We join with the many tributes in honoring the famed and prolific British actor Christopher Lee who passed away in London this week at the age of 93.
Lee began his film acting career in 1947, but it wasn’t until the late 1950s when Lee began making horror movies with the UK’s Hammer Films that he began getting famous. His first role with Hammer Films was playing “The Creature” in 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein. Lee played his most famous role as Dracula in multiple Hammer Films from 1958 to 1972.
In the 1970s, Lee continued his work within the horror genre. In 1973, he starred in The Wicker Man (not to be confused with the 2006 remake), which Lee considered to be his best film.
Lee’s marvelous skill and screen presence were re-introduced to a new generation of filmgoers in 2001 with his role in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as the evil wizard Saruman. He was also a bright spot as the villain Count Dooku in episodes II and III of the Star Wars prequel trilogy along with a voicing the character in Lucasfilm’s 2008 animated feature of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Tim Burton, who collaborated with Lee in multiple films, including the stop-motion animated Corpse Bride and the CGI-intensive Alice in Wonderland, called him “a true legend.” He said:
“Christopher has been an enormous inspiration to me my entire life. I had the honor and pleasure to work with him on five films. He was the last of his kind – a true legend – who I’m fortunate to have called a friend. He will continue to inspire me and I’m sure countless others for generations to come.”
Lee was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded the prestigious BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Fellowship in 2011.
We are grateful to Christopher Lee for sharing his tremendous talents with us and all of the world and we know that he will live on for generations through his legendary films and performances.