Top Ten Best Actors Who Played Sherlock Holmes

The Top Ten
1 Benedict Cumberbatch Benedict Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch is an English actor and film producer who has performed in film, television, theatre and radio.

Benedict Cumberbatch is just the best. My all-time favourite actor, he played Sherlock beautifully. Don't get me wrong, RDJ did great too, but Benedict just stole the mark. The series was also wonderfully written, and, of course, not to forget the wonderful acting talent of Martin Freeman, Andrew Scott, Mark Gatiss (and his writing talent), and all the other amazing people and actors who went into making Sherlock happen.

I love the new twist Benedict Cumberbatch puts on the classic Sherlock Holmes. It's a refreshing change from the actors who always play the same version of him: deerstalker hat, pipe, and all those clichés.

As a matter of fact, the deerstalker is not at all mentioned in the books.

2 Robert Downey Jr. Robert John Downey Jr. (born April 4, 1965) is an American actor and producer. His career has included critical and popular success in his youth, followed by a period of substance abuse and legal troubles, and a resurgence of commercial success in middle age.

It's almost a hybrid of Iron Man and Captain Jack Sparrow. I would argue that Robert Downey Jr would make an even better Jack Sparrow than Johnny Depp.

Robert Downey Jr channeling Johnny Depp is much more entertaining than Benedict Cumberboredom.

He gave new life to that musty, old stereotype of a character.

3 Basil Rathbone
4 Jeremy Brett

For me, Jeremy Brett will always be the best. I have watched Everett's, Cumberbatch's, and RDJ's versions, but no one can beat Jeremy Brett for his mannerism and Sherlock Holmes's portrayal. I used to read the book after watching the series, and the only image of Sherlock on my mind is Jeremy Brett. Besides, Jeremy Brett-Edward Hardwicke (and also David Burke) had successfully portrayed the friendship of Holmes-Watson specifically, while the canon and modern adaptations mostly failed.

You know, as a reader, I vote for him for being loyal to the stories. I straight up hate Cumberbatch and only sort of like RD Jr.

5 Peter Cushing

Peter Cushing looks just right for the role. He's the most accurate-looking actor to how Arthur Conan Doyle envisioned the character.

His voice, energy, and posture are also perfect.

Pitch-perfect. For me, he's the best Holmes.

6 Christopher Lee Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee (1922-2015) was an English actor, singer, and author. He was best known for his villainous roles in films such as Dracula in the Hammer Horror films, Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, Saruman in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit... read more

It's a shame his first stint was dubbed, and he played him again on TV twice. He has the right look and brusque demeanor for the part.

7 Robert Stephens
8 Michael Caine Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, 14 March 1933) is an English actor, producer and author. He has appeared in more than 130 films in a career spanning 70 years and is considered a British film icon. Known for his cockney accent, Caine was born in South London, where during his... read more

A very funny version of Sherlock Holmes.

9 Vasily Livanov

His voice and manners make him the best actor who has ever played Sherlock Holmes.

10 Christopher Plummer Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer CC (December 13, 1929 – February 5, 2021) was a Canadian actor. His career spanned seven decades, gaining him recognition for his performances in film, stage, and television. He received multiple accolades, including an Academy Award, two Tony Awards, two Primetime... read more
The Contenders
11 John Cleese John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, voice actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report.
12 Jonny Lee Miller
13 Tom Baker Thomas Stewart Baker is an English actor. He is best known as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor in the science fiction series Doctor Who from 1974 to 1981, a longer tenure than any other actor, and for the narration of the comedy series Little Britain.
14 Ian McKellen Sir Ian Murray McKellen is an English actor. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and two Critics' Choice Awards.
15 Rupert Everett Rupert James Hector Everett (born 29 May 1959) is an English actor and writer. He first came to public attention in 1981, when he was cast in Julian Mitchell's play and subsequent film Another Country (1984) as an openly gay pupil at an English public school in the 1930s; the role earned him his first... read more
16 Nicol Williamson
17 John Neville
18 Henry Cavill Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill is a British actor. He began his career with roles in the feature adaptations of The Count of Monte Cristo and I Capture the Castle.
19 Johnny Depp John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II (born June 9, 1963) is an American actor, producer, and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actor... read more
20 Will Ferrell John William "Will" Ferrell is an American actor, comedian, producer, and writer. He first established himself in the mid-1990s as a cast member on the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live.
21 Leonard Nimoy Leonard Simon Nimoy was an American actor, film director, photographer, author, singer, and songwriter.
22 Nicholas Rowe
23 Peter O'Toole Peter James O'Toole was a British stage and film actor of Irish descent. He attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and began working in the theatre, gaining recognition as a Shakespearean actor at the Bristol Old Vic and with the English Stage Company before making his film debut in 1959.
24 Ian Richardson
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