A few savvy sleuths

by jgcorrea | created - 29 Jun 2011 | updated - 6 months ago | Public

Maybe detective fiction is the genre par excellence

1. Harry Baur

Actor | Golgotha

Harry Baur was born on April 12, 1880 in Paris, France as Henri-Marie Baur. He was an actor, known for Behold the Man (1935), Christine (1937) and Les Misérables (1934). He was married to Rika Radifé and Rose Grane. He died on April 8, 1943 in Paris.

Jules Maigret in La tête d'un homme (1932)

2. David Suchet

Actor | Executive Decision

Best known in the United Kingdom and abroad as Agatha Christie's suave Belgian super-sleuth Hercule Poirot in scores of late 1980s and '90s mini-movies, London-born actor David Suchet's early interest in the theater led to his membership with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain in the 1960s...

Hercule Poirot

3. Humphrey Bogart

Actor | Casablanca

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy ...

As both Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe

4. William Powell

Actor | The Thin Man

William Powell was on the New York stage by 1912, but it would be ten years before his film career would begin. In 1924 he went to Paramount Pictures, where he was employed for the next seven years. During that time, he played in a number of interesting films, but stardom was elusive. He did ...

As both Nick Charles and Philo Vance

5. Warren William

Actor | Employees' Entrance

Warren William, the stalwart leading man of pre-Production Code talkies, was born Warren William Krech on December 2, 1894 in Aitkin, Minnesota, the son of a newspaper publisher. William originally planned to become a journalist, but he had a change of heart, and instead went to the American ...

As Perry Mason in The case of the curious bride (1935). Mason is a defence attorney who often faces difficult and hopeless cases. Nevertheless, he investigates and behaves as a detective. The procedure is roughly the same in every novel. Mason gets the case, then he and his crew investigate. The trial ensues and in most of the cases Mason elicits a confession from the real culprit. Erle S. Gardner wrote over eighty novels and all of them were bestsellers.

6. Steve McQueen

Actor | The Great Escape

He was the ultra-cool male film star of the 1960s, and rose from a troubled youth spent in reform schools to being the world's most popular actor. Over 25 years after his untimely death from mesothelioma in 1980, Steve McQueen is still considered hip and cool, and he endures as an icon of popular ...

As Bullitt.

7. Margaret Rutherford

Actress | The V.I.P.s

Rare is the reference to Margaret Rutherford that doesn't characterize her as either jut-chinned, eccentric, or both. The combination of those most mundane of attributes has led some to suggest that she was made for the role of Agatha Christie's indomitable sleuth, Jane Marple, whom Rutherford ...

As Miss Marple

8. Ralph Meeker

Actor | Kiss Me Deadly

Burly American character actor Ralph Meeker first acted on stage at his Alma mater, Northwestern University, alongside other budding performers Charlton Heston and Patricia Neal. He graduated as a music major, because his dean had discouraged him from pursuing a theatrical career. Ignoring that ...

As Mike Hammer

9. Paul Newman

Actor | The Hustler

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history, Paul Leonard Newman was born on January 26, 1925, in Cleveland, Ohio, the second son of Arthur Sigmund Newman (died 1950) and Theresa Fetsko (died 1982). His elder brother was , Arthur S. Newman Jr., named for ...

As both Harper, and Harry Ross, in Twillight.

10. Albert Finney

Actor | Erin Brockovich

The son of a Lancashire bookmaker, Albert Finney came to motion pictures via the theatre. In 1956, he won a scholarship to RADA where his fellow alumni included Peter O'Toole and Alan Bates. He joined the Birmingham Repertory where he excelled in plays by William Shakespeare. A member of the Royal ...

As Ginley, in Gumshoe.

11. Jack Nicholson

Actor | Chinatown

Jack Nicholson, an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors - the other being Michael Caine - who have received Oscar nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the...

As J.J. Gittes in Chinatown and The burden of proof.

12. James Stewart

Actor | Anatomy of a Murder

James Maitland Stewart was born on May 20, 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Elizabeth Ruth (Johnson) and Alexander Maitland Stewart, who owned a hardware store. He was of Scottish, Ulster-Scots, and some English, descent. Stewart was educated at a local prep school, Mercersburg Academy, where he ...

As Scottie in Vertigo.

