Although Nigel Stock was born in Malta, he moved with his military father, mother and sister to India at an early age and did not return to England with his family until his teens, where he was sent to St. Paul's School. From there he studied for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where he earned the Leverhulme Exhibition, Northcliffe Scholarship, and the Principal's Medal; although he had already made his debut stage appearance at the Savoy Theatre in London in 1931 at the age of 12 in a production of The Traveller in the Dark.
However, his acting career was interrupted by World War II when he served in the Army from 1939 to 1941 with the London Irish Rifles, and with the Assam Regiment, Indian Army between 1941 and 1945 in Burma, China and Kohima. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Major.
During the 1960s, Stock made a household name for himself playing the role of Dr. Watson to Peter Cushing's Sherlock Holmes in a BBC-TV series of Sherlock Holmes dramas. Ironically, one of his last performances was in Steven Spielberg's film of Young Sherlock Holmes in 1985.
He married three times and had four children.
He was only 66 years old when he died. He had appeared in about 100 films and television series plus numerous performances on stage.