Sir Christopher Lee, the veteran actor who’s best known for his roles in films like “Dracula”, “Star Wars”, and well as the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (read: Saruman the White) has died at the age of 93 after being hospitalised for respiratory problems and heart failure.
According to The Guardian, he passed away on Sunday (7th June) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.
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 over 50 years.
His film career started in 1947 with a role in gothic romance, “Corridor of Mirrors” but his most famous role was playing Dracula – a role which became one of his most widely recognised although the actor wasn’t pleased with how the character was treated.
To date, he has starred in over 300 movies but on top of his career in film, he also released a series of heavy metal albums, including “Charlemagne: The Omens of Death”. In fact, just last December, Christopher released a heavy metal single titled “Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing”.
Listen to it here:
At that time, and at 91 years of age, he was the oldest heavy metal artiste.
“At my age, the most important thing for me is to keep active by doing things that I truly enjoy. I do not know how long I am going to be around, so every day is a celebration and I want to share it with my fans,” Christopher, who turned 93 in May, said.
In 2001, he played “Saruman the White”, the fallen head of the Istari Order who succumbs to Sauron’s will through his use of the palantír, in the first of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy titled “The Fellowship of the Ring”. This was followed by “The Two Towers” in 2002 and “The Return of the King” in 2003.
Fun fact: Lee is a major fan of the “Lord of the Rings” book, and reads it once a year. He originally auditioned for Gandalf, but was judged too old. He has also met J. R. R. Tolkien.
6 years later, he was knighted for services to drama and charity, hence Sir Christopher Lee, and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011. A true testament to his contributions to the entertainment industry, because he’s such a gem.
We’ll leave you now with one of his most famous quotes:
I think acting is a mixture of instinct, imagination and inventiveness. All you can learn as an actor is basic technique.
RIP, Sir Christopher Lee.
You will be missed.