I was watching The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939) on TCM Essentials Jr. the other night. A movie I have seen many times and always enjoy. I won't give away the ending if you are new to the classic Rathbone/Bruce series.
In that movie, the second of the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce offerings, E. E. Clive played Inspector Bristol of Scotland Yard. Dennis Hoey was not in that one!
Dennis came along in 1943 as Inspector Lestrade in Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon. He appeared as Lestrade in six of the Sherlock Holmes films, until 1946 in Terror by Night.
It is interesting to note that the character of Inspector Lestrade has appeared 57 times. The latest is in the release of Sherlock Holmes this year with Ben Syder in the title role.
Hoey has appeared in 73 roles from 1927 to 1952, with only a few late appearances on TV. In 1941 he was in A Yank in the R.A.F. with Betty Grable and Tyrone Power, and he had a better part in Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman in 1943 with Lon Chaney Jr and Bela Lugosi. That movie also starred Lionel Atwill who played Professor Moriarty in some of the Holmes films, and of course, Dwight Frye from the original Dracula.
I don't know how, with his heavy British accent, but he played a Nazi in They Came to Blow Up America in 1943 with George Sanders and Ludwig Stossel. Many small parts follow...1944 National Velvet, 1948 Joan of Arc, etc.
He ended his movie career in an uncredited part in Plymouth Adventure (1952) with Spencer Tracy, Gene Tierney and Van Johnson. A Bit Actor to the end, he will always be remembered as Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard. Maybe because it was a good rhyme.