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Jeremy Brett

Jeremy Brett in the role of Sherlock Holmes.

Jeremy Brett (born Peter Jeremy William Huggins) (November 3, 1933 - September 12, 1995) was a British actor.

Brett was born in Berkswell Grange, Warwickshire, England. He was educated at Eton College and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He played many classical roles on stage, including a huge amount of Shakespeare, and made his first film and television appearances in 1955. In 1958, he married the actress, Anna Massey (daughter of Raymond Massey), but they were divorced in 1962. Years later, they would appear together in the BBC's dramatization of Rebecca (1978) -- Brett playing the hero, Max de Winter, and Massey playing the sinister Mrs. Danvers.

In 1976 he married Joan Wilson, but she died in 1985, and he did not remarry.

From the early 1960s onwards, Brett was rarely off British television screens. He played leading roles in many classic serials, notably appearing as D'Artagnan in the 1966 adaptation of The Three Musketeers. Many of his appearances were in comedy roles, but usually with a classic edge (he appeared in several Noel Coward plays). He joked that he was rarely allowed into the 20th century and never into the present day.

Brett's film career was never as distinguished as his stage and small-screen careers. He played Freddie Eynsford-Hill in the 1964 film My Fair Lady, but his singing voice was dubbed. Brett could sing, however, as he proved when he played Danilo in The Merry Widow on television in 1968.

Although he appeared in so many films and was such a familiar face on television, Brett is now best remembered for portraying Sherlock Holmes in a long series of television films (from 1984 to 1994), based on the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. After taking on the role, he made few appearances out of character and is considered the Sherlock Holmes of the 1980s and 1990s, as Basil Rathbone had been before him from his 1940s films. He died of heart failure in London.


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He died of heart failure in London. James Cagney died of a heart attack while ill with diabetes in Stanfordville, New York at the age of 86 and is interred in the Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven in Hawthorne, New York. After taking on the role, he made few appearances out of character and is considered the Sherlock Holmes of the 1980s and 1990s, as Basil Rathbone had been before him from his 1940s films. The origin of this is from the 1931 film Taxi! where Cagney delivered the line "Come out and take it, you dirty, yellow-bellied rat, or I'll give it to you through the door!" often misquoted as "Come out, you dirty rat, or I'll give it to you through the door!". Although he appeared in so many films and was such a familiar face on television, Brett is now best remembered for portraying Sherlock Holmes in a long series of television films (from 1984 to 1994), based on the original stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. The stereotypical impression of James Cagney involves wearing a trenchcoat and a hat and sneering "You dirty rat!", a line he never said. Brett could sing, however, as he proved when he played Danilo in The Merry Widow on television in 1968. As a tribute to the myriad talents and interests James Cagney had in life, his pallbearers included boxer Floyd Patterson, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, actor Ralph Bellamy, and film director Milos Forman.

He played Freddie Eynsford-Hill in the 1964 film My Fair Lady, but his singing voice was dubbed. Cagney's health deteriorated substantially after 1979, and the role in Ragtime, as well as a later television appearance in 1984, was designed to aid in his convalescence. Brett's film career was never as distinguished as his stage and small-screen careers. In 1974 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Film Institute and in 1984 his friend Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He joked that he was rarely allowed into the 20th century and never into the present day. During this hiatus Cagney rebuffed all film offers, including a substantial one in My Fair Lady, to devote time to learning how to paint (at which he became very accomplished), and tending to his beloved farm in Stanfordville, New York. Many of his appearances were in comedy roles, but usually with a classic edge (he appeared in several Noel Coward plays). Cagney's final appearance on film was in Ragtime in 1981, capping a career that covered over seventy films, although his film prior to Ragtime had been in 1961 with One, Two, Three.

He played leading roles in many classic serials, notably appearing as D'Artagnan in the 1966 adaptation of The Three Musketeers. He was one of the founders of the Screen Actors Guild and president of the Guild from 1942-44. From the early 1960s onwards, Brett was rarely off British television screens. He went on to better things including Angels with Dirty Faces (1938), an Academy Award-winning role in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), White Heat (1949, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"), and Mister Roberts (1955). In 1976 he married Joan Wilson, but she died in 1985, and he did not remarry. Cagney went on to star in numerous films, making his name as a 'tough guy' in a series of crime films such as The Public Enemy (1931), Blonde Crazy (1931) and Hard to Handle (1933). Danvers. When Warner Brothers bought the film rights to the play Penny Arcade they took Cagney and his co-star Joan Blondell from the stage to the screen in Sinner's Holiday (1930).

Years later, they would appear together in the BBC's dramatization of Rebecca (1978) -- Brett playing the hero, Max de Winter, and Massey playing the sinister Mrs. He worked in vaudeville and on Broadway, marrying the dancer Frances Willard (aka: "Billie") Vernon on September 28, 1922. In 1958, he married the actress, Anna Massey (daughter of Raymond Massey), but they were divorced in 1962. Born in Yonkers, New York, Cagney graduated from Stuyvesant High School in New York City in 1918. He played many classical roles on stage, including a huge amount of Shakespeare, and made his first film and television appearances in 1955. James Francis Cagney, Jr. (July 17, 1899–March 30, 1986) was an American film actor. He was educated at Eton College and trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama.

Brett was born in Berkswell Grange, Warwickshire, England. Jeremy Brett (born Peter Jeremy William Huggins) (November 3, 1933 - September 12, 1995) was a British actor.

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