William Gillette (1853–1937)
William Gillette was an American actor and playwright known best for his portrayal of the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. A native of Hartford, Gillette gave over 1,300 theater performances—and starred in one movie—as Sherlock Holmes, a role he adapted from the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Gillette built his home along the Connecticut River in East Haddam in the style of a medieval castle, high upon the hill chain known as the Seven Sisters. There he made numerous architectural renovations to accommodate his many cats, and built a three-mile-long narrow-gauge railroad for riding around his property. The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection now operates the property as Gillette Castle State Park.
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Loffredo, Peter T. William Gillette: A Connecticut Yankee and the American Stage. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2003.
“East Haddam Historical Society & Museum,” 2017. Link.
Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. “Gillette Castle State Park,” 2017. Link.
“Harriet Beecher Stowe Center,” 2017. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Archives: William Gillette Papers, 1834-1935,” 2017. Link.
Connecticut State Library. “Manuscript Collections Finding Aids Index: Gillette (William Hooker) Collection, 1884-1936 (RG 069:109),” 2017. Link.
Connecticut Digital Archive. “William Gillette Collection,” n.d. Link.
Gillette, William Hooker. Secret Service; a Romance of the Southern Confederacy. New York, NY: Samuel French, 1898. Link.
Cook, Doris E. Sherlock Holmes and Much More, or, Some of the Facts About William Gillette. Hartford, CT: Connecticut Historical Society, 1970.
Gillette, William. William Gillette in Sherlock Holmes, as Produced at the Garrick Theatre, New York. New York, NY: R. H. Russell, 1900. Link.
Zecher, Henry. William Gillette, America’s Sherlock Holmes. Bloomington, IN: Xlibris Corp, 2011.