In his role as TV super sleuth Eddie Shoestring, Trevor Eve drove a used car and dressed in rumpled clothes -- just like Peter Falk portraying Columbo. Unlike Columbo, though, Eddie went on the radio to get his cases from telephone callers, then later explained the outcome to listeners. Playing Eddie Shoestring made Eve famous in nearly every household in Great Britain in 1979 and 1980, when nearly half the population of the country tuned in on Sunday nights to watch him ratiocinate in 21 episodes. The role catapulted the Shakespearean-trained actor to superstardom in Britain and won him important roles in other productions shown on both sides of the Atlantic. His portrayal of cruel Mr. Murdstone in the 2000 TV miniseries David Copperfield earned him critical acclaim from London to Los Angeles. When Warner Bros. signed him on for a 2002 film, Possession, he was asked to perform with Gwyneth Paltrow in a sleuthing saga of another kind -- about scholars who hold their Sherlock magnifiers to the love lives of two Victorian poets.
Eve was born on July 1, 1951, in Birmingham, England, as the younger son of a businessman. In school, he played cricket and read stacks of film magazines that fed his fascination with acting. After practicality led him to enroll at Kingston Polytechnic in London to study architecture, his desire to perform overcame his desire to design. So, after looking up drama schools in the telephone book, he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, got noticed playing Iago in Shakespeare's Othello, then lucked into productions directed by Laurence Olivier and Franco Zeffirelli. Not long afterward, Eddie Shoestring was born.
Although Eve has also starred in other detective dramas -- including Heat of the Sun, in which he plays a Scotland Yard investigator sent to Kenya in the 1930s to clean up corruption -- he is equally at home in horror (Dracula, 1979), politics (The Politician's Wife, 1995), classic drama (A Doll's House, 1992), and history (Parnell and the Englishwoman, 1990, and In the Name of the Father, 1993). On the stage, Eve won a Laurence Olivier Award in 1997 for his performance in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. After he and his wife, actress Sharon Maughan, founded their own film company in London, Projection Productions, Eve produced two major TV programs: Cinderella (2000) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (1998). In the latter production, he had the daunting task of supervising one of Britain's greatest actors, Ian Holm, and one of its most promising newcomers, Kate Beckinsale. Although he no longer suits up as a batsman on the cricket field, Eve does enjoy tennis and golf.