TV & FILM DETECTIVES

by gj0869 | created - 14 Nov 2011 | updated - 30 Nov 2011 | Public

ACTORS WHO PLAY OR WHO HAVE PLAYED DETECTIVES AROUND THE WORLD ON TV OR FILM.

1. Albert Finney

Actor | Erin Brockovich

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 (1960) of Tony Richardson who had directed him also in theatre ...

HERCULE POIROT

2. Peter Ustinov

Actor | Spartacus

Peter Ustinov was a two-time Academy Award-winning film actor, a director, writer, journalist and raconteur. He wrote and directed many acclaimed stage plays and led numerous international theatrical productions.

He was born Peter Alexander Freiherr von Ustinov on April 16, 1921, in Swiss Cottage, ...

HERCULE POIROT

3. 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

4. Rolf Lassgård

Actor | En man som heter Ove

He started acting school in Malmö and went from there to the Skånska Teatern in Landskrona, performing in plays by Shakespeare or Brecht. He made a breakthrough as Puck in William Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer's Night Dream'. He also met his wife Birgitta there. The 1990s meant a lot of work in front ...

KURT WALLANDER

5. Krister Henriksson

Actor | Kyss mig

Krister Henriksson was born on November 12, 1946 in Häverö, Stockholms län, Sweden as Jan Krister Allan Henriksson. He is an actor and director, known for Kiss Me (2011), Sex hopp & kärlek (2005) and Reconstruction (2003). He has been married to Cecilia Nilsson since 1988. They have one ...

KURT WALLANDER

6. Kenneth Branagh

Actor | Hamlet

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 ...

KURT WALLANDER

7. 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...

INSPECTOR MORSE & JACK REAGAN IN THE SWEENEY.

8. Mark McManus

Actor | Taggart

Mark McManus was born on February 21, 1935 in Hamilton, Scotland. He was an actor, known for Taggart (1983), Sam (1973) and The Brothers (1972). He died on June 6, 1994 in Glasgow, Scotland.

TAGGART

9. Don Henderson

Actor | Star Wars

Don Henderson was born on November 10, 1931 in Leytonstone, London, England as Donald Francis Henderson. He was an actor, known for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Brazil (1985) and Carry on Columbus (1992). He was married to Shirley Stelfox and Hilary. He died on June 22, 1997 in ...

GEORGE BULMAN

10. Peter Haber

Actor | Män som hatar kvinnor

Peter Haber was born on December 12, 1952 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden. He is an actor and producer, known for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009), Sunes sommar (1993) and Beck (1997). He has been married to Lena T. Hansson since 1990. They have one child.

MARTIN BECK

11. George Sewell

Actor | UFO

British leading actor whose tough, pockmarked features belied a soft voice and cultivated manner. Sewell was born in East London, the son of a printer. After brief service in the RAF during the closing stages of World War II, he held down a wide variety of short-lived jobs, including as carpenter, ...

ALAN CRAVEN (SPECIAL BRANCH)

12. Patrick Mower

Actor | Emmerdale Farm

Patrick Mower was born on September 12, 1938 in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England as Patrick Archibald Shaw. He is an actor, known for Emmerdale Farm (1972), Marco Polo (1982) and Callan (1967). He has been married to Anya Pope since 1996. They have one child. He was previously married to Audrey Giles.

TOM HAGGERTY (SPECIAL BRANCH) & STEVE HACKETT (TARGET)

13. John Simm

Actor | Life on Mars

John Simm was born on 10 July 1970 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, and grew up in Nelson, Lancashire. He attended Edge End High School, Nelson, Lancashire, followed by Blackpool Drama College at 16 and the Drama Centre, London, at 19. He lives with his wife, actress Kate Magowan, and their children Ryan ...

SAM TYLER (LIFE ON MARS)

14. Philip Glenister

Actor | Ashes to Ashes

Philip Glenister was born on February 10, 1963 in London, England. He is an actor, known for Ashes to Ashes (2008), Kingdom of Heaven (2005) and Life on Mars (2006). He has been married to Beth Goddard since 2006. They have two children.

GENE HUNT (LIFE ON MARS & ASHES TO ASHES)

15. Robert Lindsay

Actor | My Family

Robert Lindsay was born on December 13, 1949 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, England as Robert Lindsay Stevenson. He is known for his work on My Family (2000), G.B.H. (1991) and Wimbledon (2004). He has been married to Rosemarie Ford since December 31, 2006. They have two children. He was previously ...

