Edward Hardwicke

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Edward Hardwicke
Edward Hardwicke.jpeg
Edward Hardwicke, 2008
Born Edward Cedric Hardwicke
(1932-08-07)7 August 1932
London, England
Died 16 May 2011(2011-05-16) (aged 78)
Chichester, West Sussex, England
Other names Edward Hardwick
Occupation Actor
Years active 1943–2011
Spouse(s) Anne Iddon (1957 – ?, divorced)
Prim Cotton (1995 – his death)

Edward Hardwicke (7 August 1932 – 16 May 2011),[1] sometimes credited as Edward Hardwick, was an English actor, known for his portrayal of Dr. Watson in the Granada TV series Sherlock Holmes.

Early life[edit]

Hardwicke was born in London, England, the son of actors Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Helena Pickard.[2][3] He began his film career in Hollywood at the age of 10, in Victor Fleming’s film A Guy Named Joe, with Spencer Tracy.[2] He returned to England, attended Stowe School, and did his national service as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force.[2] He attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and trained as an actor.[2][4]

Career[edit]

Hardwicke played at the Bristol Old Vic, the Oxford Playhouse and the Nottingham Playhouse, before joining Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre in 1964.[5] 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.[6] He returned to the National in 1977 for a production of Feydeau's The Lady from Maxim's.[7]

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.[2] 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.

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.[2]

TV and Sherlock Holmes[edit]

Hardwicke played Judas Iscariot in the 1969 Dennis Potter play The Son of Man. Hardwicke 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.[2][7] He then played Arthur in the sitcom My Old Man In 1978, Hardwicke appeared as Bellcourt in the last filmed episode of The Sweeney called "Hearts and Minds".[8] 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 was, "The Cardboard Box." He portrayed a very calm and attentive Watson,[9] somewhat less tolerant of Holmes' 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.[7] 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), The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1997), David Copperfield (2000), Agatha Christie's Poirot (2004), Fanny Hill (2007), Holby City,[10] Shameless (2010) as a World War II veteran, and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973).

Selected filmography[edit]

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

Personal life[edit]

Hardwicke had two daughters, Kate and Emma, by his first marriage to Anne Iddon (died 2000), which ended in divorce.[7] He was married to Prim Cotton from 1995 until his death [11] and was father to her daughter, Claire.[12]

Hardwicke lived in Chichester.[11] On 16 May 2011, he died of cancer at a hospice in the city.[13][14][15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Anthony Baker "Sherlock Holmes actor Hardwicke dies", The Stage, 17 May 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Coveney, Michael (18 May 2011). "Edward Hardwicke obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  3. ^ Biography, The New York Times, undated.
  4. ^ "Colditz actor Edward Hardwicke dies aged 78". BBC News. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011. 
  5. ^ 'Sherlock Holmes' Actor Edward Hardwicke dies at 78. Barnes, Mike. The Hollywood Reporter, 17 May 2011
  6. ^ Edward Hardwicke: Actor best known as Doctor Watson and as the 'Colditz' escape officer Hayward, Anthony. The Independent, 20 May 2011
  7. ^ a b c d Edward Hardwicke: obituary Unattributed, The Telegraph, 17 May 2011
  8. ^ The Sweeney - Hearts and Minds Internet Movie Database.
  9. ^ Peter Haining (1994). The Television Sherlock Holmes. Virgin Books. p. 175. ISBN 0863697933. 
  10. ^ "If You Can't Do the Time" at the Internet Movie Database
  11. ^ a b Obituary in The Guardian
  12. ^ Edward Hardwicke biography Internet Movie Database
  13. ^ Metro 19 May 2011
  14. ^ British Theatre Guide
  15. ^ "Edward Hardwicke, Dr. Watson on TV Series, Is Dead at 78". The New York Times. Associated Press. 18 May 2011. 

External links[edit]