13. Bob Hoskins

Actor | The Long Good Friday

Bob Hoskins was described by the director John Mackenzie as "an actor from the British tradition but with an almost American approach, an instinctive approach to acting and knowing how to work with the camera". He was born on October 26, 1942, in Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, where his mother was ...

As Eddie Valiant

14. Robert Mitchum

Actor | Out of the Past

Robert Mitchum was an underrated American leading man of enormous ability, who sublimated his talents beneath an air of disinterest. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ann Harriet (Gunderson), a Norwegian immigrant, and James Thomas Mitchum, a shipyard/railroad worker. His father died in a ...

As Jeff Bailey in Out of the past.

15. Mickey Rourke

Actor | The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke was born Phillip Andre Rourke, Jr. on September 16, 1952, in Schenectady, New York, the son of Annette (Cameron) and Phillip Andre Rourke. His father was of Irish and German descent, and his mother was of French-Canadian, English, and German ancestry. When he was six years old, his ...

As Harry [Angel] in Angel Heart.

16. M. Emmet Walsh

Actor | Blood Simple

Wonderfully talented, heavyset character actor (from New York, but regularly playing Southerners) M. Emmet Walsh has made a solid career of playing corrupt cops, deadly crooks, and zany comedic roles since the early 1970s.

Michael Emmet Walsh was born in Ogdensburg, to Agnes Katharine (Sullivan) and...

As Loren Visser in Blood Simple.

17. Adrien Brody

Actor | The Pianist

Adrien Nicholas Brody was born in Woodhaven, Queens, New York, the only child of retired history professor Elliot Brody and Hungarian-born photographer Sylvia Plachy. He accompanied his mother on assignments for the Village Voice, and credits her with making him feel comfortable in front of the ...

As Louis Simo in Hollywoodland

18. Charles Vanel

Actor | Le salaire de la peur

Charles Vanel was born on August 21, 1892 in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, France as Charles-Marie Vanel. He was an actor and director, known for The Wages of Fear (1953), Diabolique (1955) and To Catch a Thief (1955). He was married to Arlette Mauricette Bailly. He died on April 15, 1989 in Cannes, ...

As Commissaire Fichet in Les diaboliques.

19. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Henry V

Kenneth Charles Branagh was born on December 10, 1960, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to parents William Branagh, a plumber and carpenter, and Frances (Harper), both born in 1930. He has two siblings, William Branagh, Jr. (born 1955) and Joyce Branagh (born 1970). When he was nine, his family ...

As Mike Church in Dead Again

20. Donald Sutherland

Actor | The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The towering presence of Canadian actor Donald Sutherland is often noticed, as are his legendary contributions to cinema. He has appeared in almost 200 different shows and films. He is also the father of renowned actor Kiefer Sutherland, among others.

Donald McNichol Sutherland was born in Saint ...

as [John] Klute

21. Gene Hackman

Actor | The French Connection

Eugene Allen Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Anna Lyda Elizabeth (Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman, who operated a newspaper printing press. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, partly by way of Canada, where his mother was born. After ...

As Harry Moseby in Night moves

22. Mark Stevens

Actor | The Dark Corner

Mark Stevens, a second-tier star during the 1940s and 1950s, was born Richard William Stevens in Cleveland, OH, in 1916 (the dates in reference books vary between 1915-20). Of Scottish and English heritage, the freckle-faced boy with the reddish hair had a father who was an American flyer. His ...

As Bradford Galt in The Dark Corner;

23. Alec Guinness

Actor | Star Wars

Alec Guinness was an English actor. He is known for his six collaborations with David Lean: Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations (1946), Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), Col. Nicholson in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor), Prince Faisal in Lawrence...

as Father Brown

24. Sidney Poitier

Actor | In the Heat of the Night

A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (although born, two months prematurely, in Miami during a visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (nee Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to...

as Virgil Tibbs

25. Otto Wernicke

Actor | M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder

Otto Wernicke was born on September 30, 1893 in Osterode am Harz, Germany. He was an actor and director, known for M (1931), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) and Titanic (1943). He died on November 7, 1965 in Munich, Bavaria, West Germany.

as Inspector Lohmann in 'M'

26. John Thaw

Actor | Inspector Morse

He was the working class boy from Manchester whose intensity and natural honesty made him British television's most bankable actor. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His first starring role on TV was as Sgt John Mann in Redcap (1964). His first great success, though, was as Detective...

as Chief Inspector Morse



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