JERICO

16. John Nettles

Actor | Midsomer Murders

John Nettles has been a familiar face on British and International television screens for over thirty years.

From his early beginnings in the UK hit comedy The Liver Birds (1969), he became a household name overnight playing the Jersey detective "Jim Bergerac". The series, Bergerac (1981), was a ...

BERGERAC & TOM BARNABY (MIDSOMER MURDERS)

17. George Baker

Actor | On Her Majesty's Secret Service

George Baker was born on April 1, 1931 in Varna, Bulgaria as George Morris Baker. He was an actor and writer, known for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and I, Claudius (1976). He was married to Louie Ramsay, Sally Home and Julia Squire. He died on October 7, 2011...

REG WEXFORD

18. Keeley Hawes

Actress | The Bank Job

Keeley Hawes was born on February 10, 1976 in London, England as Claire Hawes. She is an actress, known for The Bank Job (2008), Death at a Funeral (2007) and High-Rise (2015). She has been married to Matthew Macfadyen since October 8, 2004. They have two children. She was previously married to ...

ALEX DRAKE (ASHES TO ASHES)

19. Karl Malden

Actor | On the Waterfront

Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago as Mladen Sekulovich, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden did not speak English until he was in kindergarten. After graduating from high school in the nearby steel town of Gary, Indiana, Malden worked in the industry for three years until 1934, when...

MIKE STONE (STREETS OF SAN FRANSISCO)

20. Michael Douglas

Actor | Wall Street

An actor with over forty years of experience in theatre, film, and television, Michael Douglas branched out into independent feature production in 1975 with the Academy Award-winning One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Since then, as a producer and as an actor-producer, he has shown an uncanny ...

STEVE KELLER (STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO)

21. Peter Falk

Actor | Columbo

Peter Michael Falk was born on September 16, 1927, in New York City, New York. At the age of 3, his right eye was surgically removed due to cancer. He graduated from Ossining High School, where he was president of his class. His early career choices involved becoming a certified public accountant, ...

COLUMBO

22. Dennis Weaver

Actor | McCloud

He also did the series McCloud in the 70's playing as a New Mexico police officer who moved to New York city and joined the police force as a detective.He played as Sam McCloud. A detective in Taos, New Mexico.The series ended in 1977. Much unlike the character Chester that he played in Gunsmoke.

SAM MCCLOUD

23. Sofie Gråbøl

Actress | Forbrydelsen

Sofie Gråbøl was born on July 30, 1968 in Denmark as Anne Sofie Gråbøl. She is an actress, known for Forbrydelsen (2007), Blinkende lygter (2000) and Nikolaj og Julie (2002). She was previously married to Jacob Thuesen.

SARAH LUND (THE KILLING)

24. William Conrad

Actor | Cannon

William Conrad became a television star relatively late in his career. In fact, the former Army Air Corps World War II fighter pilot began his screen career playing heavies. He was Max, one of The Killers (1946) hired to finish off Burt Lancaster in his dingy lodgings. He was the corrupt state ...

FRANK CANNON, NERO WOLF, & J.L."FATMAN" McCABE (JAKE AND THE FATMAN)

25. Jeremy Brett

Actor | My Fair Lady

The refined and debonair English actor Jeremy Brett will forever be best remembered for his long-running and critically acclaimed portrayal of Sherlock Holmes for Britain's Granada Television. From a privileged background, Brett was educated at England's most prestigious independent school, Eton ...

SHERLOCK HOLMES

26. Christopher Plummer

Actor | Beginners

Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer was born in Toronto, Ontario. He is the only child of Isabella Mary (Abbott), a secretary to the Dean of Sciences at McGill University, and John Orme Plummer, who sold securities and stocks. He is a great-grandson of John Abbott, who was Canada's third Prime Minister...

SHERLOCK HOLMES

27. Basil Rathbone

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1892, but three years later his family was forced to flee the country because his father was accused by the Boers of being a British spy at a time when Dutch-British conflicts were leading to the Boer War. The Rathbones escaped to England, ...

SHERLOCK HOLMES

28. Peter Cushing

Actor | Star Wars

Peter Wilton Cushing was born on May 26, 1913 in Kenley, Surrey, England, to Nellie Maria (King) and George Edward Cushing, a quantity surveyor. He and his older brother David were raised first in Dulwich Village, a south London suburb, and then later back in Surrey. At an early age, Cushing was ...

