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Thread: Christopher Lee dies at the age of 93

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    Elite Member dowcat's Avatar
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    Default Christopher Lee dies at the age of 93

    Christopher Lee dies at the age of 93

    The veteran actor was best known for roles including Dracula and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings franchise
    Sir Christopher Lee, who passed away at the weekend. Photograph: Ian West/PABenjamin Lee
    Thursday 11 June 2015 12.35 BSTLast modified on Thursday 11 June 201513.21

    Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93 after being hospitalised for respiratory problems and heart failure.

    Christopher Lee: an actor of muscular intelligence with a staggering career

    The veteran actor, best known for a variety of films from Dracula to The Wicker Man through to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, passed away on Sunday morning at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, according to sources.
    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.
    As well as his career in film, Lee also released a series of heavy metal albums, including Charlemagne: The Omens of Death. He was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011.
    His film career started in 1947 with a role in gothic romance Corridor of Mirrors but it wasn’t until the late 50s, when Lee worked with Hammer, that he started gaining fame. His first role with the studio was The Curse of Frankenstein and it was the first of 20 films that he made with Peter Cushing, who also became a close friend. “Hammer was an important part of my life, and generally speaking, we all had a lot of fun,” he said in a 2001 interview.

    Christopher Lee as Dracula. Photograph: REX/Moviestore Collection
    Lee’s most famous role for Hammer 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. “They gave me nothing to do!” he told Total Film in 2005. “I pleaded with Hammer to let me use some of the lines that Bram Stoker had written. Occasionally, I sneaked one in. Eventually I told them that I wasn’t going to play Dracula any more. All hell broke loose.”

    From the archive, 11 March 1972: The blossoming career of Christopher Lee

    In the 70s, Lee continued to gain fame in the horror genre with a role in The Wicker Man, a film which he considered to be his best. “Wonderful film... had a hell of a time getting it made,” he said. “Its power lies in the fact that you never expect what eventually happens, because everyone is so nice.” He went on to play a Bond villain in 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun and turned down a role in Halloween, which he later said was one of biggest career regrets. In his career, he also turned down a role in Airplane!, something he also regretted.

    Christopher Lee as Saruman. Photograph: EPA
    His concern over being typecast in horror films led him to Hollywood and roles in Airport ‘77 and Steven Spielberg’s 1941. His career saw a resurgence in 2001 with a role as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and then as Count Dooku in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.


    He also became a regular collaborator with Tim Burton, who cast him in Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows. Burton went on to award him with a Bafta fellowship.
    In 2011, he returned to Hammer with a role in the Hilary Swank thriller The Resident although he generally tried to avoid the horror genre in later years. “There have been some absolutely ghastly films recently, physically repellent,” he said. “What we did was fantasy, fairy tales - no real person can copy what we did. But they can do what Hannibal Lecter does, if they’re so inclined, people like Jeffrey Dahmer and Dennis Nilsen, and for that reason, I think such films are dangerous.”
    Lee still has one film yet to be released, the fantasy film Angels in Notting Hill, where he plays a godly figure who looks after the universe. He was also set to star in 9/11 drama The 11th opposite Uma Thurman but it’s believed that the film hadn’t yet started production.
    In an interview in 2013, Lee spoke about his love of acting. “Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life,” he said. “I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015...-of-93-dracula


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    Elite Member Ravenna's Avatar
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    Aw, I'm sorry to hear this. RIP, Sir Christopher. He had a magnificent voice.

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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Oh this one hurts. I know 93 is a great long life but damn he will be missed. RIP!
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    Elite Member Brah's Avatar
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    He was 93?? I always thought he was in his 70s/80s! How sad, though.

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    Oh, no! I was just sharing one of his metal albums the other day.
    As Canadian as possible under the circumstances

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    Elite Member ManxMouse's Avatar
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    This kills me, even though he was older than god. He was one of my all-time faves, just magnificent. What a voice and what a presence.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I thought this guy was going to live forever. RIP, Mr. Lee.
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    Bummer.

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Aaawww, born May 27 1922 he was 2 days older than my mom who passed January 1st. Lee was quite a good looking man in his younger days and indeed, a beautiful voice. A very nice and humble man, too. R.I.P. Mr. Lee.
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    Elite Member levitt's Avatar
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    I'm sad. I adored this man - he's Saruman! He read LotR once every single year. I thought he would live forever too.
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    He had a magnificent bass/baritone singing voice too and was generally a very cultured man like his contemporary Vincent Price. Loved him as a surprisingly erotic Dracula in those cheesy Hammer Horror movies and of course the evil Bond villain Scaramanga, The Man With The Golden Gun.
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    Elite Member Kittylady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I thought this guy was going to live forever. RIP, Mr. Lee.
    You took the words out of my mouth Mo. I grew up on Hammer House of Horror films and I almost expected him to always be there.
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    Elite Member Kathie_Moffett's Avatar
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    I'm really going to miss this guy. I hoped he'd live forever.

    Nobody reads Poe like he did...

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    Elite Member DeChayz's Avatar
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    So sad. The Last Unicorn was my favorite movie as a kid. What a voice.

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    Christopher Lee was awesome, and he'll always hold a place of honor in my mind as Lord Summerisle.


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