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Edward Hardwicke Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (7)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 7 August 1932London, England, UK
Date of Death 16 May 2011Chichester, England, UK  (cancer)
Birth NameEdward Cedric Hardwicke
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Edward Hardwicke was born on August 7, 1932 in London, England as Edward Cedric Hardwicke. He was an actor, known for Elizabeth (1998), Love Actually (2003) and The Scarlet Letter (1995). He was married to Prim Cotton and Anne Iddon. He died on May 16, 2011 in Chichester, England.

Spouse (2)

Prim Cotton (23 March 1995 - 16 May 2011) (his death)
Anne Iddon (21 June 1957 - ?) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (13)

Military service in the RAF, pilot officer, 1951-1952.
Son of Cedric Hardwicke and Helena (Pickard) Hardwicke.
Father of two daughters: Kate and Emma Hardwicke.
Educated at Stowe School.
Dramatic training at Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
An Associate Member of RADA.
Beginning with The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1986), Hardwicke took over the role of Dr. Watson in the various Jeremy Brett "Sherlock Holmes" TV series following the departure of David Burke, who played the Watson role in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984).
Step-daughter: Claire.
His uncle on his mother's side was Group Captain Percy Charles Pickard DSO, DFC. G/C Pickard featured as the pilot of the Vickers Wellington bomber in the 1941 British propaganda film "Target For Tonight" extolling the British bomber offensive against Germany. In October 1943 Pickard took over command of 140 Wing flying the all wood De Haviland Mosquito. The connections between the Mosquito and the cinema were strong, for the aircraft's manufacturer Sir Geoffrey De Haviland was a cousin of actresses Olivia De Haviland and Joan Fontaine and the legendary exploits of British and Commonwealth Mosquito crews would inspire the films "633 Squadron" and "Mosquito Squadron". G/C Pickard was killed in action on February 18th 1944 leading the daring low level attack against Amiens prison in Northern France. The Mosquitos breached a hole in the prison wall enabling 400 French resistance fighters to escape,of which 258 managed to evade re-capture. Sadly G/C Pickard was shot down by a German fighter as he headed home and was killed along with his navigator John Broadley DSO, DFC, DFM. Aspects of the Amiens prison raid were incorporated into the 1968 film "Mosquito Squadron".
His close friends included Ronnie Corbett, Albert Finney, Anthony Hopkins and Peter O'Toole.
From 1954 to 1957, he acted at the Old Vic. From 1964 to 1971, he was member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre.
He played Albert, Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII) in The Pallisers: Part Seventeen (1974) while his mother Helena Pickard played Edward VII's mother Queen Victoria in The Lady with a Lamp (1951).
He played Lord Stanley in Richard III (1995) while his father Cedric Hardwicke played King Edward IV of England in Richard III (1955).

Personal Quotes (7)

"During our 10 year association, I was privileged to get to know Jeremy very well. We became great friends. We both believed that the friendship between Holmes and Watson must be rooted in humour. In reality, Jeremy made sure there was always laughter when we were working. In spite of the enormous strain his illness placed on him he never lost his sense of joy. He had a wonderful laugh. It was infectious. The enormous list of actors and technicians who worked on the series will tell you that they never had a happier job. That was Jeremy. This, of course, was the background to a great actor giving a great performance. I shall miss him." - speaking of working with Jeremy Brett on the Sherlock Holmes series.
The biggest compliment I had paid to me was, on several occasions, I was called "David". People said, "David, can you move that way?" and I thought, "Well, there aren't too many ripples here if they think I'm David Burke." I really don't know how I differed from David, I mean we *were* different. Subsequently I've read, people said I seem to be an older, graver Watson. That always worried me a bit because I thought - what I *did* feel very strongly about playing Watson with Holmes is that two people who work together in those circumstances have to have a lot of humor, there has to be a lot of laughter. I consciously remember thinking every time there was an opportunity to bring out that sense of humor between the two people, the fact that you could smile about certain things that Holmes would say, or laugh at things that he would say, seemed to me very important. It seems to me people who work together in a rather difficult job tend to laugh a lot.
I remember one major problem which I had which was that I was always having to read things out of newspapers. And because I don't - I have to wear glasses to read and couldn't do it as Watson, so I was always learning vast quantities of newsprint, which I found *very* tedious.
But I remember saying to Jeremy . . . "I feel I'm disappearing inside my costume." I just felt everything was too overwhelming and there wasn't an awful lot for Watson to do and I do remember David (Burke) saying that he found it very difficult to have to react a lot without having a lot of text. Jeremy subsequently found that he got a bit fed up, and I think understandably, with having to learn *huge* amounts of text and tried to get the writers to dispense a bit of it to Watson. So I picked up some of the kind of bits that Jeremy didn't really want to do.
Well, I think he's the audience. I think he is the, sort of, receptor of the idea. I think Watson really is every-man and one has to remind oneself that he's working with, or associating with, a genius.
"The whole series was a hugely happy occasion. Two wonderful producers, Michael Cox and June Wyndham-Davies, who were wonderfully knowledgeable about the stories. Lovely casts of people, these people were thrilled to be in it, they were *thrilled* to be in it. I made lifelong friends of a number of people I see frequently. And, as I say, dominated by Jeremy; hugely generous, wonderfully eccentric. But it was a very, very happy time and he's deeply and sadly missed. I mean, I miss him . . . he was an extraordinary man and a *great* loss and sadly, I feel, not honored enough for what he did; he didn't get any gongs for that performance. And it will be remembered, I'm sure, because I think he was an extraordinary Holmes." (2003)
Close friendships need humour and tolerance. Watson needs a sense of humour to survive Holmes' worst excesses.

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