Sir Christopher Lee passed away on Sunday at Westminster Hospital in London, he was 93.
The actor of over 280 films, spanning eight decades, died after being hospitalized for respiratory and heart problems. The world has lost a true legend, the movie world has lost one of its true greats, and the horror genre has lost one of its finest, most recognised and and most respected actors. This is a sad day indeed.
Lee started his acting career in the late 1940’s, after volunteering to fight in World War II. His career really took off once he found British horror company Hammer, and starting with The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957, Lee went on to feature in numerous Hammer horror films throughout the 60’s and 70’s. He first played Dracula in Hammer’s Horror of Dracula in 1958, and went on to play the bloodsucker in a number of other Hammer films.
Lee became the Dracula actor all other actors would be compared to, and none have managed to top Lee’s ultimate portrayal of the Count.
In 1973 Lee gave what was to be one of the best performances if his career, as Lord Summerisle in the classic horror film, The Wicker Man.
In 1974 Lee starred as the villain Scaramanga in the Bond film, The Man With the Golden Gun.
His career went from strength to strength, but it received a massive boost when he appeared in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy as Saruman, and being an avid reader, Lee was proud of being the only person on set who had actually met Lord of the Rings writer JRR Tolkien.
Lee continued acting in Middle Earth by playing Saruman once more in The Hobbit trilogy.
He also dabbled in Star Wars, and for me, was the best thing about Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He played the Sith Count Dooku.
Tim Burton was a huge fan, and Lee appeared in five of his films, including Sleepy Hollow and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
If you check out Lee’s IMDB page, it is staggering the amount he gave to the movie business, right up until the end, and he still has a film yet to be released, the fantasy drama Angels in Notting Hill.
Lee was a huge rock fan, and even released his own music, and recently he was confirmed as being the oldest rock singer on the planet. He was Knighted in 2009.
The decision to release the news days after was based on his wife’s desire to inform family members first. The couple had been married for more than 50 years.
RIP Christopher Lee, and thank you for everything.