SHERLOCK HOLMES

29. Christopher Lee

Actor | Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was perhaps the only actor of his generation to have starred in so many films and cult saga. Although most notable for personifying bloodsucking vampire, Dracula, on screen, he portrayed other varied characters on screen, most of which were villains, whether it ...

SHERLOCK HOLMES

30. Buddy Ebsen

Actor | The Beverly Hillbillies

Buddy Ebsen began his career as a dancer in the late 1920s in a Broadway chorus. He later formed a vaudeville act with his sister Vilma Ebsen, which also appeared on Broadway. In 1935 he and his sister went to Hollywood, where they were signed for the first of MGM's Eleanor Powell movies, Broadway ...

BARNABY JONES

31. Raymond Burr

Actor | Godzilla, King of the Monsters!

Born Raymond William Stacy Burr on 21 May 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life traveling. As a youngster, his father moved his family to China, where the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents separated. He ...

IRONSIDE

32. John Gregson

Actor | The Battle of the River Plate

A former telephone engineer who dabbled in amateur dramatics, John Gregson served aboard a minesweeper with the Royal Navy during World War II. After demobilisation, he joined the Liverpool Old Vic, making his stage debut in 'The Knight of the Burning Pestle'. Freshly married, he moved to London ...

GEORGE GIDEON (GIDEON'S WAY)

33. James Garner

Actor | The Notebook

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s.

James Garner was born James Scott ...

JIM ROCKFORD & PHILLIP MARLOWE

34. Stacy Keach

Actor | Nebraska

Stacy Keach has played to grand success a constellation of the classic and contemporary stage's greatest roles, and he is considered a pre-eminent American interpreter of Shakespeare. His SRO run as "King Lear" at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C. received the best reviews any ...

MIKE HAMMER

35. Trevor Eve

Actor | Waking the Dead

Trevor Eve was born on July 1, 1951 in Birmingham, England as Trevor John Eve. He is an actor and producer, known for Waking the Dead (2000), She's Out of My League (2010) and Dracula (1979). He has been married to Sharon Maughan since March 1, 1980. They have three children.

PETER BOYD (WAKING THE DEAD) & EDDIE SHOESTRING (SHOESTRING)

36. Oiva Lohtander

Actor | Raid

Oiva Lohtander was born on April 15, 1942 in Vilppula, Finland as Oiva Orvo Arvid Lohtander. He is an actor and director, known for Raid (2000), Joulubileet (1996) and Puhtaaksikirjoittaja (2005).

KOMISARIO JONSSON (RAID)

37. Jakob Eklund

Actor | Noll tolerans

Jakob Eklund was born on February 21, 1962. He is an actor, known for Noll tolerans (1999), Livvakterna (2001) and Run for Your Life (1997). He has been married to Marie Richardson since August 12, 2008. They have two children.

JOHAN FALK

38. 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 ...

JIMMY 'POPEYE' DOYLE

39. Ed O'Neill

Actor | Married with Children

Ed O'Neill is an American actor best known for playing Al Bundy on Married with Children (1986), the most iconic working class character on television since Archie Bunker. Upon his debut on the world stage in Youngstown, Ohio on April 12, 1946, he was christened Edward Philip O'Neill, Jr. Both his ...

JIMMY 'POPEYE' DOYLE & JOE FRIDAY

40. Horst Tappert

Actor | Derrick

Born on 26 May 1923 in Wuppertal, he served with the Nazi German Waffen-SS in World War II. After attending acting lessons at the theater in Stendal, where he also made his stage debut, he performed on several important stages in Germany, but became widely popular as cinema and television actor in ...

STEPHAN DERRICK

41. John Wayne

Actor | True Grit

John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry.

Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, ...

JIM BRANNIGAN & MC Q

42. Telly Savalas

Actor | Kojak

Son of Greek immigrants. Soldier during World War II. Studied psychology. Worked as journalist for ABC News. The bald-headed actor played character roles, often as sadistic or psychotic types. He became a TV favorite in the 1970s when his role as Det. Theo Kojak in the TV movie Kojak: The ...

THEO KOJAK

43. Michael Kitchen

Actor | Out of Africa

Michael Kitchen was born on October 31, 1948 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England. He is an actor and producer, known for Out of Africa (1985), GoldenEye (1995) and The World Is Not Enough (1999). He has been married to Rowena Miller since 1988. They have two children.

