By Associated Press - Saturday, April 2, 2016

LONDON (AP) - Douglas Wilmer, who played detective Sherlock Holmes in a 1960s television series, has died at 96.

The Sherlock Holmes Society of London says Wilmer died Thursday in a hospital in Ipswich, eastern England.

Wilmer played the pipe-smoking sleuth a series of TV dramas in 1964 and 1965. The Sherlock Holmes Society said that “for many, he was the seminal television Sherlock Holmes.”

In a tribute, the society called his characterization “incisive, drily witty, utterly in command of events … exactly as Sherlock Holmes should look and sound.”

Wilmer returned to the role in the 1975 TV movie “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother” and in a series of audio books.

Wilmer also appeared alongside Christopher Lee in the “Fu Manchu” movies and with Roger Moore in 1960s TV adventure series “The Saint” and in the James Bond film “Octopussy.”

Moore tweeted that Wilmer was “a fine actor and joyous to be in ‘The Saint’ and ‘Octopussy’ with.”

In his later life, Wilmer opened a wine bar, Sherlock’s in Woodbridge, the eastern England town where he lived.

One of his final screen appearances was a 2012 cameo as a grumpy member of the Diogenes Club in the BBC’s “Sherlock,” which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the great detective.

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