Who is this forgotten Sherlock Holmes?
This is one of my favorite stories in the Holmes acting world. In 1914, G.B. Samuelson formed his own company and hired George Pearson to be his studio director. They decided that their first film was going to be A Study in Scarlet. Ah, but who to play Holmes? Pearson wanted a tall, thin actor that had the classic Paget-like appearance for his movie. He couldn't find a suitable candidate. But he remembered an accountant he had seen in Samuelson's Birmingham office. The man was perfect! That man was James Bragington.
Of course, there was a slight problem. Bragington was not an actor. In fact, this would be the only acting job he ever had. Samuelson closely instructed him for this silent film. Unfortunately, there is no known surviving print. Word is that Bragington returned to his accounting duties as soon as the film was finished. As a budget analyst, I think it would be fantastic if I were cast in a Holmes movie. Guess that kind of thing doesn't happen anymore. But James Bragington is an interesting footnote in the Holmes acting history.
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