CHRISTOPHER FOYLE

44. Walter Matthau

Actor | The Odd Couple

Walter Matthau was best known for starting in many films which included Charade (1963), The Odd Couple (1968), Grumpy Old Men (1993) and Dennis the Meance (1993). He often worked with Jack Lemmon and the two were Hollywood's craziest stars.

He was born Walter John Matthow in New York City, New York ...

JAKE MARTIN

45. Helen Mirren

Actress | RED

Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlotte's Hospital in West London. Her mother, Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda (Rogers), was from a working-class English family, and her father, Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov, was a Russian-born civil servant, from Kuryanovo, whose own father was a diplomat. ...

JANE TENNYSON

46. Sven Wollter

Actor | The 13th Warrior

Sven Wollter was born on January 11, 1934 in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden. He is an actor and writer, known for The 13th Warrior (1999), Mannen från Mallorca (1984) and Man on the Roof (1976). He has been married to Lisa Wede since May 1, 2003. He was previously married to Viveka ...

'VAN VEETEREN'

47. Powers Boothe

Actor | The Avengers

Incisive, gravelly-voiced screen tough guy Powers Boothe was born on June 1, 1948 in Snyder, Texas, a sharecropper's son. Used to hard physical work "chopping cotton" as a youngster, he went on to become the first member of his family to attend university. He then proceeded to study acting via a ...

PHILLIP MARLOWE

48. David Janssen

Actor | The Fugitive

David Janssen was born David Harold Meyer in 1931 in Naponee, Nebraska, to Berniece Mae (Graf) and Harold Edward Meyer, a banker. He was of German, and some Swiss-German and Scottish-Irish, descent. David took the surname of his stepfather, Eugene Janssen. The Janssen family settled in Hollywood ...

HARRY O

49. Idris Elba

Actor | Beasts of No Nation

An only child, Idrissa Akuna Elba was born and raised in London, England. His father, Winston, is from Sierra Leone and worked at Ford Dagenham; his mother, Eve, is from Ghana and had a clerical duty. Idris attended school in Canning Town, where he first became involved in acting, before he dropped...

JOHN LUTHER

50. Richard Roundtree

Actor | Shaft

Richard Roundtree's iconic career began while attending Southern Illinois University where he was on a football scholarship. After being spotted Richard signed with Johnson Publications to model in their Ebony Fashion Fair, touring 79 cities in 90 days. But rather than returning to school, ...

JOHN SHAFT

51. Rufus Sewell

Actor | Dark City

Rufus Sewell was born on the 29th of October 1967 in Twickenham, England. His mother, Jo, was Welsh, and was an artist and painter. His father, Bill, was an Australian animator who died when Rufus was 10. He has one brother, Caspar. He attended London's Central School of Speech and Drama and left ...

AURELIO ZEN

52. Michael Gambon

Actor | Gosford Park

Sir Michael Gambon was born in Cabra, Dublin, Ireland, to Mary (Hoare), a seamstress, and Edward Gambon, an engineer. After joining the National Theatre, under the Artistic Directorship of Sir Laurence Olivier, Gambon went on to appear in a number of leading roles in plays written by Alan Ayckbourn...

MAIGRET

53. Richard Harris

Actor | Gladiator

A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was the son of Mildred Josephine (Harty) and Ivan John Harris, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for ...

MAIGRET

54. Rupert Davies

Actor | The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Rupert Davies was born on May 22, 1916 in Liverpool, England as Rupert Lisburn Gwynne Davies. He was an actor, known for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Waterloo (1970) and Maigret (1959). He was married to Jessica I. Knowles. He died on November 22, 1976 in London, England.

MAIGRET

55. Bronislaw Cieslak

Actor | Zamknac za soba drzwi

He is a journalist and politician, he is not a professional actor. In 1968 he worked in Polish Radio, then in Cracow TV. He made many tv shows.

SLAWOMIR BOREWICZ (07 ZGLOS SIE)

56. Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt

Actor | Mannen på taket

He was raised on Kungsholmen in Stockholm, where his father had a flower shop. His father was also a social democratic politician. 'Unga Örnar', a socialist youth club, had a theater club which he joined. Since his parents were poor, he had to start work at the age of 16 as a delievery boy. ...

