- First role was the mother-in-law in a school production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
- Offered a role in a series that filmed in Los Angeles, he turned it down and recommitted to stage acting in London.
- Was engaged in long-standing prank with Judi Dench in which they tried to hide a black glove in each other's productions.
- Played both Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson at different points in his career; also wrote two children's books about the Baker Street Irregulars.
- Awarded the Order of the British Empire for his acting shortly before his death.
- 2016, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
- 2010, Olivier Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
- 2015, Olivier Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
- 1985, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Actor: Winner
- 2018, BAFTA Television Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
- Margaret Muriel — Mother
- Harry Thomas Pigott-Smith — Father
- University of Bristol, Bristol, England (BA in Drama, 1967); Bristol Old Vic Theater School, Bristol, England
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