MARCH 30, 1893 – JULY 25, 1960
A remarkable character actor, Hoey enjoyed much professional success appearing as Inspector Lestrade in the Sherlock Holmes films starring Basil Rathbone as the Great Detective and Nigel Bruce as Dr. John Watson. Of the fourteen RathboneBruce pictures, Hoey appeared in six:
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943), Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (1943), The Spider Woman (1944), The Pearl ofDeath (1944), Sherlock Holmes and the House of Fear (1945), and Terror by Night (1946).
Similar to Nigel Bruce’s Dr. Watson, Hoey’s Lestrade was often a comic foil and only served to augment the suave, effortless genius of Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes. For instance, in one famous scene from Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, Lestrade ignores Holmes’s instructions and manages to get himself lost in the secret passages behind Musgrave Manor. Hammering desperately on the walls, Lestrade finally attracts the attention of the crowd, including Sherlock Holmes. “Get me out,” he shouts. “I’m lost! I’m all turned around!” For his part, Holmes seems entirely indifferent to the police inspector’s plight, responding: “You have been for years!” And then, turning to the Musgrave’s maid: “Get him out of there, will you, Mrs. Howells? And give him a saucer of milk.”
Dennis Hoey was born Samuel David Hyams in London, England. He passed away in Palm Beach, Florida.