The Most Savvy Sleuths

Is detective fiction the genre par excellence?
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1.
“ Jules Maigret in La tête d'un homme (1932) ” - jgcorrea
 
2.
David Suchet
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 following graduation from high school...
“ Hercule Poirot ” - jgcorrea
 
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 in Andover...
“ As both Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe ” - jgcorrea
 
4.
William Powell
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 finally attract attention with The Last Command as Leo...
“ As both Nick Charles and Philo Vance ” - jgcorrea
 
5.
Warren William
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 Academy of Dramatic Arts and trained to become an actor...
“ 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. ” - jgcorrea
 
6.
Steve McQueen
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 culture...
“ As Bullitt. ” - jgcorrea
 
7.
Margaret Rutherford
One is always at pains to locate a reference to Margaret Rutherford which does not characterize her as either jut-chinned, eccentric or both. But such, taken together, made for the charm of the woman. 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...
“ As Miss Marple ” - jgcorrea
 
8.
Ralph Meeker
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 advice...
“ As Mike Hammer ” - jgcorrea
 
9.
Paul Newman
Actor, The Sting
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 Theresa (Fetsko) and Arthur Sigmund Newman. Paul's father was Jewish, the son of emigrants from Poland and Hungary; he owned a successful sporting goods store...
“ As both Harper, and Harry Ross, in Twillight. ” - jgcorrea
 
10.
Albert Finney
Actor, Big Fish
Albert Finney came from the theatre, where he was especially successful in plays of William Shakespeare, to the movies. There he became a leading figure of the young Free Cinema. His debut in cinema was in 1960 with The Entertainer of Tony Richardson who had directed him also in theatre plays various times before. His typical roles when he was young were projects like Arthur Seaton in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
“ As Ginley, in Gumshoe. ” - jgcorrea
 
11.
Jack Nicholson
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 early 2000s...
“ As J.J. Gittes in Chinatown and The burden of proof. ” - jgcorrea
 
12.
James Stewart
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 was a keen athlete (football and track), musician (singing and accordion playing), and sometime actor...
“ As Scottie in Vertigo. ” - jgcorrea
 
13.
Bob Hoskins
Bob Hoskins was born on October 26, 1942, in Bury St. Edmund's, Suffolk, where his mother was living after being evacuated as a result of the heavy bombings. He is the son of Elsie Lillian (Hopkins), a nursery school teacher and cook, and Robert William Hoskins, Sr., who drove a lorry and worked as a bookkeeper...
“ As Eddie Valiant ” - jgcorrea
 
14.
Robert Mitchum
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 train accident when he was two...
“ As Jeff Bailey in Out of the past. ” - jgcorrea
 
15.
Mickey Rourke
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 parents divorced...
“ As Harry [Angel] in Angel Heart. ” - jgcorrea
 
16.
M. Emmet Walsh
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 Harry Maurice Walsh...
“ As Loren Visser in Blood Simple. ” - jgcorrea
 
17.
Adrien Brody
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 camera...
“ As Louis Simo in Hollywoodland ” - jgcorrea
 
18.
“ As Commissaire Fichet in Les diaboliques. ” - jgcorrea
 
19.
Kenneth Branagh
Actor, Valkyrie
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 escaped The Troubles by moving to Reading...
“ As Mike Church in Dead Again ” - jgcorrea
 
20.
Donald Sutherland
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 John...
“ as [John] Klute ” - jgcorrea
 
21.
Gene Hackman
Actor, Unforgiven
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 several moves...
“ As Harry Moseby in Night moves ” - jgcorrea
 
22.
Mark Stevens
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 parents divorced while he was young and Mark was sent to England...
“ As Bradford Galt in The Dark Corner; ” - jgcorrea
 
23.
Alec Guinness
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 of Arabia (1962)...
“ as Father Brown ” - jgcorrea
 
24.
Sidney Poitier
A native of Cat Island, The Bahamas (though born in Miami during a mainland visit by his parents), Poitier grew up in poverty as the son of farmers Evelyn (Outten) and Reginald James Poitier, who also drove a cab. He had little formal education and at the age of 15 was sent to Miami to live with his brother...
“ as Virgil Tibbs ” - jgcorrea
 
25.
Otto Wernicke
Actor, M
“ as Inspector Lohmann in 'M' ” - jgcorrea
 
26.
John Thaw
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. His first great success, though, was as Detective Inspector Regan in The Sweeney...
“ as Chief Inspector Morse ” - jgcorrea