Nigel was, from the beginning, typecast as bumbling English aristocrats, military types or drawing room society snobs and, within the narrow parameters of his range, he was very, very good at playing these parts.
Nigel Bruce was born in Mexico, where his father, Sir William W. Bruce, worked as an engineer. His family was part of English aristocracy, ever since Charles I.
During World War I, he served in the British Army (like his future co-star, Basil Rathbone) where he received a serious leg wound and was for some time confined to a wheelchair.
Following his discharge, he turned to acting in 1919, but it wasn't until ten years later that he achieved a breakthrough in Noël Coward's 'This was a Man' on Broadway.
In 1939, he teamed up with Basil Rathbone for the first two Holmes/Watson movies, The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939), filmed at 20th Century Fox. Both films had an authentic period feel for Victorian England and the chemistry between the two stars was just right.
Younger brother of Sir Michael William Selby Bruce, 11th Baronet of Stenhouse and Airth, a descendant of Robert the Bruce and of the Royal Stuarts. Source: Book entitled 'Tramp Royal' by Sir Michael Bruce of Stenhouse. Published 1945 by Elek Books Ltd, 14 Great James St, London.