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Agatha Christie detectives: Hercule Poirot



Agatha Christie

(1890 - 1976)

"It is never good to entirely quit with work."

The Belgian detective Hercule Poirot first appeared in 1920 in Agatha Christie's first novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Agatha later wrote numerous books about him and the last one was published in 1975 - Curtain: Poirot's Last Case. Poirot has many characteristics which have made him a legend all over theworld - the odd moustache, the egg-shaped face and

his high opinion of himself.

He will though most likely be best remembered for his ability to solve complicated mysteries with the help of his little grey cells. In that area he was a worthy successor of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Poirot is probably Agatha Christie's best-known character - and he has of course often appeared in films, portrayed by various actors. Albert Finney played him in The Murder on the Orient Express and Peter Ustinov has also played Poirot in many movies, such as Death on the Nile and Evil Under the Sun. Many fans of Poirot do though agree that David Suchet (from the Poirot TV series) is most likely the actor who has succeeded best in portraying the famous detective.
Hercule Poirot has even become so famous as an independent character that Anne Hart, a librarian in Newfoundland has written his biogaphy, The Life and Times of Hercule Poirot. Anne Hart has also written Jane Marple's biography.

But Poirot was not always alone - in Christie's early Poirot stories Captain Arthur Hastings tried to help him - but always seemed to miss the clues that were of importance. In Poirot's later adventures Hastings was not such a frequent guest but Poirot also had other friends such as Ariadne Oliver (the mystery writer) and Detective Inspector (Chief Inspector) Japp.
Austin Trevor was the first one to play Hercule Poirot in three movies in the early thirtees (Alibi, Black Coffee, Lord Edgware Dies). Tony Randall played Poirot in one picture in 1965, The Alphabet Murders.

In 1974 another unusual Poirot appeared - Albert Finney - in the Academy Award winning movie The Murder on the Orient Express, where the suspects where played by world famous actors Ingrid Bergman, Sean Connery , John Gielgud and Lauren Bacall. In 1978 Peter Ustinov played Poirot in Death on the Nile, and has since then appeard in the role of Hercule Poirot in several movies, such as Evil Under the Sun, Appointment with Death and a few TV-movies. The latest chapter in the history of the little man with the moustache started in 1989 when David Suchet's brilliant performance convinced fans that he was the one and only Poirot.