Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Seven Degrees of Sherlock Holmes - #27- a tribute to the inaugural edition of the Watsonian

I thought it might be fun, to celebrate the John H. Watson Society and the first edition of their publication The Watsonian, to disregard any direct connection actors have to their roll as Dr. Watson, and make a connection to Holmes excluding those rolls. I other words, can actors who portrayed Watson be connected to Holmes as if they never took those parts.

So I though we should start with the Watson that, for good or bad, all other Watson's seem to now be compared to in some way. Whether you liked his portrayal as Watson or not, he was a well respected character actor, well loved thespian and WWI vet. For someone who is some times described as the 'Not Watson' of all Watson's,  he sure left his Holmesian mark, and got to act along side some of the greatest actors in showbiz.

I love the guy, if not his Watson.

So here goes.

Nigel Bruce (1895-1953)

starred in a little film called The Scarlet Pimpernal in 1934

which also starred Leslie Howard (1893-1943)

who is one of my favorite all time actors, and this is the way I wanted to go with the Seven Degree connection, but. . . . I found a shorter connection, so went with. . . 

Also starring in that great film was another great actor, Raymond Massey (1896-1983)

who played Sherlock Holmes in the 1931 film, The Speckled Band

As it turns out, whether I had gone with Leslie Howard or Raymond Massey, there are just so many film and theater connections to Holmes.

So, even if Nigel Bruce had never played Watson, he would still have had many connections to Holmes.

A little trivia about one of the actors who starred in The Voice of Terror (if I had used the Leslie Howard connection).

Actor Reginald Denny; 

He served as an observer/gunner in World War I in the Royal Flying Corps,[1] and in the 1920's he performed as a stunt pilot. In the early 1930s, Denny became interested in radio controlled model planes. He and his business partners formed Reginald Denny Industriesand opened a model plane shop in 1934 known as Reginald Denny Hobby Shops.
He bought a plane design from Walter Righter in 1938 and began marketing it as the "Dennyplane", and a model engine called the "Dennymite".[2] In 1940, Denny and his partners won a US Army contract for their radio-controlled target drone, the OQ-2 Radioplane. They manufactured nearly fifteen thousand drones for the US Army during World War II. The company was purchased by Northrop in 1952.[3]
Marilyn Monroe was discovered working as an assembler at Radioplane. A photographer assigned by Denny's friend, Army publicist (and future US PresidentCapt. Ronald Reagan, took several shots and persuaded her to work as a model, which was the beginning of her career.

Source, wikipedia

Reginald Denny also took part in the 1922 film, Sherlock Holmes.

So that saves me from having to do a Marilyn Monroe connection.

So, there you have it, there you are.

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