [8] He then played Arthur in the sitcom My Old Man . In 1978 he appeared as Bellcourt in the last filmed episode of The Sweeney , "Hearts and Minds". [10]

David Burke suggested Hardwicke as his successor in the role of Doctor Watson in the Granada Television adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories in The Return of Sherlock Holmes series, alongside Jeremy Brett. Hardwicke played the role for eight years from 1986 to 1994, his first episode being "The Empty House" and his last "The Cardboard Box". He portrayed a very calm and attentive Watson, [11] somewhat intolerant of Holmes's more outlandish moods, and became permanently associated with it, also playing it on the West End stage with Brett in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes in 1989. [8] That same year, he also directed Going On by Charles Dennis at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

His other television appearances were numerous, and included Holocaust (1978), Oppenheimer (1980), Lovejoy (1992), Dangerfield (1996), The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1997), David Copperfield (2000), Agatha Christie's Poirot (2004), Fanny Hill (2007), Holby City , [12] Shameless (2010) as a World War II veteran, and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1978).

Selected filmography

Hardwicke also provided narration for several films. He voiced Major Swift in the Xbox 360 game Fable III .

Personal life

Hardwicke had two daughters, Kate and Emma, by his first marriage to Anne Iddon (died 2000), which ended in divorce. [8] He was married to Prim Cotton from 1995 until his death. [3]

Hardwicke lived in Chichester. [3] On 16 May 2011 he died of cancer at a hospice in the city. [13] [14] [15]

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  1. https://books.google.com/books?id=FOHgDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA403&dq=henry+king+resting+place&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAkrTqpNfcAhWRjVkKHfaRBFIQ6AEIXDAJ#v=onepage&q=Edward%20Hardwicke&f=false
  2. Baker, Richard Anthony (17 May 2011). "Sherlock Holmes actor Hardwicke dies". The Stage . Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Coveney, Michael (18 May 2011). "Edward Hardwicke obituary". The Guardian . Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  4. "Edward Hardwicke - Biography". The New York Times . 2010. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  5. "Colditz actor Edward Hardwicke dies aged 78". BBC News . 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  6. Barnes, Mike (17 May 2011). "'Sherlock Holmes' Actor Edward Hardwicke dies at 78". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved 18 May 2011.
  7. Hayward, Anthony. "Edward Hardwicke: Actor best known as Doctor Watson and as the 'Colditz' escape officer". The Independent . Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 4 "Edward Hardwicke: Obituary". The Telegraph . 17 May 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2015.
  9. Redmond, Christopher (2009). Sherlock Holmes Handbook: Second Edition. Dundurn Press. p. 244. ISBN   9781459718982.
  10. "The Sweeney: Season 4, Episode 11 - Hearts and Minds" on IMDb
  11. Peter Haining (1994). The Television Sherlock Holmes. Virgin Books. p. 175. ISBN   0863697933.
  12. "Holby City: Season 6, Episode 33 - If You Can't Do the Time" on IMDb
  13. d'Souza, Sav (19 May 2011). "Sherlock Holmes actor Edward Hardwicke dies aged 78". Metro . Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  14. "Edward Hardwicke (1932-2011)". British Theatre Guide . 2011. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
  15. "Edward Hardwicke, Dr. Watson on TV Series, Is Dead at 78". The New York Times . Associated Press. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 22 December 2015.