The British star passed away on Thursday (31Mar16) in Suffolk, England following a short illness, according to The Sherlock Holmes Society of London, which counted the actor as an honourary member.

Wilmer first appeared as the legendary sleuth in a 1964 episode of BBC anthology series Detective, and that same year, went on to star as the character in another BBC programme called Sherlock Holmes.

He later reprised the role a decade later for 1975 comedy-musical The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother, starring Gene Wilder and Madeline Khan.

He most recently appeared in the most recent TV version of the franchise, Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role.

Wilmer had a cameo in a 2012 episode, in which he played a cranky old man giving Sherlock a difficult time.

Mark Gatiss, who co-created Sherlock, took to Twitter to pay tribute to Wilmer, writing, "An honour to have known dear Douglas Wilmer. A Sherlock for all seasons. The work was something, the man was all. RIP."

Wilmer's other TV credits include The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Saint, and The Avengers and Space: 1999, while he also appeared in films such as Richard III, Octopussy, Patton, Cleopatra, The Brides of Fu Manchu and Revenge of the Pink Panther.