Art And Culture

Christopher Lee Passes Away

Christopher Lee Passes AwayChristopher Lee Passes Away

British master of acting Sir Christopher Lee, who portrayed Dracula in outrageous horror classics but became known to later generations for roles in ‘Star Wars’ and as the wizard Saruman in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series has died at age 93.

Lee died in a London hospital, where he was undergoing treatment for respiratory problems, Reuters reported.

He achieved fame from the late 1950s into the 1970s playing characters including Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy for Hammer Films, and later in his career made memorable appearances in a series of blockbuster movies.

With his deep, mellifluous voice and 1.93-metre frame, many leading directors sought out Lee’s talents, especially in the latter stages of his career.

Roger Moore, who played James Bond in ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’ (1974) in which Lee was the villain Scaramanga, offered condolences to the actor’s wife of 54 years, Birgit Kroncke, their daughter Christina and her husband, Juan Francisco Aneiros Rodriguez.

“It’s terrible when you lose an old friend, and Christopher Lee was one of my oldest,” Moore said. “We first met in 1948.”

Director Tim Burton, who worked with Lee in five movies, called him “the last of his kind” and “a true legend.”

Lee won new generations of fans after the turn of the century in some of the biggest moneymakers in film history. He played the evil Count Dooku, fighting Jedi knights in ‘Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones’ (2002) and ‘Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith’ (2005).

He portrayed the power-hungry wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy in 2001, 2002 and 2003 as well as in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ (2012) and ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ (2014).

As part of his late-career flourish, he also appeared in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’ (2011) and Burton’s black comedy ‘Dark Shadows’ (2012) with Johnny Depp.

Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was born in 1922. He made his film debut in 1947, launching a career that eventually spanned more than 200 movies.