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“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself; but talent instantly recognizes genius.” ― Arthur Conan Doylethe Valley of Fear

Over the years, competent actors have taken on the challenging task of playing the infamous “consulting detective”; Sherlock Holmes. An esteemed character that took birth on the pages of British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels and became one of the most well-known fictional characters; he even earned a Guinness world record for being the most portrayed one.

Sherlock Holmes was created by Sir Doyle as an extraordinary human being, with a mind that refuses to stay still and one that finds pleasure in the most difficult puzzles, unsolved mysteries, dilemmas that seem to have no answer, baffling cryptograms, and dealing with intricate analysis. All this talent gave Holmes a bit of a personality; a quick tongue, sharp eyes, careless behavior, and “a mind with no heart”. The character of Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed by actors time and time again. Let’s see which actors did complete justice to the character:

Benedict Cumberbatch:

The latest one in line, Benedict Cumberbatch had to fill a lot of shoes when he was asked to play Sherlock Holmes for BBC’s series. The reason the channel showed confidence in him is because Cumberbatch is no layman when it comes to acting, with his many high-profile nominations and awards being a proof of that. Benedict gave his own unique touch to the character of Sherlock Holmes; he played the smart, cold hearted and loyal detective perfectly, down to every last detail. Some might even say that he has impersonated Sherlock Holmes the best so far, given the anticipation of the 4th season of his miniseries. Regardless, there were others who also deserve a commendable applause.

Robert Downey Jr.:

RDJ has made a name and place for himself in Hollywood ever since he first acted in his younger days. And today, Downey is one of the highest paid actors in all of Hollywood. His great acting has earned him 3 Golden Globe Awards, 1 Guild award, 1 BAFTA award, and 12 nominations for the academy awards. His 2010 portrayal of Sherlock Holmes was the one which bought him the Golden Globe. Downey’s Holmes stayed closer to Doyle’s version and made many literary fans happy.   

Jeremy Brett:

Jeremy Brett appeared on the Sherlock Holmes series and his portrayal deserves a shout out, not because of its fame or interpretations, but because it was as exact an adaptation of Doyle’s novels as it could be. Though other series and movies attempted to put in their own little details – nothing wrong with that – but Brett’s version did the original story complete justice. Though Brett was a skilled actor and acted outstandingly, the pressure of the character took its toll since Brett. He almost became obsessed with the character and came to the point where he began to dream about it. Nonetheless, his acting was one of the best of his era. 

Johnny Lee Miller:

Johnny Lee Miller’s Sherlock is the coldest one we have seen so far; he showed the detached side of Holmes ruthlessly. Nonetheless, he too did a great job of portraying the famous character and won many hearts with his great performance.