Some sad news from not just the British film world but the entire world of film yesterday morning. Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93. Famous, in recent years, for his roles in the classic James Bond movie, The Man With the Golden Gun, The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, I will always remember Lee for his efforts in countless Hammer Horror films. While many will remember his iconic 1958 appearance in Dracula where he claimed the Transylvania vampire as forever his own, for me, it was Lee’s first film for Hammer in 1957, The Curse of Frankenstein, in which he played Frankenstein’s monster, with Peter Cushing as Baron Victor Frankenstein, that I will always think of as his best.
After almost two decades (1957-1976), Lee ended his association with Hammer Films after an endless number of films including numerous Dracula films, The Mummy in 1959 and several Sherlock Holmes, where Lee seemingly played everyone from Sherlock Holmes, himself, his older brother Mycroft and Sir Henry Baskerville in The Hound of the Baskervilles with close friend Peter Cushing as Holmes. In addition to his antagonist role in Ian Fleming’s The Man with the Golden Gun, it was his role as Saruman in both the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and his subsequent role of Count Dooku in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith that introduced him to a whole new generation of filmgoers.
Lee moved to America in 1977 to avoid a potential horror film typecast, something that he had seen happen with friends Peter Cushing and Vincent Price. Given his entire filmography, I think it worked out pretty well for him and for film-goers worldwide.
R.I.P. Sir Christopher Lee (1922-2015) and THANK YOU on behalf of film-goers worldwide.