There are actors and then there are larger-than-life legends. Sir Christopher Lee was and will forever be the latter. We’re heartbroken to inform you that the horror icon passed away at the age of 93 this past Sunday, the sad news reported today by his wife of over 50 years.
Lee’s earliest acting roles date all the way back to 1947, and he became a bonafide movie star when he linked up with legendary studio Hammer Films in the 1950s. It was Hammer who made Lee their Dracula, and many fans still to this day consider Lee’s depiction of the iconic character one of the very best.
Hammer classics like The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, and Taste the Blood of Dracula made Lee a household name, bu they merely scratch the surface of the actor’s contributions to the genre. Like Vincent Price, it’s quite frankly hard to even adequately convey just how much of a horror icon Lee was.
281 acting credits fill out Lee’s absolutely mind-blowing resume as an actor, and other horror films found on there include The Wicker Man, The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Sleepy Hollow, and the recent Hammer revival film The Resident.
But it’s not just us horror fans who know the name, face, and voice of Christopher Lee. He played Saruman in the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films and Count Dooku in the Star Wars films, and lest you think he left any stone unturned as an actor, he even played a Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Aside from acting, Christopher Lee was a knight, an author and even a heavy metal singer, releasing several albums and EPs in the last few years – including Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, Metal Knight and A Heavy Metal Christmas. All of them are gems, so please do seek them out.
Lee passed away on Sunday morning at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, after being hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure. He is survived his wife Birgit Krøncke Lee and daughter Christina Erika Carandini Lee.
Whether you knew him as Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, Saruman or Count Dooku, the fact remains that you knew Christopher Lee. We all knew Christopher Lee, and we were all entertained by him. He was indeed a legend, both in the movies and in life.
Rest in Peace, sir.