Born into a wealthy family, Moriarty enjoyed a comfortable upbringing alongside at least one sibling, a younger brother. An intelligent child, he excelled particularly in the area of mathematics, writing two books on the subject in his early adulthood. These works gained him a position as a respected professor at a small university. However, he was not content to merely be an academic, and began engaging in crime, eventually creating a vast and extremely profitable criminal empire.
Moriarty was originally created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for his Sherlock Holmes stories. He made his first appearance in "The Final Problem".
Major Story Arcs
The Valley of Fear
Moriarty orchestrates the murder of a man named John Douglas in Sussex. His initial plot to kill the man fails, with the assassin dying in his place. Some time later, Moriarty orchestrates events such that Douglas is lost over the side of a ship bound for South Africa. He sends a taunting letter to Sherlock Holmes, who became involved in Douglas' case following the first attempt.
The Final Problem
Moriarty visits Holmes, warning him to abandon his attempts to bring Moriarty to justice. Holmes refuses, and Moriarty responds by sending several assassins after him. These fail to kill the detective, and Moriarty begins tracking Holmes and John Watson personally. Despite Holmes' best efforts, Moriarty manages to slip the net that has ensnared most of his operatives in England and travels to the continent, where Holmes and Watson are attempting to evade him. He catches up with the pair in Switzerland, distracting Watson away and confronting Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls. The pair fight, and Moriarty plunges to his death.
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Moriarty is revealed to have survived his encounter with Holmes at the Falls. He returns to England and finds employment with MI6. He attempts to use the cavorite airship to destroy the lair of one of his enemies. In so doing, he will take destroy much of London, as well as the League. The League manages to defeat him, and he floats into space clutching the cavorite. His frozen body is located some sixty years later, still drifting through space.
Powers and Abilities
Moriarty is exceptionally intelligent. He has a particular aptitude for mathematics, perhaps surpassed only by his gift for villainy.
Moriarty appears as an anthropomorphic wolf in this anime. He is voiced by Chikao Ohtsuka in Japanese and Hamilton Camp in English.
Moriarty appears in the episodes "Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century Part 1" and "Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century Part 2". He is voiced by Jonathan Harris.
The Real Ghostbusters
Moriarty is brought into reality by the power of collective belief in the episode "Elementary My Dear Winston".
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
Moriarty appears as the primary antagonist in this television series, returned to life as a clone. He is voiced by Richard Newman.
Moriarty appears as a holograph. He is voiced by David Herman.
Tom and Jerry Meet Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty appears in this direct-to-video Tom and Jerry film. He is played by Malcolm McDowell.
Moriarty appears in this short film. He is played by Gustave Lund
Moriarty appears in this film. He is played by Ernest Maupain.
The Valley of Fear
Moriarty appears in this silent adaptation of the novel of the same name. He is played by Booth Conway.
Moriarty appears in this film. He is played by Gustav von Seyffertitz
The Final Problem
Moriarty appears as the villain in this silent film. He is played by Percy Standing
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty appears in this loose adaptation of the Holmes stories. He is played by Harry T Morey.
The Sleeping Cardinal
Moriarty appears, originally disguised as Colonel Henslowe. He is played by Norman McKinnell.
Moriarty is sentenced to death, and later escapes imprisonment. He is played by Ernest Torrence.
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty appears in this loose adaptation of The Valley of Fear. He is played by Lyn Harding.
Moriarty appears in this loose adaptation of "Silver Blaze". Lyn Harding reprises his role.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty appears as the antagonist in this film. He is played by George Zucco
Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
Moriarty appears as an antagonist. He is played by Lionel Atwill
The Woman in Green
Moriarty appears as the antagonist in the film. He is played by Henry Daniell
Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace
Moriarty appears as the antagonist in this German film. He is played by Hans Söhnker.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother
Moriarty appears as the villain in this comedic film. He is portrayed by Leo McKern.
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
Moriarty appears as an innocent man who has become the victim of Holmes' delusions. He is played by Laurence Olivier.
Young Sherlock Holmes
A fencing instructor named Rathe is later revealed to be Moriarty. He is played by Anthony Higgins.
The Great Mouse Detective
A character based on Moriarty, Professor Ratigan, appears in this animated film. He is played by Vincent Price.
Without a Clue
Moriarty appears in this film, apparently aware that his true nemesis is Dr Watson and not the fictional Holmes. He is played by Paul Freeman.
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Moriarty appears as the main antagonist in this loose adaptation of the Alan Moore comics of the same name. He is played by Richard Roxburgh.
