The Granada adventures were exceeding faithful to the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, so Hardwicke played Watson not as a bumbler of the Basil Rathbone-Nigel Bruce era but as a dashing, stately former military doctor.
The son of actors Cedric Hardwicke and Helena Pickard, the London native appeared in his first movie at age 10, "A Guy Named Joe" (1943), which starred Spencer Tracy. Other film credits include "The Day of the Jackal" (1973), "Shadowlands" (1993), "Richard III" (1995), "The Scarlet Letter" (1995), "Elizabeth" (1998) and "Love Actually" (2003).
Hardwicke was a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theater in the 1960s and had regular roles in the British TV series "Colditz" (playing a character based on real-life war hero Pat Reid); "My Old Man;" "Tycoon;" and "Strangers and Brothers."
He is survived by daughters Kate and Emma.