Whether you’re inspired by the magic of theater or are an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, it’s well worth reading about the life story of William Gilette. An actor who had a profound influence on contemporary theater and is best known for his portrayal of the character, Sherlock Holmes.
Everything that you need to know about the actor gillette:
He is best remembered for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes:
William Gilette’s most notable role was playing the detective Sherlock Holmes. If when you think of the character of Sherlock Holmes, you automatically picture Holmes donning a deerstalker cap and smoking a pipe, you may be surprised to learn that it was Gilette’s portrayal of Holmes, which created this depiction of Sherlock Holmes. Even in modern-day renditions of Sherlock Holmes such as Robert Downey Jnr’s portrayal of Holmes, he wears a deerstalker cap and smokes a pipe, just like Gilette.
Gilette portrayed Holmes both on stage and on film:
If you’re curious about his portrayal of Holmes, you’ll be able to watch clips from his silent film adaptation of Sherlock Holmes online. However, Gilette also appeared on stage in his heyday as Holmes more than 1,300 times. Over a time span of 30 years. He even played Holmes in two radio adaptations of Sherlock Holmes.
He had a variety of skillsets that he used throughout his career in the entertainment industry:
Not only was William Gilette a professional actor but he was also a manager, playwright, director, and inventor. As he was passionate about theater he also was interested in set design.
He helped theater become more realistic:
Prior to Gilette’s influence, theater was known for being overly overdramatic and was what is known today as melodrama. Gilette was passionate about bringing a sense of realism to theater and championed more realistic sets, sounds, costumes, and props.
One of his first plays to receive rave reviews was Held By the Enemy:
Held By the Enemy was the first play which Gilette wrote and directed which was designed to usher in a new era of contemporary, realistic theater and gained rave reviews in the United Kingdom. Which previously was openly negative about most of the plays which came out of the United States. Held By the Enemy was set in the United States and was a Civil War play. You may be interested to learn that Held By the Enemy was the very first wholly American play to achieve commercial success on British stages.
He left behind a castle which is legacy:
As well as his influence on the world of theater, Gilette left the world another legacy a castle which is named Gilette Castle. A castle that is perched on a hill within the confines of Gilette Castle State Park and boasts its very own miniature train. The train tracks that the miniature train travels around is approximately 3 miles long. Today the Gilette Castle and the park which it resides in belongs to the Connecticut state government and attracts 100,000 visitors per year.
So if you are interested in history, the magical world of theater or actors from bygone eras, hopefully you discovered a few interesting facts about the life of William Gilette.