Jeremy Brett, who made his first major impact onscreen as Freddy Eynsford-Hill in the 1965 “My Fair Lady” and who later was hailed as TV’s definitive Sherlock Holmes, died in his sleep of heart failure Sept. 12 at his London home. He was 59.
The son of a colonel, Brett was born Jeremy Huggins on Nov. 3,1935. After being educated at Eton, he began doing theater, eventually appearing in such productions as “Richard II,” “Troilus and Cressida,” “St. Joan” and, on Broadway, “Aren’t We All?”
His films include the 1956 “War and Peace,” “The Wild and the Willing” and “The Very Edge,” but his biggest break came in the 1965 “My Fair Lady”; he later confessed that Warner Bros., weathering criticism for the dubbing of Audrey Hepburn, tried to hush up the fact that Brett was lip-synching for his big number, “On the Street Where You Live.”
His later films included “The Medusa Touch.” TV roles included “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” “The Merry Widow” and “School for Scandal.”
Brett married actress Anna Massey in 1958 but the couple divorced four years later. They had one son.
He also married Joan Wilson, who was exec producer of PBS’ “Mystery!” and “Masterpiece Theater.” She died in 1985.
His career was revitalized when he began playing Holmes in 1984 in the Granada Television series. The episodes began airing the next year in the U.S. on “Mystery!,” with more segs airing over 10 years.