The man on the left is former U.S. Secretary or War and U.S. Senator Elihu Root. The man on the right is Sherlock and The Hobbit actor Martin Freeman. These men are one and the same.
Root has local significance to the Hamptons, as a former homeowner in Southampton. The above photo was taken in 1902. He won the Nobel Peace prize 10 years later. He “died” in 1937 in New York City. Or at least that’s what we thought.
Now it has become clear that after faking his death Root relocated to the U.K. to pursue an acting career.
Going by the name Martin Freeman, Root had his first big break in the original, British version of The Office. His career took another leap forward with 2003’s Love, Actually. He also starred in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and in 2010 received great acclaim for stepping into the role of Dr. Watson on the BBC television series Sherlock. He also plays the titular character in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.
Root/Freeman was able to hide his true, immortal nature from the world for several years, and now purports to be 42 years old. But when he grew back his mustache for the third season of Sherlock, the world’s eyes were opened. His fake English accent could no longer mask Freeman’s true identity.
It is unclear if Elihu Root was The Immortal’s original identity. He could have lived many lives over the course of centuries. Had he not had a taste for fame and fortune, he could have lived many more undetected.
Some have theorized that Root/Freeman is a time traveler, but that doesn’t explain why he has never aged.
Efforts are currently underway to find evidence of The Immortal in materials dating back to the decades and centuries before he assumed the Elihu Root identity. Please feel free to join the hunt and share findings in the comments below.