On May 26th…

eter Cushing as Holmes and Nigel Stock as Watson (1964)

“Chips” writes that today marks the birth of his favorite actor to play Sherlock Holmes: he put an emotion into Holmes as one who could be aloof, standoffish because of his knowledge but underneath a warm caring human who loved Watson as a brother and cared for his clients.

Peter Wilton Cushing was born on May 26, 1913, in Kenley, Surrey, England. He played Sherlock Holmes many times, beginning with Hammer Films’ The Hound of the Baskervilles in 1959, which was the first Holmes adaptation filmed in color. He went on to play Holmes in 16 episodes of the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes series, though only six episodes have survived. Twenty years later, he portrayed an older Holmes in the television movie, Sherlock Holmes and the Masks of Death.

Cushing was a Sherlockian, and as such insisted on including lines from the stories into the TV episodes. He also included actions such as writing on his sleeve cuff in Study in Scarlet. Unfortunately, the series was underfunded and given no time to film quality episodes, so Cushing and the BBC parted company.

In Starring Sherlock Holmes: A Century of the Master Detective on Screen, film historian David Stuart Davies notes:

Cushing requested that the costumes for the series replicated those shown in the Paget illustrations. The BBC agreed, and in doing so exploded the myth of Holmes’s Inverness cape…


Sources:  A Curious Collection of Dates: Through the Year with Sherlock Holmes by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”), IMDB.com, and the Peter Cushing Appreciation Society UK.

On April 10th… Louisa “Touie” Hawkins

Louisa Hawkins Doyle

Louisa “Touie” Hawkins was born April 10, 1857. She married Arthur Conan Doyle in 1885; they had two children – Mary and Kingsley.

Conan Doyle was brought in by a fellow physician, William Pike, to consult on on a case of suspected meningitis. The patient was 25-year-old Jack Hawkins. Jack stayed at Doyle’s Home/practice so that Doyle could treat him, though the illness was incurable, and Jack only survived a short time.

While treating Jack and speaking with his family, Dr Doyle met Jack’s sister, Louisa (nicknamed “Touie”). They were engaged in April and married in August of 1885.

In October of 1893, Louise was diagnosed with what appeared to be a fast moving case of tuberculosis. Arthur devoted himself to caring for her, taking trips to Switzerland and Egypt, and he built his estate home in Surrey, at a higher altitude to allow Touie and their family to stay in England. Touie lived nearly 13 years past her diagnosis, until July 4 , 1906.

(I urge anyone interested to research and read and the literature about the relationship. There is so much more to the story then can be listed here. . You will find it quite interesting and worth the time. -Chips)

For more information, check out A Curious Collection of Dates by JWHS members Leah Guinn (“Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (“Tressa”).

On March 26th…

Leonard Nimoy on tour as Holmes

Leonard Nimoy was born March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts.

From 1973 on, he played Star Trek‘s Mr Spock on television and in films, so he is best known for that role. But he also played Sherlock Holmes in a touring production of William Gillette’s play. Asked about Holmes, he said:

He’s an asocial man, hardly your average 9-to-5 worker with a family. Instead, he’s chosen a very special kind of life, and he has very little respect for most of the people around him who are also involved in his profession. He’s an outsider, in so many ways—particularly in his relationships, with women. Holmes is very much an alien, all right, and I felt that I could understand him the same way I understood Spock.

“Chips” was fortunate enough to see the show, and he writes:

I have been in love with Leonard Nimoy since Star Trek. I was so lucky to get tickets to see him in person when he came to Denver in the William Gillette play. I wish he could done more as Holmes. The oddball casting was Allan Sues, a off the wall comedian who overplayed Moriarty but was completely outdone by Nimoy’s serious acting ability. Nimoy only varied once into Spock once during the play and he did it so well it fit right in.

I still have the play souvenir program that I keep in a place of honor.

from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country


Information provided by A Curious Collection of Dates by by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”).

Posted by The Dynamic Duo of “Chips” (aka Ron) and “Selena Buttons” (aka Beth)

On February 24th… Another Detective, Another Doctor

There was a detective who had books put out about his adventures. Some of those volumes had titles like The Adventures, The Return, The Memoirs, and The Casebook. It came to 70 stories by the original author.

The Detective had a companion, a medical Doctor who was a widower. The Doctor moved out of the flat they shared together when he remarried. In the United States, there grew up a society to honor the detective and authorized other groups around the country to do the same.

Artwork by Charles Hall (Hat tip to Bob Byrne for identifying the artist!)

This group was called the PSI. The Detective is Solor Pons.

The author of the Solar Pons series, August Derleth, was born on February 24, 1909 in Sauk City, Wisconsin.

For more details, check the stories and you will find the love of the author for our Holmes and Watson in his Pons and Parker.

Information provided from the volume A Curious Collection of Dates by by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”).

Posted by The Dynamic Duo: ‘Chips’ aka Ron and ‘Selena’ aka Beth