David Burke (British actor)

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David Burke
Born David P. Burke
(1934-05-25) 25 May 1934 (age 82)
Liverpool, England
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Anna Calder-Marshall
Children Tom Burke

David P. Burke (born 25 May 1934)[1] is an English actor, known for playing Watson in the initial series of Granada Television's 1980s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which starred Jeremy Brett in the title role.[2] He also starred as Josef Stalin in the last two episodes of Reilly, Ace of Spies.[3]

Early life[edit]

Burke was born on 25 May 1934 in Liverpool, England, and trained at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.[4]


In the theatre, Burke originated the part of Niels Bohr in Michael Frayn's Copenhagen.[5]

He played Dr. Watson in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for the initial series and then left the programme after receiving an invitation to join the Royal Shakespeare Company along with his wife, Anna.[6] They both considered the joint work to be the best idea for their young son, Tom, who was around 3 years old at the time.[7][8] He was thought by many to portray Dr. Watson with an excellent style.[9][10] He was replaced by Edward Hardwicke.[11] Burke had earlier experience with Holmes having played the villain in an adaptation of "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" for the 1965 BBC series[12] starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock.

Other notable TV appearances include his turn as Joseph Stalin in the British serial Reilly, Ace of Spies and the John Wyndham science fiction story Random Quest.[13] He also played William Morris in the 1975 series The Love School.[14] Burke frequently portrays Johannes Coenradus Klene in the Dutch commercials for Klene liquorice.

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Anna Calder-Marshall.[15] Their son Tom Burke is also an actor.[16]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ Redmond 2011, p. 249.
  2. ^ "Obituary - Edward Hardwicke". The Daily Telegraph. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  3. ^ Angelini, Sergio. "Reilly, Ace of Spies (1983)". BFI Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  4. ^ McMullen 2012.
  5. ^ Law 2011, p. 126.
  6. ^ Davies 2007.
  7. ^ Haining 1994, p. 172.
  8. ^ Barnes 2002, p. 118.
  9. ^ Haining 1994, p. 169.
  10. ^ Hulse, Stephen R. (2000). "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)". Television Heaven. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 
  11. ^ Barnes 2002.
  12. ^ Smith 2009, pp. 81, 108.
  13. ^ "BBC Four - Random Quest". BBC. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  14. ^ "The Love School: The Artisan". BBC Genome Project. BBC. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  15. ^ Cotter 2013, p. 36.
  16. ^ Amer, Matthew (26 July 2012). "My Place: Tom Burke". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 22 December 2015. 


External links[edit]