Eille Norwood (born Anthony Edward Brett, 11 October 1861 – 24 December 1948) was an English actor who spent most of his screen career playing Sherlock Holmes.
He was born in York, and took his stage name from a woman he was once in a romantic relationship with named Eileen, and Norwood[disambiguation needed], the town in London where he lived. He earned fame as a stage actor before making his film debut in 1911. From 1921 to 1923 he played Holmes in forty-seven silent films (45 shorts and 2 features) directed by Maurice Elvey and George Ridgwell. Hubert Willis played Watson in nearly all these films. For the final Holmes film, however, Hubert Willis was replaced by Arthur Cullin. Norwood played Holmes more times than any other actor in film or TV: 47 to Jeremey Brett's 41.
Norwood was earlier a stage actor associated with the Brough-Boucicault company, and wrote several comedies which were produced commercially:
- Hook and Eye
- The Talk of the Town (previous title The Noble Art), about a fusty old solicitor who is hypnotised into competing in a boxing tournament. The play was first performed at Terry's Theatre, London, in 1892 with Arthur Williams as Andrew Fullalove, and fifteen years later in Australia, with Hugh J. Ward in the lead part.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself admired Norwood's portrayal, saying: "His wonderful impersonation of Holmes has amazed me."
- The Tavern Knight (1920)
- Gwyneth of the Welsh Hills (1921)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1921)
- The Recoil (1922)
- The Sign of Four (1923)
- Barnes, Alan. Sherlock Holmes on Screen. Richmond, Surrey: Reynolds and Hearn Ltd., 2002.