29 June, 2008

Jeremy Brett

Jeremy Brett, born Peter Jeremy William Huggins, was an English actor famous, among other things, for his portrayal of the detective Sherlock Holmes in four British television series: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

During the last decade of his life, Brett was treated in hospital several times for his mental illness, and his health and appearance visibly deteriorated by the time he completed the later episodes of the Sherlock Holmes series.

There were plans to film all the Holmes stories, but Brett died of heart failure at his London home before the project could be completed. Brett's heart had been damaged by a childhood case of rheumatic fever and was apparently further weakened by his heavy smoking. In an interview, Edward Hardwicke claimed that Brett would buy 60 cigarettes on his way to the set and smoke them all throughout the day. After his heart problem was diagnosed, Brett reportedly quit smoking for a short while, but began smoking again shortly before his death at the age of 61 on 12 September 1995.

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