Moriarty appears briefly as a shadowy figure; he is implied to have been manipulating all the events in the film.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Moriarty appears as the antagonist in this sequel to the 2009 film. He is played by Jared Harris.
"Holmesian Guide to the Internet"
Moriarty appears in this short film about social media. He is played by Fauso Coppi.
Sherlock Holmes Canon
Moriarty was originally created for the Sherlock Holmes series of stories. He appears in one novel and one short story in the series. He is referenced in a further five stories.
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
In this novel by Philip José Farmer, Moriarty is alleged to be the same person as Captain Nemo.
The Return of Moriarty, The Revenge of Moriarty, Moriarty
Moriarty appears in this trilogy by John Gardner, where he is revealed to have been disgraced and murdered by his younger brother, who then seized control of his criminal empire.
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
In this novel by Nicholas Meyer, Moriarty, an innocent man and former tutor to the young Holmes, finds himself the victim of the cocaine-addled Holmes' delusions.
Professor Moriarty Series
Moriarty appears as an antihero and occasional hero in this series by Michael Kurland, which consists of four novels and three short stories.
"The Adventure of the Global Traveller"
In this short story by Anne Lear, Moriarty does not die at the Falls, but instead accidentally travels back in time.
Enter the Lion: A Posthumous Memoir of Mycroft Holmes
Moriarty appears in Michael P Hodel and Sean M Wright's novel as the son of Jerrold Moriarty, a politician who commits suicide to avoid arrest due to the intervention of Holmes and his elder brother, Mycroft Holmes. For this, Moriarty bears the brothers a vicious grudge.
In this novel by Kim Newman, Moriarty is a vampire who has given up his life of crime.
The Secret Cases of Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty appears as an antagonist in a short story in this collection by Donald Thomas.
The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes
In this pastiche novel by Jamyang Norbu, Moriarty is revealed to have been the Dark One, a psychic Tibetan mystic of great power who had lost his memory.
Shadows Over Baker Street
Moriarty appears as the main character in "A Study in Emerald," a pastiche of the Sherlock Holmes universe and HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos written by Neil Gaiman.
Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D'Urbervilles
Moriarty is the focus of this series of short stories written by Kim Newman. The stories are narrated by Sebastian Moran and imitate the Holmes style closely.
The House of Silk
Moriarty appears as a criminal mastermind briefly encountered by Watson in this novel by Anthony Horowitz.
Une aventure de Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty appears in this French language made-for-television movie. He is played by Grégoire Aslan.
Moriarty appears in the episode "Elementary My Dear Watson". He is played by Bill Maynard.
Sherlock Holmes in New York
Moriarty appears as the main antagonist in this made-for-televison film. He is portrayed by John Huston.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson
Moriarty appears in this series of Russian television films. He is played by Viktor Yevgrafov and voiced by Oleg Dahl in one film.
Sherlock Holmes: The Strange Case of Alice Faulkner
Moriarty appears in this made-for-television movie. He is played by George Morfogen
Moriarty appears in this made-for-television movie. He is played by François Maistre.
The Baker Street Boys
Moriarty appears in the episode "The Adventure of the Winged Scarab: Part 2". He is played by Colin Jeavons.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Moriarty appears in the episodes "The Red-Headed League" and "The Final Problem", as well as briefly in "The Empty House" and as a hallucination in "The Devil's Foot." He is played by Eric Porter.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Moriarty appears as a sentient holodeck simulation in the episodes "Elementary, Dear Data" and "Ship in a Bottle". He is portrayed by Daniel Davis
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Moriarty appears in the episode "My Dear Watson". He is played by John Colicos.
Hands of a Murderer
Moriarty appears in this made-for-television film. He is played by Anthony Andrews
The Hound of London
Moriarty appears in this made-for-television movie. He is played by Jack Macreath.
Sherlock: Case of Evil
Moriarty appears in this made-for-television movie. He is played by Vincent D'Onofrio.
Jim Moriarty is the main antagonist in the first two series of this show, appearing in the episodes "The Great Game", "A Scandal in Belgravia", "The Hounds of Baskerville", and "The Reichenbach Fall". He is played by Andrew Scott.
Moriarty appears in this Russian television program. He is played by Alexey Gorbunov
"The Final Problem"
Moriarty appears in this radio adaptation of the original story. He is played by Orson Welles.
"The Final Problem" and "The Empty House"
Moriarty appears in these BBC Radio adaptations. He is voiced by Michael Pennington.