Nigel Bruce

Actor
Many performers personified Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's literary heroes Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson onscreen, but no film actors were so identified with those roles as the team of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce ... Read more »
Born: 09/04/1895 in Mexico

Filmography

Actor (16)

World For Ransom 1954 (Movie)

Governor Coutts (Actor)

Limelight 1953 (Movie)

(Actor)

Hong Kong 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Two Mrs. Carrolls 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Spider Woman 1944 (Movie)

Dr Watson (Actor)

Frenchman's Creek 1943 (Movie)

Lord Godolphin (Actor)

Rebecca 1940 (Movie)

Major Giles Lacey (Actor)

Suspicion 1940 (Movie)

Gordon Cochrane 'Beaky' Thwaite (Actor)

This Woman Is Mine 1940 (Movie)

Duncan MacDougall (Actor)

Susan and God 1939 (Movie)

Hutchie (Actor)

The Rains Came 1938 (Movie)

(Actor)

Suez 1937 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Charge of the Light Brigade 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Trail of the Lonesome Pine 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

Becky Sharp 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

She 1934 (Movie)

Holly (Actor)

Biography

Many performers personified Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's literary heroes Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson onscreen, but no film actors were so identified with those roles as the team of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. Over the course of 14 feature films, the pair battled everything from a seemingly supernatural menace on the English moors to Nazis undermining the American war effort. In contrast to his literary counterpart, Bruce's Watson abetted as much as aided that process, but he and Holmes remained inseparable friends and Bruce's loveable bumbler endeared himself to audiences around the world. Even before he was cast as Watson, the gregarious Englishman had already made a name for himself both on stage and film playing various colonels, dukes, and aristocrats, blowhards virtually to a man, but appealingly so, thanks to Bruce's comedic talents. Over a long career, the actor's talents also enhanced such notable features as "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (1934) and "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936), and Alfred Hitchcock thought enough of his countryman's abilities to cast him in both "Rebecca" (1940) and "Suspicion" (1941). Sherlock Holmes aficionados may have objected to the way in which Bruce's older and chubbier Watson - whom they nicknamed "Boobus Britannicus" - was used mainly for comic relief and to help advance the narrative, but few would take issue with the actor's personification of the character as written, a wonderful mix of innocence and pomposity that provided a nice contrast to the sagacity and self-assurance of his famous partner.

Milestones

1939

First teamed with Basil Rathbone to play Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes for "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"

1934

Screen debut, "Coming Out Party"

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