Little is known about Sherlock Holmes' early life. He was born seven years after his elder brother Mycroft Holmes. They were descended from country squires, and almost certainly raised wealthy. He attended university as a young man, and it was there that he began to develop the detective skills that would later earn him fame. Often he took on cases from fellow students.
In 1881 he took residence in 221B Baker Street. Financial difficulties impelled him to take on a flatmate, leading to his introduction to Dr John Watson, who would later become his close friend and biographer.
Holmes was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He made his first appearance in A Study in Scarlet.
Major Story Arcs
Holmes is called in on a number of cases, occasionally at the behest of Scotland Yard and occasionally at the request of private individuals. He has been consulted by very varied clients, from kings to impoverished governesses. Though eccentric, and occasionally utilizing odd methods, he is a highly respected detective who can be trusted to almost always solve the case. He has, in his own estimation, been beaten four times, three times by men and once by a woman.
Holmes has an archenemy in Professor James Moriarty, often called the Napoleon of Crime, and the pair have a confrontation at the Reichenbach Falls that results in Moriarty's death and Holmes' going into hiding for several years. He eventually returns to England and detection. He retires from detection in the early 1900s and takes up beekeeping in Sussex.
Skills and Abilities
Holmes is extremely intelligent, and possesses a keen inductive ability and observational skill that lends itself well to his chosen profession. He has a breadth of knowledge on a number of subjects that do not pertain to detection, such as music, art and literature, as well as those that do, such as chemistry, botany and anatomy. He is athletic, and known to have skill in boxing, singlestick, and "baritsu", an invented martial art.
He is capable with a number of weapons, and has been known to use guns, canes, swords and riding crops. He has a gift for disguise, which he often utilizes while pursuing a case.
Holmes is the main character in this anime, appearing as an anthropomorphic Red Fox. He is voiced in Japanese by Tachiro Hirokawa, and in English by Larry Moss.
Holmes appears in the episodes "Sherlock Holmes in the 23rd Century: Part 1" and "Part 2". He is voiced by Pat Fraley
The Real Ghost Busters
Along with Watson and Professor Moriarty, Holmes appears as a fictional character made manifest by belief in the episode "Elementary My Dear Winston". He is voiced by Maurice LaMarche.
Holmes appears in the episode "Deduces Wild/Rest in Piece/UN Me". He is voiced by Jeff Bennett.
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century
Holmes appears as the main character in this show, which transports a cryogenically preserved Holmes to the 22nd century. He is voiced by Jason Gray-Stanford.
The Fairly Odd Parents
Holmes appears in the episode "Shelf Life". He is voiced by Daran Norris.
Holmes appears in two episodes of this anime series. He is voiced in Japanese by Ikuya Sawaki, and in English by Christopher Bevins.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Holmes appears in the episode "Trials of the Demon!" He is voiced by Ian Buchanan.
Holmes appears in all film adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories. He is notable for being the most portrayed character on film, having appeared in over 200 movies portrayed by 75 actors.
Notable recent appearances include the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes films, in which he is played by Robert Downey, Jr. He is portrayed in other films by such actors as Basil Rathbone, Eille Norwood, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, among numerous others.
Sherlock Holmes Canon
Holmes was originally created for the Sherlock Holmes series of stories. He appears in all sixty stories in the series, and is the first-person narrator of two of these.
Holmes appears in all or almost all non-canonical Sherlock Holmes stories. Notable appearances include numerous parodies by Conan Doyle himself; The Seven-Per-Cent Solution by Nicholas Meyer; and the short story collection Shadows Over Baker Street, which features fourteen pastiches of the Holmes universe and HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
Holmes appears in all television movies and television series based on the Sherlock Holmes stories. Notable recent appearances include in the modern adaptation Sherlock, where he is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, and the not at all similar American program Elementary, where he is played by Johnny Lee Miller. He is elsewhere portrayed by such actors as Ronald Howard, Geoffrey Whitehead, and Jeremy Brett, among numerous others.
There have been numerous parodical and serious adaptations of the Holmes stories to the stage. Holmes has been portrayed on the stage by such actors as William Gillette, Harry Arthur Saintsbury and Ron Moody.
There have been over 750 adaptations of the Sherlock Holmes stories to radio in English alone. Holmes has been portrayed in these adaptations by such actors as Nigel Rathbone, John Gielgud, Carelton Hobbs, Clive Merrison and Roy Hudd.
Holmes has appeared in sixteen video game adaptations, such as Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened, and Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper.