- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 18, 2011

LONDON (AP) - Edward Hardwicke, who played Dr. Watson opposite Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes on British television in the late 1980s and early ‘90s, has died of cancer at age 78.

The Conway Van Gelder talent agency said Wednesday that Hardwicke died Monday in a hospice in Chichester in southern England.

Hardwicke, who took on the Watson role in a series of Holmes stories produced by Granada Television after David Burke dropped out, was an unflappable, dignified counterpoint to Brett’s nervy characterization of the detective.

Film roles included playing the brother of C.S. Lewis in “Shadowlands,” and he did voice work for video games including “Napoleon Total War” and “Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary.”

He is survived by his wife and two daughters by his previous marriage.