Nigel Stock (actor)

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Nigel Stock
Actor Nigel Stock.jpg
Stock as Dr. Watson in BBC TV's Sherlock Holmes
Born21 September 1919
Died23 June 1986(1986-06-23) (aged 66)
Years active1931–1986
Catherine Hodnett
(m. 1943; div. 1947)

Sonia Williams
(m. 1951; div. 1980)

(m. 1979)

Nigel Stock (21 September 1919 - 23 June 1986) was a British actor who played character roles in many films and television dramas.[2] He was perhaps best known for his stint as Dr Watson in TV adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories, for his supporting roles as a solidly reliable English soldier or bureaucrat in several war and historical film dramas, and for playing the title role in Owen, M.D..[3]

Early life[edit]

Stock was born in Malta, the son of an Army captain. He grew up in India before attending St Paul's School, London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he earned the Leverhulme Exhibition, Northcliffe Scholarship, and the Principal's Medal.[4]

Military service[edit]

Stock served in the Second World War with the London Irish Rifles and the Assam Regiment of the Indian Army in Burma, China and Kohima. He was honourably discharged with the rank of Major, having twice been mentioned in dispatches.[4]


He made his stage debut in 1931, and during his career achieved numerous classical and contemporary credits at various distinguished theatres, including the Old Vic and on Broadway, with productions of The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, She Stoops to Conquer, Uncle Vanya.[5][6] His start in films came with uncredited bit parts in The Man Who Could Work Miracles (1938) and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). In 1937 he made his first credited film appearance in Lancashire Luck.[7]

After his wartime service, he returned to acting. His film appearances included popular releases such as Brighton Rock (1947), The Dam Busters (1955), The Great Escape (1963), The Lion in Winter and The Lost Continent (both 1968), and Russian Roulette (1975).[2]

Between 1964 and 1968, Nigel Stock became a household name in the UK for his portrayal of Dr. Watson in a series of Sherlock Holmes dramas for BBC television.[8] Later in life, he portrayed the mentor of Sherlock Holmes in Young Sherlock Holmes.[5] His other numerous television credits included Danger Man (1965), The Avengers (1964 & 1966), The Prisoner (1967), The Doctors (1969–71), Owen, M.D. (1971–73), Quiller (1975), Van der Valk (1977), the Doctor Who serial Time Flight (1982), Yes Minister (1982), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) and for a BBC dramatisation of A Tale of Two Cities (1980) as well as The Pickwick Papers (1985) as Mr. Pickwick.[9][10]

Stock and his third wife, Richenda Carey, had just appeared together on stage in the world premiere of Mumbo Jumbo in May 1986, when, on 23 June 1986, he died in Camden, London[11] of a heart attack, aged 66.[9]

Personal life and death[edit]

Stock was married three times. He married his first wife, Catherine Hodnett, in 1943; the couple had one son and divorced in 1947. His second marriage was to Sonia Williams in 1951. They divorced in 1980 after having three children together. Stock's third marriage was to actress Richenda Carey in 1979.[1] They remained married until his death.

Stock was found dead of "natural causes" on Monday 23 June 1986 at his home in north London.[12]


  • Space Force (1984–85) Magnus Carter
  • 221B (1986) Dr Watson

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Search Results for England & Wales Marriages 1837–2005". Archived from the original on 18 March 2018. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Nigel Stock". Archived from the original on 13 July 2012.
  3. ^ Paul Cornell; Martin Day; Keith Topping (1996). The Guinness Book of Classic British TV. Guinness. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-85112-628-9.
  4. ^ a b "Nigel Stock". CBS Interactive.
  5. ^ a b Hal Erickson. "Nigel Stock – Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos – AllMovie". AllMovie.
  6. ^ "Nigel Stock".
  7. ^ "Lancashire Luck (1937) – Henry Cass – Cast and Crew – AllMovie". AllMovie.
  8. ^ "British Actor Nigel Stock dies". Montreal Gazette. 25 June 1986.
  9. ^ a b "Nigel Stock". CBS Interactive.
  10. ^ "Nigel Stock".
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Nigel Stock". The New York Times. Reuters. 24 June 1986. Retrieved 27 December 2020.

External links[edit]