WILMER, Douglas

1920 - 2016

Douglas Wilmer

As Douglas Norman Wilmer, he was born at Brentford, London on 8 January 1920, son of Harry Wilmer and his wife Kate née Tavener. He spent his childhood in Shanghai, where his father worked as an accountant but was educated at King's School, Canterbury and Stonyhurst College. He studied at RADA but was called up to the Army in the Second World War and posted to an anti-tank battery in the Royal West African Frontier Force, he was invalided out after he acquired tuberculosis. He made his 1945 stage debut in repertory at Rugby and appeared frequently on the London stage, mainly in classical and Shakespearean roles. A stage, film and television actor, remembered for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes and appeared in over 70 films, including Richard III, El Cid, Octopussy, Revenge of the Pink Panther, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Cromwell, The Brides of Fu Manchu, and many others. He married his first wife at Holy Trinity, Westminster, London on 16 February 1946, Elizabeth Joan Melville and secondly at the same venue in 1973 Barbara M. Wilmer, which both ended in divorce he married his third wife Anne Harding in Malta. He retired to Woodbridge and ran 'Sherlock's' wine bar in the Thoroughfare, Woodbridge. Douglas was a fine self-taught water-colour artist who began his career as a painter of Malta in 1991, specialising in picturing his beloved Malta, and exhibiting at the Melitensia Art Gallery. He lived with his third wife Anne in Woodbridge, Suffolk and was a member of the Ipswich Art Society and exhibited from 2 Gobbit's Yard, Woodbridge, Suffolk in 1990, two paintings 'The Maltings, Snape, Suffolk' and 'Rusticated'. He also wrote a book of memoirs 'Stage Whispers' (2009) and a book of his Maltese paintings 'Sir Douglas' was published in the same year. He died at Ipswich Hospital on 31 March 2016 being survived by his wife Anne and daughter Katherine.





Works by This Painter