Who doesn’t love a good mystery / crime novel? Who didn’t want to be a detective at least once in a lifetime, wishing to stumble upon mysteries and surprise everybody with his or her deductive and cognitive skills? And who doesn’t love a good mystery / crime movie or TV series, one to keep us alert, with our hearts pounding in our chests and with our brain cells spinning round and round frantically, desperate to solve the problem before the credits roll?
There were and still are some magnificent crime novelists who created immortal characters that are still popular now, even if their creators are long gone. And since we all know the movie and the TV industry loves to put a good story into pictures, some of these fascinating detectives managed to also make history on screen. But what about the actors who portrayed them?
If you are thinking about world – wide famous James Bond, you will realize that each age had its idol. A character played by so many brilliant actors, it is hard to decide which one was the best or “who” is Bond. Some will tell you that 007 equals Sean Connery, others still root for Pierce Brosnan, while the recent years have been totally conquered by Daniel Craig. Same goes with Sherlock Holmes too. Who is the actor that IS Sherlock? Hard to pick a favorite…
But today we will talk about 3 actors who will forever be remembered for the detectives they played, actors that are almost identical in the public conscience with their characters, who gave them life and reserved them a place into eternity.
1. David Suchet – Hercule Poirot
Admit it: you zap through your TV channels, catch a glimpse of David Suchet and in an instant you know you’re looking at an Agatha Christie movie with famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Between 1989-2013 Agatha Christie: Poirot TV Series was David Suchet’s acting highlight, although he played in many other movies and TV shows. However, the way he looks, speaks, moves and interprets the odd little private eye with a funny French accent and the stubbornness of not acting otherwise but sit in a chair and think, turned Suchet and his Poirot into cinema touchstones for all future generations.
2. Peter Falk – Lt. Columbo
Peter Falk is an actor who doesn’t need much presentation, as he is a monument in the world of cinema. However, how many times did you think of him and instead of speaking his true name, you referred to him as “Columbo”? Between 1971-2003, Columbo was one of the most appraised detective shows on TV, as rugged, bum looking police officer managed to surprise everybody with a deductive brilliance that few of his colleagues would have suspected underneath that air of permanent confusion and naivety. Peter Falk is one of those actors who will forever be remembered for the detectives they played, while Columbo still has his charm, even after all these years.
3. Eddie Constantine – Lemmy Caution
Lemmy Caution is Peter Cheyney’s literary FBI agent who is quite similar to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe but who has a set of traits that makes him quite the hot shot. Lemmy Caution, despite being an American officer of the law, is written by British policier writer Cheyney and, believe it or not, recorded an enormous success all over the world. You know the drill, you write some awesome crime novels and then movie producers come knocking at your door. So Lemmy Caution was given to Eddie Constantine who played him so well, the two became the same person. Rumors have it that Constantine was never able to get rid of Caution, as the public associated them so well, the character became the actor’s glory and cross to bear.
We would have loved to add Philip Marlowe here, America’s most spectacular hard boiled, noir, tough detective ever, but Mr. Marlowe was portrayed by an entire series of acting hot – shots. Humphrey Bogart may have had the best performance ever, but you can’t take him for Marlow as you can take Suchet for Poirot, for instance. If you have other actors who will forever be remembered for the detectives they played, please feel free to jump into the conversation. We hold very dear Angela Lansbury’s Jessica Fletcher and John Nettle’s Tom Barnaby, but we’re open to learn about your favorites too!