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A Posthumous BAFTA For Jeremy Brett

A Posthumous BAFTA for Jeremy Brett
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Fifteen years have passed since Jeremy Brett died in September 1995.

Although Jeremy is, of course, best remembered for his role as Sherlock Holmes, which he played to perfection–the very embodiment of the Sydney Pagnet drawings and very true to the character of Sherlock Holmes that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote–it was by no means his only work. Jeremy had a long and rich acting career, starting in 1954 and ending with his death in 1995. That is a total of 41 years!!

We hope that after visiting this page you will have seen, and indeed agree, that Jeremy was a very versatile actor, his performances ranging from classic Shakespeare plays such as Macbeth and Hamlet to period dramas such as Florence Nightingale and The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde), The Good Soldier and to thriller films such as The Secret of Seagull Island, and, of course, the musical My Fair Lady, which is familiar to many filmgoers around the world.

Jeremy’s skills were not just confined to acting. He was also a remarkable singer who had a powerful voice. He sang in Lehars operetta The Merry Widow and sang other songs as well. What is striking about Jeremy’s performances on film, stage, or television is his magnetic presence. He commanded the screen and stage. A poignant and powerful testament to that can be seen in his final on screen appearance in Moll Flanders in which a very ill Jeremy gave viewers one last reminder of what a powerful and skilled actor he was. His five minute cameo performance overshadowed the likes of Morgan Freeman who could only sit and be dazzled by Jeremys master class performance which should have been worthy of an award in itself considering Jeremy was extremely ill when the film was being made.

It is a sad fact that, although Jeremy presented a BAFTA for “Best Foreign Television Program” at the 1989 ceremony, he was never awarded one himself. It is also sad that whilst Jeremy was recognised by the French state for his unequalled portrayal of Sherlock Holmes through receiving the Légion d'honneur Medal, he has never received any form of recognition from his own country.

We feel that Jeremy should have been given the recognition he so richly deserved in his lifetime. His performances still entertain millions around the world today. Take Sherlock Holmes, for example, which Jeremy is best known for: DVD box sets of the highly acclaimed series are very much in demand. ITV3, a UK television channel has been repeatedly broadcasting the series daily, drawing in a sizeable audience. PBS Television in the United States has done the same.

Jeremy is well remembered by so many people around the world, and the petition is testament to that. We would like BAFTA to recognise Jeremy Bretts 41 years of acting on stage, film and television. It is a shameful fact that whilst Jeremy presented a BAFTA at the 1989 ceremony, he was never awarded one. We think it is now time to rectify this and recognise and applaud the legacy left behind by one of Britain's best- loved actors.

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  • mrbrett

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