Sherlock Holmes named most portrayed literary character

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Sherlock Holmes, who has been portrayed by actors like Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Robert Downey Jr and many others, has broken the record for having more film and TV portrayals than any other literary character. The super sleuth has been depicted on the big and small screen a total of 254 times. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s creation beats the next most popular character, Hamlet, by a total of 48 appearances. Shakespeare’s prince of Denmark has been portrayed 206 times. In the past couple of years alone, Holmes has been portrayed by Cumberbatch in the Bafta-winning BBC series and by Downey Jr in two Hollywood blockbusters. The consulting detective made his debut in the 1887 novel ‘A Study In Scarlet’ and went on to become a hit with the reading public. His first depiction on screen is believed to be in a 30-second silent movie, ‘Sherlock Holmes Baffled’, which appeared in the US in the 1890s.

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