Copyright 2011 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved
The year: 1899
The place: Buffalo, NY
The event: The American debut of the play 'Sherlock Holmes', adapted, directed and performed by William Gillette with the imprimatur of the author of the Holmes canon, Arthur Conan Doyle.
William Gillette - the American playwright, director, actor - brought Sherlock Holmes to life for generations of theater-going American audiences. He was born in 1853 in the same Hartford, Connecticut neighborhood that was also home to Harriet Beecher Stowe and Mark Twain.
For decades, Gillette was the absolute embodiment of Conan Doyle's much-beloved fictional detective, and it was this line from his play - "Oh, this is elementary, my dear fellow" - that gave rise to the oft-repeated "Elementary, my dear Watson," first spoken by Clive Barker, who was the original talking film actor to portray the great detective. The line never actually appears in any of Conan Doyle's written works.
William Gillette eventually buil...