The one and only, an actor who I always think of when someone mentions Sherlock Holmes, is Jeremy Brett. Jeremy Brett starred as Holmes in a Granada Television adaptation screened from 1984 to 1994, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", with David Burke and subsequently Edward Hardwicke as Watson. All but 18 of the Conan Doyle stories were filmed before the death of Jeremy Brett from a heart attack in 1995. Between 1984 and 1994, 36 episodes and five films were produced over six series. Brett and Hardwicke reprised their roles as Holmes and Watson in 1988-89 in a West End stage play, "The Secret of Sherlock Holmes", written by Jeremy Paul.
Another actor who plays Sherlock Holmes well is Benedict Cumberbatch. In 2009, the BBC began making Sherlock, a contemporary remake of Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss. starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as Doctor Watson. In this modern version, Sherlock has a cell-phone, sends text mesagges all the time, has a blog, lives a modern life. And he has his old enemy, Moriarty. "Sherlock" is one of the best tv shows these days on television. And one of my favorites.
In Autumn 2012, an American television, CBS, premiered the series "Elementary", which is another contemporary version of the Doyle character, this time set in the US, with Jonny Lee Miller in the role of Holmes and Lucy Liu as Watson. The main character is ok, but somehow I am not used to see Watson as a woman. And when it comes to solving crimes, I simply don't see the chemistry between Sherlock and Watson.
There is an older version of Sherlock Holmes aired in the 1960-ties, with Peter Cushing as Sherlock. Many people remember this actor as Count Dracula, but I do remember watching this tv show when I was a kid in the 1990-ties. It is one of the best interpretations of the great detective. Nigel Stock plays Watson.
For the lovers of old movies, Sir Basil Rathbone is one of a kind. I haven't seen many of the 14 Sherlock Holmes movies made between 1939 and 1946, but I've seen some and I can place Rathbone among the top five Sherlocks. His great performance was a role model for all the actors who played Sherlock after him.
There are many versions of Sherlock Holmes, some placed in the right time, some modern. In some versions Sherlock is a woman, in some he is a kid, in some a teenager. Sometimes he is a boy, sometimes a girl (Shirley Holmes). For me, the best actors ever who played the great detective are Jeremy Brett and Benedict Cumberbatch. I like Robert Downey Jr., but he didn't show his best in the role of Sherlock (according to me).
For the fans of Sherlock, there is a new season of "Sherlock" with Benedict Cumberbatch starting on January 1-st,2016. I don't know about you, but I can't wait!