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David Suchet (Hercule Poirot) -- British TV and Movie Actor

Updated on August 21, 2014

An English Actor Famous for Playing Hercule Poirot

Actor David Suchet is a well-known face of TV and movies, perhaps best loved for his portrayal of the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, invented by author Agatha Christie. Suchet also acted as associate producer of the Poirot TV series.

Poirot is by no means his only role though, and Suchet has co-starred in a number of movies and TV dramas, from playing Van Helsing in Bram Stoker's Dracula (TV production) to voice acting in Flushed Away. He also has a successful career as a stage actor who has appeared on Broadway and is currently starring in a play in London's West End.

Discover more about the man and actor here.

Image of David Suchet in introduction shared by Phil Chambers via Wikimedia Commons.

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10 Things You Might Not Know about Suchet

Time to learn more about the man behind Poirot

  1. Suchet was born in London to British parents in 1946.
  2. He does not have French ancestry. His maternal great-grandparents were married in Paris but came from Russia. His paternal grandparents came from Lithuania.
  3. He is the younger brother of long-time British chief newsreader John Suchet.
  4. David Suchet was one of the cast of a TV dramatisation of Agatha Christie's Thirteen at Dinner in 1985. He played Poirot's rival, Chief Inspector Japp.
  5. Suchet starred as media mogul Robert Maxwell in the TV drama Maxwell -- a performance for which he won an International Emmy Award.
  6. Another highly-acclaimed role of Suchet's was his portrayal of Augustus Melmotte in the TV mini-series adaptation of Trollope's The Way We Live Now.
  7. He has been an actor for over 40 years.
  8. As a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has performed in a number of Shakespeare plays. He also appeared on Broadway in Amadeus.
  9. David Suchet received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 2002 and is properly known as David Suchet OBE.
  10. Suchet is currently (August 2010) appearing on stage in the London West End production of All My Sons with Zoe Wanamaker.

Videos of Mr Suchet - See the man and his famous characters

David Suchet has been the subject of a BBC family history research show called Who Do You Think You Are?. He discovered his ancestors were Jewish immigrants escaping persecution in Lithuania, and also found a mariner in the family.

David Suchet is Hercule Poirot!

His best-loved role

Hercule Poirot is not the only character David Suchet has played but the two will be forever linked. Monsieur Hercule Poirot is a French-speaking detective from Belgium who has established himself as a leading detective in Britain. His office is in London, where he is assisted by his ultra-efficient secretary Miss Lemon, and is joined in his mystery-solving adventures by long-time friend and trainee detective Captain Hastings.

Poirot is famous for referring to the little grey cells of the brain, which must be allowed time to do their work before he comes up with brilliant solutions, often after the police force of Scotland Yard (frequently headed by rival-turned-friend Inspector Japp) have given up or arrived at completely the wrong conclusions.

This much loved detective from Belgium is also famous for his attention to personal grooming with his trademark waxed and clipped moustache, his walking cane, white gloves and polished shoes. He is always impeccably turned out and often despairs at the rough manners of those he must meet during his detective duties.

Agatha Christie's Poirot -- The Classic Collection

36 Episodes in 1 Sensational DVD Set

Find all 36 1-hour episodes from the Poirot TV series here. Very highly rated on Amazon.com. A must for any Poirot fan.

Agatha Christie's Poirot - The Classic Collection
see Amazon for latest price  



I own several of the smaller Poirot DVD collections, but would love to own the entire set. Ever since I first saw a Poirot episode on TV I was captivated by the acting and by the historical detail that conjures up another era so beautifully. David Suchet is perfect as Poirot and the supporting characters of Hastings, Japp and Miss Lemon are a delight to watch and often bring comedy into this unravelling of crimes.

What a fantastic gift for a fan of Hercule Poirot or indeed anyone who loves Agatha Christie or simply a good murder mystery.

More Poirot DVD Collections - David Suchet as Hercule Poirot

Choose one or collect the entire series of TV and movie length episodes.

Discover David in Other Great Roles - A man of many talents...

Watch Suchet take on some very different roles. There is more to this versatile actor than Agatha Christie's much loved Belgian detective!

The Way We Live Now
The Way We Live Now

This acclaimed BBC TV mini-series stars David Suchet as Augustus Melmotte, an Austrian Jew who causes a stir in London with his get-rich quick scheme. Suchet received a Best Actor BAFTA nomination for his role. 2 disc set with 4 episodes.

 
Seesaw
Seesaw

In Seesaw, a gripping dramatization of a novel, David Suchet and Geraldine James play the parents of a kidnapped teenager.

 
Diverted [Region 2]
Diverted [Region 2]

Diverted is an account of the flight diversions of September 11th to a small town in Canada, from the point of view of the fictionalized passengers of one such flight.

 
RKO 281 - The Battle Over Citizen Kane
RKO 281 - The Battle Over Citizen Kane

David Suchet is Louis B. Mayer in this docudrama which takes a look at the making of the classic movie Citizen Kane.

