Jeremy Brett

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jeremy Brett (born November 3, 1933 in Berkswell, then in Warwickshire , now in West Midlands , England , † September 12, 1995 in London ; actually Peter Jeremy William Huggins ) was a British actor .

life and work

He grew up well cared for at Berkswell Grange Manor as the son of the wealthy couple Lt. Colonel Henry William Huggins, DSO, MC, DL (1890-1965), a factory owner and former Army officer who did a great job in World War I, and the Elizabeth Edith Cadbury Butler, a member of the Cadbury dynasty . His mother died in a car accident in 1959, which hit him very hard. He had three older brothers, John, Patrick and Michael. The actor Martin Clunes is his nephew.

He attended Eton College and already stood out there for his excellent singing voice, but was "academically a disaster" because of his dyslexia , as he himself said. Born with a speech impediment that prevented him from pronouncing the 'r' and the 's' correctly, he underwent surgery while visiting Eton and practiced the correct pronunciation for years afterwards. Like his father and brothers, he was a member of the very exclusive Woodmen of Arden archery club founded in 1785 by the Earl of Aylesford .

From 1951 to 1954 he attended the Central School of Speech and Drama , which was then located in the Royal Albert Hall . His father insisted, 'because of family honor,' that he take a stage name. He then called himself Brett, after "Brett & Co.", as it was on the label on his suit. He made his debut in 1954 at the Library Theater in Manchester . In 1956 he was engaged by Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic in London, where he was successful in Troilus and Cressida in the same year . He also made his Broadway debut with the Old Vic Company in 1956 as Aumerle, son of the Duke of York in Richard II . King Vidor engaged him for the role of Nicolai in War and Peace (among others with Audrey Hepburn , Mel Ferrer and Henry Fonda ).

In 1958 Brett married the actress Anna Massey , daughter of Raymond Massey and sister of Daniel Massey , with whom he was at Eton. The marriage has a son named David Huggins , who is a successful author. Massey divorced him on November 22, 1962 after leaving her for a man. From 1969 to 1976 he was in a relationship with the English actor Gary Bond , and then with the American actor Paul Shenar .

Brett has appeared in countless plays, more than a dozen times in Shakespeare productions for the Old Vic Company . So embodied u. a. the Macbeth , Hamlet , but also Dracula and Dr. Watson in The Crucifer of Blood . He played for Laurence Olivier's new National Theater Company between 1967 and 1970, as well as four times on Broadway.

He appeared a second time with Audrey Hepburn in the film version of My Fair Lady - the most successful musical of its time. There he took over the part of Freddy Eynsford-Hill . Although he had a sizeable singing voice, his vocal parts in My Fair Lady were not sung by himself, but by Bill Shirley . Brett has appeared in other musicals, for example in 1959 in Marigold by Alan Melville or in 1960 in Johnny the Priest , for which Antony Hopkins wrote the music. Jeremy Brett went on an excursion into the world of classical music in 1968 and played Count Danilo Danilowitsch in a television production of Franz Lehár's operetta The Merry Widow . In all of these productions, Brett himself did the vocal parts. Brett had numerous appearances in television productions and celebrated a small success in the BBC miniseries Rebecca as Maxim de Winter .

In 1977 Brett married producer Joan Wilson , who died of cancer in 1985. Board declined after Joan's death in depression, but he turned as an actor a long time TV series in the role of Sherlock Holmes continued, participated in charities ( Heart Association , Cancer Research , Britain's Manic Depression Fellowship ) and founded with Linda Pritchard The Jeremy Brett Memorial Fund for the Imperial Cancer Research . At the side of Edward Hardwicke he stood as Sherlock Holmes on the stage of the Wyndham's Theater in London's West End .

In the 1980s, Brett was diagnosed with a manic depressive illness, which had probably accompanied him for years and which now, after the death of his wife, broke out in full. During one phase of this illness, in late 1987, he cut his hair unusually short. As an undesirable side effect of drug treatment with lithium in combination with other prescribed drugs, Brett gained significant weight from edema . According to Edward Hardwicke , he smoked sixty cigarettes a day, "which was not good for his health either." In addition, he was increasingly unable to get out of his Sherlock Holmes role after filming. David Burke suggested that Brett's over-identification with his role and sticking to it actually fueled his mental decline. Nevertheless, he is considered one of the best Sherlock Holmes actors of all time and for some as the best interpretation since Basil Rathbone .

Jeremy Brett died in 1995 in his sleep at his home in Clapham Common to heart failure . He had an appointment for an interview the following morning. Rumors of a suicide with sleeping pills remained unconfirmed. Jeremy Brett had suffered from rheumatic fever as a child, from which he retained valvular heart disease and heart failure.

Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes

When Brett took on the role of Sherlock Holmes , he already had a long acting career behind him. The Sherlock Holmes series, produced by the British television company Granada between 1983 and 1994, is based closely on the models by Arthur Conan Doyle . Jeremy Brett comes very close to the character of the novel with his interpretation, but he himself saw his portrayal rather critically as early as 1989, for example, noted that his appearance was far from the description of Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's books. "Holmes is moving as fast as he thinks," said Brett in a conversation, what Edward Hardwicke , who was just standing by , had been the Dr. Watson embodied, with a "How you, my best, how YOU " commented. (From a meeting between Jeremy Brett, Edward Hardwicke and Gerd J. Pohl in the late 1980s .)

Filmography (selection)

In addition, guest appearances in battle star Galactica , Hart but cordially , The incredible Hulk .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Camilla Palmer: Martin Clunes: My family values . In: The Guardian , March 28, 2014.  Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  2. ^ Morley, Sheridan (April 27, 1997). "The curse of being Conan". The Sunday Times. P. 5.
  3. ^ Anna Massey: Telling Some Tales . Hutchinson, London 2006, ISBN 0-09-179645-8 .
  4. ^ David Stuart Davies : Dancing in the Moonlight: Jeremy Brett . MDF The BiPolar Organization, London 2006.
  5. Manners, Terry (1997). The Man Who Became Sherlock Holmes: The Tortured Mind of Jeremy Brett. Virgin Books. ISBN 1852276169 .
  6. ^ Graham, David, Casting About: A Memoir (iUniverse, 2007), page 265.
  7. Elementary My Dear Watson: An Interview with Edward Hardwicke (Part 2/2) . In: YouTube . January 21, 2010. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
  8. Uwe Sommerlad: I Have No Regrets . An interview with David Burke. In: The Soft-Nosed Bullet-In No. 19 , Von Herder Airguns Ltd., December 1995.