David Burke (born 25 May 1934) is an English actor, known for playing Watson in the initial series of Granada Television's 1980s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which starred Jeremy Brett in the title role. He also starred as Josef Stalin in the last two episodes of Reilly, Ace of Spies.
He played Dr. Watson in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes for the initial series and then left the programme after receiving an invitation to join the Royal Shakespeare Company along with his wife, Anna. They both considered the joint work to be the best idea for their young son, Tom, who was around 3 years old at the time. He was thought by many to portray Dr. Watson with an excellent style. He was replaced by Edward Hardwicke, whom he had recommended as his successor. Burke had earlier experience with Holmes having played the villain in an adaptation of "The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet" for the 1965 BBC series starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Stock.
Other notable TV appearances include his turn as Joseph Stalin in the British serial Reilly, Ace of Spies and the John Wyndham science fiction story Random Quest. He also played William Morris in the 1975 series The Love School. Burke frequently portrays Johannes Coenradus Klene in the Dutch commercials for Klene liquorice. He appeared with his son, Tom Burke, in the 2006 BBC adaptation of the M.R. James ghost story, Number 13.
|1964||Rattle of a Simple Man||Jack||Uncredited|
|2005||The Trial of the King Killers||Hugh Peters|
|2009||The Summer House||Freddie||Short|
|2010||Love & Distrust||Freddie||Video|
|2012||The Woman in Black||PC Collins|
|2016||The Young Messiah||The Blind Rabbi|
|2018||Only the Lonely||George||Short|
|1963-1966||Coronation Street||John Benjamin / Schoolmaster||5 episodes|
|1963-1969||Z Cars||Ernie Franks / Dannyboy / Johnny Oulton||5 episodes|
|1965||Sherlock Holmes||Sir George Burnwell||1 episode, "The Beryl Coronet"|
|1968||Dr. Finlay's Casebook||Dr. Rawlings||1 episode|
|1970||The Woodlanders||Giles Winterborne||4 episodes|
|1975||The Love School||William Morris||4 episodes|
|1983||Reilly, Ace of Spies||Joseph Stalin||2 episodes|
|1984-1985||The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes||Dr John Watson||13 episodes|
|1993-2002||Casualty||James / Ron Fisher||2 episodes|
|1998||The Bill||Ch.Supt.Golding / Chief Supt. Golding||2 episodes|
|2002||Bertie and Elizabeth||Lord Reith||TV movie|
|Waking the Dead||Philip Bryant||2 episodes|
|2003||Doctors||Martin Shepley||1 episode|
|2004||The Inspector Lynley Mysteries||DSI Webberley||2 episodes|
|2005||The Afternoon Play||Judge||1 episode|
|A View from a Hill||Patten||TV movie|
|Dalziel and Pascoe||Paul Boddison||2 episodes|
|MI-5||Fiona's Father||1 episode|
|2005-2016||Midsomer Murders||Fred Messenger / John Farrow / Hedge||2 episodes|
|2006||Number 13||Gunton, Hotel Landlord||TV movie|
|2007||Holby City||Bernie Moore||1 episode|
|2014||The Musketeers||Father Duval||1 episode|
|2015||Harry Price: Ghost Hunter||Leonard Thornton||TV movie|
- Redmond 2011, p. 249.
- "Obituary - Edward Hardwicke". The Daily Telegraph. 17 May 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- Angelini, Sergio. "Reilly, Ace of Spies (1983)". BFI Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- McMullen 2012.
- Law 2011, p. 126.
- Davies 2007.
- Haining 1994, p. 172.
- Barnes 2002, p. 118.
- Haining 1994, p. 169.
- Hulse, Stephen R. (2000). "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1984)". Television Heaven. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- Barnes 2002.
- Smith 2009, pp. 81, 108.
- "BBC Four - Random Quest". BBC. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- "The Love School: The Artisan". BBC Genome Project. BBC. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
- Cotter 2013, p. 36.
- Amer, Matthew (26 July 2012). "My Place: Tom Burke". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 22 December 2015.
- Barnes, Alan (2002). Sherlock Holmes on Screen. Reynolds & Hearn Ltd. ISBN 978-1903111048.
- Cotter, Robert Michael (2013). The Women of Hammer Horror: A Biographical Dictionary and Filmography. McFarland & Company. ISBN 9780786472086.
- Davies, David Stuart (2007). Starring Sherlock Holmes. Titan Books. ISBN 9781845765378.
- Haining, Peter (1994). The Television Sherlock Holmes. Virgin Books. ISBN 978-0863697937.
- Law, Jonathan (2011). The Methuen Drama Dictionary of the Theatre. Methuen Drama. ISBN 9781408131473.
- McMullen, Kieran (2012). The Many Watsons. MX Publishing. ISBN 9781780923031.
- Redmond, Christopher (2011). Sherlock Holmes Handbook (2nd ed.). Dundurn Group Ltd. ISBN 9781554884469.
- Smith, Daniel (2009). The Sherlock Holmes Companion: An Elementary Guide. Castle Books. ISBN 9780785827849.