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William Gillette Portrait

A description of the item at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 7 Jan 2010

Biographical History

William Gillette (1853-1937) was an American actor, playwright, and stage manager. Accomplished and influential in all three areas, he is best remembered for his creation of the iconic Sherlock Holmes, complete with deerstalker cap, curved pipe, and the phrase "Elementary, my dear Watson." His home, a self-designed castle on the Connecticut River in East Haddam, Connecticut, is now Gillette Castle State Park and appears on the National Register of Historic Places.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The William Gillette Portrait consists of an ink and colored pencil portrait of the American actor William Gillette. The portrait is signed and dated by Gillette (Feb 6, 1936) and is also signed by the artist as "Griffith, 1936." On the reverse is written in ink, "Hartford, Conn. Home. Died today at a Hartford hospital at the age of 81. April 29, 1937." Below that is written in pencil "Gift of Charles Cohen Dec, 1964. Gillette played Sherlock Holmes - created the role."

Arrangement of the Collection

One item.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Gillette, William


Actors -- Pictorial works.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

William Gillette Portrait,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Unknown; possibly gift of Charles Cohen, 1964.

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