- First role was the mother-in-law in a school production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle.
- Offered a role in a series that filmed in Los Angeles, he turned it down and recommitted to stage acting in London.
- Was engaged in long-standing prank with Judi Dench in which they tried to hide a black glove in each other's productions.
- Played both Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson at different points in his career; also wrote two children's books about the Baker Street Irregulars.
- Awarded the Order of the British Empire for his acting shortly before his death.