Jonny Lee Miller Takes on Sherlock Holmes: Other Notable Celebs to Play the Character

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Jonny Lee Miller Takes on Sherlock Holmes: Other Notable Celebs to Play the Character
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Robert Downey Jr. is one of the most notable actors to play Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes is coming to the small screen. The new series "Elementary" debuts on September 27, and viewers will get an entirely new look at the most famous detective in literary history. Actor Jonny Lee Miller takes on the character, and this time he solves crimes in a contemporary American setting. He will be joined by actress Lucy Liu, who plays a female version of Sherlock's sidekick Watson. Jonny's version of Sherlock promises to be interesting, but the pressure will be on him if he wants to be one of the best. For nearly 100 years, plenty of actors have taken on the role. Here is a look at some of the recent celebs to play the detective.

Robert Downey, Jr.

The "Iron Man" actor is arguably the most famous star to play Sherlock in the modern era. He portrayed him in the big budget 2009 film "Sherlock Holmes" as well as in a sequel that came out in 2011. A third film in the series is scheduled to be released in 2014, though it's not officially confirmed that Robert will reprise the role. The star said he was drawn to the part because it reminded him of his own life. "He's the archetype of a tortured perfectionist," said Downey of the character. Based on some big bucks at the box office, it's safe to say that he nailed the character.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Jonny's portrayal of Sherlock might be the original in the United States, but it's not entirely new overseas. In 2010, Benedict took on the role in the BBC series "Sherlock" and earned rave reviews. Like "Elementary," this show features the detective in the modern setting. In fact, there are so many similarities that Benedict apparently tried to persuade Jonny to pass on the role. Though rumors of a feud moved through the press, the actor has denied any ill will toward his pal.

Christopher Lee

The 90-year-old actor is most famous for his roles in horror films, but he has also played his fair share of heroes. He has portrayed Sherlock three times over a span of 30 years. He first played the character in the 1962 movie "Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace." In the early 1990s, he returned to the character for a pair of mildly successful TV movies. In those two movies, Christopher gave fans a rare glimpse of Sherlock in his older years.

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