Nigel Bruce

Nigel Bruce

Ensenada, Ensenada Municipality, Baja California, Mexico
Death 8 Oct 1953 (aged 58)
Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Vault #35167
Memorial ID 5429 · View Source
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Actor. He is best remembered for playing 'Doctor John H. Watson', opposite Basil Rathbone, in the "Sherlock Holmes" movies of the 1930s and 1940s. The son of a British baronet, Sir William Bruce, he was born in Ensenada, Mexico, where his parents were vacationing. In 1914, at the beginning of World War I, he enlisted into the British Army, and was severely wounded in France in 1915, spending the remainder of the war in the hospital. In 1920, he began a stage career in the play "Why Marry?" and in 1929, shifted to British silent films. In 1934, he moved to Hollywood, where he would become a staunch and beloved member of the California British "colony" of actors. He had mastered playing blustery, inept, aristocratic Brits, and it was in this characterization that he most charmed the American audiences. In "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936), an Errol Flynn show piece movie, he played the lovable and charming Sir Benjamin Warrenton, while in "The Scarlet Pimpernel" (1934) he played the ineffective, blustery Prince of Wales, roles that he had mastered earlier in Britain in such movies as "The Calendar" (1931) and "Lord Camber's Ladies" (1932). He is best remembered as the bumbling but lovable Dr. John Watson in the Sherlock Holmes' films, beginning with "The Hound of the Baskervilles" (1939), and ending with "Dressed to Kill" (1946). He also played 'Dr. Watson' in a series of radio broadcasts with Basil Rathbone, continuing the Sherlock Holmes' mysteries. All total, he would appear in some 77 movies. He died of a heart attack in 1953, in Santa Monica, California, and his last movie role, that of Governor Coutts in "World for Ransom" (1954), was released the following year. His autobiography, entitled "Games, Gossip and Greasepaint" has never been published, although extracts of it were printed in 1998.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 15 May 1999
  • Find a Grave Memorial 5429
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Nigel Bruce (14 Feb 1895–8 Oct 1953), Find a Grave Memorial no. 5429, citing Chapel Of The Pines Crematory, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .