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Edward Hardwicke
Edward Hardwicke.jpeg
Edward Hardwicke, 2008
Edward Cedric Hardwicke

(1932-08-07)7 August 1932
Died 16 May 2011(2011-05-16) (aged 78)
Chichester, West Sussex, England, UK
Cause of death Cancer
Other names Edward Hardwick
Occupation Actor
Years active 1943–2011
Spouse(s) Anne Iddon (1957 – ?, divorced)
Prim Cotton (1995 – his death)

Edward Hardwicke (7 August 1932 – 16 May 2011), also spelled Edward Hardwick, was an English actor. He is best known for his role as Doctor Watson in The Return of Sherlock Holmes series.

Early life and career

Hardwicke was born in London, England, to actors Sir Cedric Hardwicke and Helena Pickard. He started his film career in Hollywood at 10. He was in Victor Fleming's film A Guy Named Joe with Spencer Tracy. He went back to England, attended Stowe School, and did his military service in the Royal Air Force. He then joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) to learn to be an actor.

The Old Vic and the National Theatre

Hardwicke acted at the Bristol Old Vic, The Oxford Playhouse, and the Nottingham Playhouse. In 1964, he joined the National Theatre. He performed there for seven years. He appeared in William Shakespeare's Othello, Ibsen's The Master Builder. Peter Shaffer's The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Charley's Aunt, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Congreve's The Way of the World, Georges Feydeau's A Flea In Her Ear, The Crucible, Luigi Pirandello's The Rules Of The Game, Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Idiot, and George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession. In 1977, Hardwick went back to the National Theatre to perform in Feydeau's The Lady from Maxim's

In 1973, he played at the Bristol Old Vic. He played Dr. Astrov in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and Charles Calthrop in the movie The Day of the Jackal. In 1975, he went to the Haymarket Theatre, where he performed in Frederick Lonsdale's On Approval. In 1976 at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, he played Sir Robert Chiltern in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband.

In 2001, he played Arthur Winslow in The Winslow Boy at the Chichester Festival Theatre. His father had played this role in 1948 in the movie.

TV and Sherlock Holmes

Hardwicke started his television career in the 1970. He played Pat Grant in Colditz. He then played Arthur in the sitcom My Old Man. In 1978, Hardwicke played Bellcourt in the last episode of The Sweeney. David Burke, who played Doctor Watson in The Return of Sherlock Holmes series, asked Hardwicke to take over the role. Hardwicke played this role for eight years, from 1986 to 1994. His portrayal of Watson was calmer than Holmes'. In 1989, Hardwicke played the role of Watson on the West End stage in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes.


He performed in many movies, including The Day of the Jackal (1973), The Black Windmill (1974), Richard Loncraine's 1995 version of Richard III, The Scarlet Letter (1995), Shadowlands (1993), Elizabeth (1998), Enigma (2001), The Gathering Storm (2002), Love Actually (2003), and Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist (2005).

He also narrated several movies.

Personal life

Hardwicke married Anne Iddon, and they had two daughters, Kate and Emma. Hardwicke and Iddon later divorced. He then married Prim Cotton in 1995.

Hardwicke lived in Chichester. On 16 May 2011, he died of cancer.

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