 
Executive Decision
Executive Decision

See Suchet as a classic Hollywood villain in the 1996 thriller Executive Decision. Kurt Russell and Halle Berry star.

 

Suchet stars in All My Sons

David Suchet is Joe Keller

All My Sons, an Arthur Miller play currently appearing at the Apollo Theatre in London, features David Suchet and Zoe Wanamaker as a married couple coming to terms with the loss of life of the Second World War -- both of their own son and the possibly preventable deaths of several other young men.

See WhatsOnStage.com for a review of All My Sons and Suchet's performance. Includes several reviews from the theatre-going public.

David Suchet / Poirot fan? Leave a clue that you were here! - Don't make me set Hercule Poirot on your trail...

Submit a Comment

  • Addy Bell profile image

    Addy Bell 6 years ago

    @justholidays: The Mystery! series generally had excellent characterizations, right down to the characters' mannerisms. I grew up with Suchet *being* Poirot. I can't even remember if I read the books or saw the series first. When I saw a Ustenov version I was like, what IS this?! Ustenov is just too big to be Poirot.

    Same with Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes. When I finally saw Basil Rathbone play Holmes in a film I just couldn't enjoy it.

  • Addy Bell profile image

    Addy Bell 6 years ago

    I'd love to see Suchet playing Japp! My husband and I both grew up watching the Poirot series (widely broadcast on public tv stations in the States). I just told him that Suchet had played Japp, and realized I had trouble saying "Chief Inspector Japp" with an American English accent. I kept wanting to say "Shief Inspecteur Zhapp" :)

  • indigoj profile image
    Author

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @Lemming13: So glad you enjoyed it... and found a connection to Suchet! Poirot really is TV at its best.

  • Lemming13 profile image

    Lemming13 7 years ago

    Marvellous lens! I DO own the entire set on dvd, including the very latest series with Murder on the Orient Express, and am currently rewatching every single one - next up is Lord Edgeware Dies. Classic television. Thanks for a very informative lens - I never knew that Suchet had Lithuanian Jewish ancestry. Funnily enough, so do I on my father's side...

  • indigoj profile image
    Author

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @greenspirit: Thank you, I look forward to seeing your lens and it's always great to meet another fan!

  • greenspirit profile image

    poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

    I thought I was in a minority in my love for Poirot/David Suchet, but not so. Great lens about a great actor. lensrolling to my Poirot lens.

  • indigoj profile image
    Author

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @Sylvestermouse: Oh I agree, there is nothing quite as delightful as an evening with Mr Suchet as Poirot! Thanks for joining our little Poirot appreciation society here... we are few in number but sincere in our regard for Suchet's Hercule Poirot! :)

  • Sylvestermouse profile image

    Cynthia Sylvestermouse 7 years ago from United States

    David Suchet is fabulous!!! I think we own all of the Poirot episodes, believe it would purely be an oversight if we don't. We love to watch Poirot. One of our favorite things to do is to eat our dinner on tv trays while we watch Poirot. It is like our own personal dinner theater. No one else will ever be Poirot for us :)

  • indigoj profile image
    Author

    Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

    @justholidays: What a wonderful comment, thank you for sharing my appreciation of David Suchet and also of Hercule Poirot (but then you ARE a Belgian!). He is indeed a wonderful actor and I have the impression from seeing him in documentaries that he is a thoroughly nice man too.

    I agree 100% -- Suchet IS Poirot. So it is a tribute to his acting that we can also admire him in his other roles.

    I think he would be most delighted with this compliment to his portrayal of Poirot, coming as it does from a proud Belgian.

  • justholidays profile image

    justholidays 7 years ago

    David Suchet is my all time favourite British actor! For many years, I thought he was from Mesopotamia; which was British colony in the past ; mostly because of his roles of Middle-East mobster. But when he started a Hercule Poirot career, I discovered more about himself and learned he was indeed a British citizen.

    I'm conservative and purist, this means that, no actor featuring Hercule Poirot never got my agreement (although my agreement doesn't count, lol).

    But Mr Suchet IS Hercule Poirot himself! I read my first Agatha Christie novel when I was 8 or so and always imagined Hercule Poirot as he looks featured by Mr Suchet, this means I've always been disappointed by both Peter Ustinov (although a great actor) and others.

    Until this day of 1994 when I saw the first David Suchet in Poirot on TV.

    Other than Poirot and friends, I always enjoy watching a movie starring Mr Suchet. He's credible in any kind of role; which is rare in movies, even while most actors try to play as many types of roles as possible.

    Along with Mr Colin Firth, Mr Suchet is my favourite British actor.

    Thanks for this tribute! A delightful lens to read.

    Oh and by the way, I recommend anyone to get that Hercule Poirot set. I've got mine years ago and still enjoy watching these episodes over an over again. They're as entertaining as Friends!

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