John H. Watson, M.D.

Fictional Sidekick

Born: 1887
Birthplace: Fiction
Best known as: Sidekick to detective Sherlock Holmes
John H. Watson, M.D. is the loyal companion of detective Sherlock Holmes and the narrator of nearly all the Holmes stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Watson debuts in A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes story (published in 1887), joining Holmes in bachelor lodgings at 221b Baker Street in London and accompanying the detective on the first of his many adventures. Eventually Watson began his own medical practice, married and moved out of the Baker Street flat; in still later stories, after the untimely death of his wife, Watson moved back in with Holmes. Though often played as a buffoon in the movies (most notably by Nigel Bruce in the series of films starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes), in the original stories Watson is a dependable and intelligent man and offers a warmhearted counterpoint to Holmes's cool cynicism.
Extra credit: Sherlock Holmes never actually says "Elementary, my dear Watson" in any of Doyle's stories... Other actors who have played Watson include James Mason (Murder by Decree, 1979, with Christopher Plummer as Holmes), Patrick Macnee (Incident at Victoria Falls, 1991, with Christopher Lee as Holmes) and Ben Kingsley (Without a Clue, 1988, with Michael Caine as a bumbling Holmes)... According to A Study in Scarlet, Watson received a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of London in 1878, and was "struck on the shoulder by a Jezail bullet" while serving with the British Army in Afghanistan... Watson is no relation to real-life musician Doc Watson.

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