Sherlock Holmes and Eliza Doolittle?

My fascination with the Great Detective has, in a melancholy way, also affected my enjoyment of the Lerner and Loewe musical, My Fair Lady. I was reminded of this situation while at the gym today, as Eliza Doolittle intoned "aye eeee ayi ohhh yew" to the displeasure of Prof. Henry Higgens on a nearby television. When her unwanted beau, Freddy, began to sing “On the street where you live”, I felt a wave of sadness.

The character of Freddy Eynsford-Hill was played by the very young Jeremy Brett; a stage actor turned British TV regular. His portrayal of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s brilliant yet troubled detective, Sherlock Holmes, stands as the definitive example in my humble opinion (feel free to disagree, as many did in our earlier discussion of Hercule Poirot click here to see the post).

In fact, Brett immersed himself so deeply in the role that his personal life and even his mental health suffered. He struggled with manic depression, the effects of which can be traced in his character as the series progressed. Somewhat ashamedly, I find this inner conflict gave his interpretation an edge that was very engrossing.

Eventually, the prescribed drugs affected his health and led to severe heart problems. In 1995, only five years after his last television appearance as Sherlock Holmes, Jeremy Brett died of heart failure.
Sherlock Holmes and Eliza Doolittle?Sherlock Holmes and Eliza Doolittle?

In his honor, I’d like to offer my favorite Holmesian advice (in fact, I've based my professional and consulting career on it) from the 1887 novel, A Study in Scarlet:

"In solving a problem of this sort, the grand thing is to be able to reason backwards. That is a very useful accomplishment, and a very easy one, but people do not practice it much. In the every-day affairs of life it is more useful to reason forwards, and so the other comes to be neglected. There are fifty who can reason synthetically for one who can reason analytically."
its crazy how some roles can really affect the lives of the actors. My
05/09/2011 - 11:40
all time favorite Sherlock Holmes character is played by Peter Crushing
An obscure Sherlock Holmes
05/11/2011 - 06:04
Peter Cushing was master of the dry, logical archetype.  I wonder if his interpretation was required to differentiate from his predecessor Basil Rathbone, who brought a bit more humour to the role.  I'm curious about some of the less well-known Sherlocks.  Today I was surprised to see Christopher Lee as Sherlock Holmes in a made-for-TV movie from 1991.  Patrick McNee played Watson.  Turns out Lee first played Holmes back in 1962 in a German-made film, then brother Mycroft in 1970, and Sherlock twice again for TV in 1991 and 92.  Still, its hard to get his Dracula character out of my mind . In one of those fascinating but meaningless coincidences, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee often co-starred in the Hammer Productions horrors for which they are best known, but they also co-starred in a Sherlock movie: Hounds of the Baskervilles from 1959, where Cushing played Sherlock and Lee was Sir Henry Baskerville.
What a coincidence! Eliza Doolittle?
05/10/2011 - 15:54
Hi Tick Talk... What a coincidence....I have just finishing watching My Fair Lady just now, and then logged into my nightly dose of Hour Lounging when I saw your very timely post! Perhaps there is some kind of VC psychic network this very moment now I am watching 'Freddy' present "the Making of...." on the extra DVD special features! Hehehe! Besy wishes JAMES
Hi James
05/10/2011 - 17:58
Its one of those movies that remains fresh after all the years...the true test of a classic!  I haven't seen that "Making of" DVD segment and will seek it out.  Thanks for the tip