Sherlock Holmes on screen
Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his assistant, Dr. John Watson (Martin Freeman), are on the case in 21st century London in the popular BBC revamp of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's immortal detective.
The deductive genius of 221B Baker Street has been portrayed by more film and TV actors than nearly any other fictional character. Click through our gallery to see some of the most memorable.
The Good Doctor donned a deerstalker cap for the 1982 BBC miniseries, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" - one of at least 21 film or TV versions of Doyle's classic tale.
John Barrymoore starred as Holmes opposite Roland Young as Dr. Watson in the 1922 film, "Sherlock Holmes," based on William Gillette's stage adaptation of several Doyle stories.
Jeremy Brett starred as Holmes in a series of British TV productions in the 1980s and '90s, after playing Watson opposite Charlton Heston's Holmes on stage.
Clive Brook played Sherlock Holmes in films twice, in 1929 and 1932.
In the 1988 comedy, "Without a Clue," Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley) is the true deductive genius behind Sherlock Holmes (played by Michael Caine).
After portraying Sherlock Holmes on TV in 1972, Monty Python's John Cleese played Arthur Sherlock Holmes, the bumbling grandson of the famed detective, in "The Strange Case of the End of Civilization As We Know It" (1977), with Arthur Lowe as Dr. Watson.
In one of the more unfortunate comedic takes on the Arthur Conan Doyle canon, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore starred as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Paul Morrisey's spoof of "The Hound of the Baskervilles." The deductive geniuses never sounded sillier.
In a modernized take on the Doyle stories, Benedict Cumberbatch (right) and Martin Freeman star as Holmes and Watson in 21st century London in the BBC series, "Sherlock."
The 1959 Hammer Studios film of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" starred Peter Cushing as Sherlock Holmes.
James D'Arcy, as novice detective Sherlock Holmes, examines some grey matter up close in the 2002 TV movie, "Sherlock."
Robert Downey Jr.
The 2009 adventure "Sherlock Holmes," starring Robert Downey Jr. as the superhero-detective (with Jude Law as Watson), was a brawny success, spawning a sequel, "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows."
Stage actor William Gillette - allegedly described by Arthur Conan Doyle as the best thespian to tackle his creation - starred in his own successful stage adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and later portrayed the character in a 1916 film.
Ronald Howard, son of "Gone With the Wind" star Leslie Howard, appeared as Sherlock Holmes in a syndicated TV series in 1954-55. Shot in France, only a few of the 39 episodes are based on Doyle's stories.
Frank Langella starred in a revival of William Gillette's 1899 play, "Sherlock Holmes," which was taped for broadcast by HBO.
After playing Sir Henry Baskerville opposite Peter Cushing's Sherlock Holmes in Hammer's "Hound of the Baskervilles," Lee took a turn playing the detective himself in a German-backed production, "Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace" (1962), directed by Hammer favorite Terence Fisher.
Jonny Lee Miller
Another modern take on Doyle, "Elementary" stars Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes and Lucy Liu as a female Dr. Watson in the series set in contemporary New York City.
In the 1976 TV movie, "Sherlock Holmes in New York," Roger Moore as Holmes pursues arch-foe Moriarty across the Atlantic.
Years before playing the mysterious "Well-Manicured Man" on "The X Files," John Neville played Sherlock Holmes in pursuit of Jack the Ripper in the 1965 thriller, "A Study in Terror."
It's Sherlock Holmes (Reginald Owen) versus a secret society in "A Study in Scarlet" (1933).
Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer) shows Inspector Foxborough (David Hemmings) that he's prepared for Jack the Ripper in the 1979 drama, "Murder by Decree."
Sherlock Holmes (Jonathan Pryce) is on the case with the assistance of some street kids who help solve a murder, in the 2007 children's film, "Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars."
Basil Rathbone was Hollywood's most memorable player of Sherlock Holmes. He starred in the 1939 version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles," and made 13 more films, for 20th Century Fox and Universal, as Doyle's detective.
Rathbone & Bruce
Look out, Holmes! Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson and Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in "The Woman in Green" (1945).
While the earliest films starring the pair as Doyle's detectives were set in the period of the source novels, later films were set in the present day, allowing the genius detective to match wits against Nazi spies while wearing a fedora.
In 1982 Ian Richardson starred in two TV adaptations of Doyle stories, "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Sign of Four."
In Barry Levinson's origin tale, "Young Sherlock Holmes" (written by Chris Columbus), Nicholas Rowe played the boy detective meeting the future Dr. Watson at boarding school. Together they embark on the trail of an ancient Egyptian cult.
Hermann SpeelmansHermann Speelmans starred in a 1937 German film, "Sherlock Holmes."
Billy Wilder ("Some Like It Hot") directed and co-wrote "The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes" (1970), which starred Robert Stephens as the detective whose investigation into a missing engineer takes him to Scotland, where an appearance of the Loch Ness monster proves to be something else much more nefarious.
In "The Seven Percent Solution" (1976), based on Nicholas Meyer's novel, Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) and Dr. Watson (Robert Duvall) seek the aid of Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin) to cure Holmes' cocaine addiction - and to solve a mystery locked in the great detective's subconscious.
Douglas Wontner played Sherlock Holmes in five U.K. films in the 1930s, including "The Sleeping Cardinal," "The Missing Rembrandt" (considered a lost film), "The Sign of Four," "The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes," and "Silver Blaze."
john Hillerman, long a second banana to the star of "Magnum P.I.," played Dr. Watson to Edward Woodward's Sherlock Holmes in the 1990 TV movie, "Hands of a Murderer."
The popularity of Sherlock Holmes led not only to authorized versions of Doyle stories but also comedic riffs on the highly popular character. In the 1937 German film, "The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes," Hans Albers and Heinz Ruhmann play detectives who impersonate Holmes and Watson. They get into hot water, only to be rescued by none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself!
George C. Scott
Based on the play by James Goldman ("The Lion in Winter"), "They Might Be Giants" (1971) stars George C. Scott as a man convinced he is Holmes. Joined by his psychiatrist, Dr. Watson (Joanne Woodward), he sets off in pursuit of the villainous Moriarty.
In an episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Holmes fan Data (Brent Spiner) becomes the character in a Holodeck recreation of an ersatz Arthur Conan Doyle mystery, complete with arch villain Moriarty (who has some surprises in store for the Enterprise computer).
"Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century"
Thanks to cellular regeneration, a scientist of the future brings back to life the fabled detective who - aided by his robotic sidekick Watson - tackles mysteries that Doyle buffs might consider cellular regenerations themselves, in the 1996 cartoon series, "Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century."
In the 2015 mystery "Mr. Holmes," directed by Bill Condon ("Gods and Monsters"), Ian McKellan plays the aging detective after the Second World War, as he recalls the circumstances of his final case. Based on Mitch Cullin's 2005 novel, "A Slight Trick of the Mind."
To uncover more Holmesiana:
"Sherlock" - Season premiere January 19, 2014, on PBS' "Masterpiece"
221B Con, Atlanta (April 4-6)
The Baker Street Babes
Better Holmes and Gardens (blog)
The Sherlock Holmes Museum
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan