One of the most iconic and prolific actors in the world, Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee passed away last week at 93 years of age. Over the last few weeks he had been treated for heart failure and respiratory issues in London before dying Sunday morning.
Lee is one of the most recognized actors in the world. He is both commanding and statuesque. He was 6’5″ with a voice of the gods. He is most known for his role in the Lord of the Rings films which were based on books that were written with him in mind if they were ever to be made into films.
He is also very well known for his early work in films. He portrayed Dracula in Horror of Dracula in 1958 then continued to play the character through seven more sequels. He reportedly continued with the character not always because he wanted to but because he didn’t want the film crew to go without work. His work in the horror industry spanned several other famous characters including Frankenstein, The Mummy and the Sherlock Holmes adaptation, The Hound of the Baskervilles, frequently working alongside Peter Cushing.
Lee would then go on to star as the titular character in the James Bond film, Man with the Golden Gun.
However, arguably, his most memorable performances took place within the last decade. He played Count Dooku in the “Star Wars” prequels and Saruman the White in The Lord of the Rings.
Lee was officially knighted in 2009 and received a BAFTA fellowship in 2011. He was quoted in The Telegraph, “I hate being idle. As dear Boris [Karloff] used to say, when I die I want to die with my boots on.”
In his 93 years, he starred in roughly 300 films. He will certainly be missed.