MARTIN BECK

57. Gösta Ekman

Actor | Mannen som slutade röka

His career began with a bit part at Skansenteatern in Hjalmar Bergman's play 'Markurells i Wadköping' in 1955. The following year he debuted in the movie Swing it, fröken (1956) playing against Alice Babs. He got speech lessons from actress Sif Ruud and worked behind the camera in his father's...

MARTIN BECK

58. Tom Selleck

Actor | Blue Bloods

Thomas William Selleck is an American actor and film producer, known for his starring role as Hawaii-based private investigator "Thomas Magnum" on the 1980s television series, Magnum, P.I. (1980).

Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Martha S. (Jagger), a homemaker, and Robert Dean Selleck, a ...

THOMAS MAGNUM, JESSE STONE, & FRANK REAGAN

59. Sharon Gless

Actress | Burn Notice

Show business is in Sharon Gless' blood. Her grandfather, Neil Steere McCarthy (May 6, 1888 - July 25, 1972), was considered by many to have been the most respected and powerful entertainment lawyer of Hollywood's Golden Age. His clients included Howard Hughes, Paramount Pictures, Louis B. Mayer (...

CHRISTINE CAGNEY

60. Tyne Daly

Actress | Spider-Man: Homecoming

Tyne Daly was born on February 21, 1946 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA as Ellen Tyne Daly. She is an actress, known for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Judging Amy (1999) and Cagney & Lacey (1981). She was previously married to Georg Stanford Brown.

MARY-BETH LACEY

61. Mike Connors

Actor | Mannix

He once jokingly described himself as 'a frustrated song-and-dance man' who wound up typecast as a TV crime fighter. Tall, handsome Armenian-American Mike Connors had a minor career in the movies before becoming a star on the small screen as the impeccably dressed macho sleuth Joe Mannix. Towards ...

JOE MANNIX

62. Luca Zingaretti

Actor | Alla luce del sole

Luca Zingaretti was born on November 11, 1961 in Rome, Lazio, Italy. He is an actor and director, known for Alla luce del sole (2005), Mio fratello è figlio unico (2007) and Perez. (2014). He has been married to Luisa Ranieri since May 23, 2012. They have two children. He was previously ...

Inspector Montalbano

63. Peter Falk

Actor | Columbo

Peter Michael Falk was born on September 16, 1927, in New York City, New York. At the age of 3, his right eye was surgically removed due to cancer. He graduated from Ossining High School, where he was president of his class. His early career choices involved becoming a certified public accountant, ...

COLUMBO

64. Richard Griffiths

Actor | Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

British character actor Richard Griffiths came from radio and the classical stage where he built up an early reputation as a Shakespearean clown, with larger-than-life portrayals of Henry VIII, Falstaff in "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and Bottom in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with the Royal ...

HENRY CRABBE

65. Barry Foster

Actor | Frenzy

John Barry Foster's acting career began and ended on the stage. At the age of 20, he won a scholarship to the Central School of Speech and Drama, where he befriended future playwright Harold Pinter. After two years training, Barry went on tour with Andrew McMaster and fellow actors Patrick Magee ...

VAN DER VALK

66. Bryan Marshall

Actor | The Spy Who Loved Me

Bryan studied drama at RADA and soon made an impression on TV in the footballing drama "United" and on film working for Hammer studios in "Quatermass And The Pit" and "The Witches". Perhaps his most major film role is the duplicitous Councillor Harris in "The Long Good Friday". Bryan emigrated to ...

VAN DER VALK (Because of the Cats)

67. Frank Finlay

Actor | The Pianist

One of Britain's finest products of the stage, film and TV, actor Frank Finlay, he with the dark and handsomely serious-to-mordant looks, was born on August 6, 1926, in Farnworth, England, the son of Josiah, a butcher, and Margaret Finlay. Of English, Irish and Scottish descent, Frank attended St. ...

VAN DER VALK (Pas de frontières pour l'inspecteur: Le bouc émissaire & Van der Valk und das Mädchen)

68. Wolfgang Kieling

Actor | Polizeirevier Davidswache

Wolfgang Kieling was born on March 16, 1924 in Berlin, Germany. He was an actor and assistant director, known for Polizeirevier Davidswache (1964), Torn Curtain (1966) and Amsterdam Affair (1968). He was married to Monika Gabriel, Gisela Uhlen, Jola Jobst and Göllnitz, Johanna. He died on October 7...

VAN DER VALK(Amsterdam Affair)