From the Hollywood Reporter:
The London native played the famous detective for the BBC and in a Gene Wilder film and had many brushes with the character over the years.Douglas Wilmer, who began a long association with Sherlock Holmes when he ably portrayed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary sleuth on a 1960s series for the BBC, died Thursday. He was 96.
Wilmer, a respected veteran of stage and screen, died at Ipswich Hospital in Suffolk, England, after a short illness, The Sherlock Holmes Society of London reported. (He was an honorary member of the society.)
The London-born actor first played Holmes opposite Nigel Stock as Dr. Watson in 1964 (for a pilot episode) and then for an 11-episode season in 1965. (For another season of Sherlock Holmes, Peter Cushing replaced him in 1968.)
Wilmer also portrayed the logical Professor Van Dusen, a Holmesian detective created by American author Jacques Futrelle, in 1971's The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes for the ITV network. Later, Gene Wilder insisted Wilmer return as the famous resident of 221B Baker St. in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother (1975).
And for Sherlock, the current British series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Wilmer had a cameo as a cranky old man who gave Watson a hard time in the Diogenes Club in the 2012 second-season finale "The Reichenbach Fall."
There are many — including some at The Sherlock Holmes Society of London — who consider Wilmer the definitive Holmes.
HT: Doc Quatermass