David Suchet, the man who (re)created Hercule Poirot

David Suchet's portrayal of Hercule Poirot in "Agatha Christie's Poirot" is one of the most iconic and beloved portrayals of the character in television and cinema history. His commitment to the role and his skillful performance have left a lasting legacy in the world of entertainment.

Aug 20, 2023 - 06:36
David Suchet, the man who (re)created Hercule Poirot
Photo by Robin Sinha / Cambridge Independent

David Suchet was born on May 2, 1946, in London, England. He comes from a family with a background in acting and the arts. He trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and began his acting career in the late 1960s, appearing in various stage and television productions.

Suchet's most famous role is undoubtedly his portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the brilliant Belgian detective created by Agatha Christie. He first took on the role in 1989 when the television series "Agatha Christie's Poirot" began. The show aired on ITV in the UK and was a faithful adaptation of Christie's Poirot novels and short stories.

Suchet's portrayal of Poirot was known for its meticulous attention to detail, accuracy, and dedication to capturing the character as written by Agatha Christie. He delved deep into Poirot's personality and quirks, such as his meticulousness, his distinctive mustache, and his precise manner of speaking. Suchet's performance was widely praised by fans of the novels, critics, and even the Agatha Christie estate for its authenticity and depth.

"Agatha Christie's Poirot" ran for 13 seasons over 24 years and concluded with its final episode in 2013. On the course of the series, Suchet portrayed Poirot in adaptations of 70 Poirot stories, making him the actor who has played the character in the most adaptations.

Suchet's performance as Poirot left an indelible mark on popular culture, and he became synonymous with the character for many fans. His portrayal is often regarded as one of the definitive interpretations of Poirot, and he is frequently praised for his commitment to staying true to Christie's vision.

After the conclusion of "Agatha Christie's Poirot," David Suchet continued to work in various film, television, and stage projects. He appeared in a range of roles that showcased his versatility as an actor, highlighting his ability to tackle a wide variety of characters beyond Poirot.

David Suchet is married to Sheila Ferris since 1976, and they have two children together. He is known for his dedication to his craft and his thoughtful approach to acting.


There is more Suchet beyond Poirot

In addition to his iconic role as Hercule Poirot in "Agatha Christie's Poirot," David Suchet has had a diverse and accomplished career in film, television, and stage. Here are some of his other notable works:

  • Cinema:
    • "A Perfect Murder" (1998): Suchet played the role of Mohamed Karaman, a wealthy art dealer, in this thriller film directed by Andrew Davis.

    • "Executive Decision" (1996): Suchet appeared as the villainous Nagi Hassan in this action thriller starring Kurt Russell and Halle Berry.

    • "The Bank Job" (2008): Suchet portrayed the character Lew Vogel in this crime drama film based on the true story of a heist in 1971 London.

    • "The In-Laws" (2003): Suchet played Jean-Pierre Thibodoux, a French intelligence officer, in this comedy film starring Michael Douglas and Albert Brooks.

  • Television:
    • "Maxwell" (2007): Suchet played the role of media mogul Robert Maxwell in this TV miniseries that depicted the life and scandalous activities of the real-life figure.

    • "The Way We Live Now" (2001): Suchet appeared in this adaptation of Anthony Trollope's novel, playing the role of Augustus Melmotte, a wealthy and morally dubious financier.

    • "Press" (2018): Suchet starred as the ruthless media magnate George Emmerson in this drama series exploring the world of modern journalism.

    • "Decline and Fall" (2017): Suchet played Dr. Fagan in this miniseries adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's satirical novel.

  • Theater:
    • "The Importance of Being Earnest" (2015): Suchet played the role of Lady Bracknell in this Oscar Wilde classic, showcasing his versatility by taking on a traditionally female role.

    • "Long Day's Journey into Night" (2012): Suchet portrayed the character of James Tyrone in this Eugene O'Neill play, earning critical acclaim for his performance.

    • "All My Sons" (2010): Suchet appeared in this Arthur Miller play, playing the role of Joe Keller, a businessman dealing with the repercussions of his wartime actions.

These are just a few examples of David Suchet's extensive body of work beyond his role as Hercule Poirot. His career spans a wide range of genres and mediums, showcasing his talent and versatility as an actor.

Janet Bluesky Member of EA Coordination Team