Sunday, 14 June 2015

In Memory of Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Christopher Lee (1922-2015)

Dearest movie lovers, it is come to my attention that I regret to inform you all that English acting thespian Christopher Lee is now dead at the age of 93 on June 7th 2015. The man was known for playing such villainous leads as Count Dracula in the Hammer Horror series, Scaramanga in 'The Man With The Golden Gun', Saruman in both trilogies of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' and Count Dooku in the last two prequels of 'Star Wars'. Because of his versatility for portraying menacing types as a vampire, assassin, sorcerer and Sith Lord, Lee displayed these distinctive talents and has a deep baritone to have the villains sound very brooding and antagonistic.

Before working in his full-time acting, Lee made his debut in 1948 in small, supporting and uncredited bit roles such as the spear carrier in Laurence Oliver's version of 'Hamlet'. Then in 1952, he came through his breakthrough role in John Huston's movie adaptation of 'Moulin Rouge'. In 1957, Lee joined the studio of Hammer and began playing as famous monsters such as Frankenstein's creature with Peter Cushing as his co-star in a film which led Lee to portray the legendary vampire Dracula in the next year and went on have more movies of playing the same character until 1972. This ongoing contract that he has with Hammer Films wouldn't last a decade until 19 years when his contract came to its expiration. Aside from several of his roles he done with the production company of Hammer, Chris has other films outside the studio like the 'Fu Manchu' series, 'I, Monster', 'The Creeping Flesh' and 'The Wicker Man' (which he considered the latter to be a personal favourite of his). During the mid 1970s and already had been known in the horror movie fiction, Lee was casted in what it was to be a ninth movie of the James Bond franchise. 

Having once considered for the role of Dr, No in the title movie at years ago and being related to the series author Ian Fleming, Lee finally portrays as one of Bond's nemeses and soon-to-be assassin Francisco Scaramanga in 'The Man With The Golden Gun' which his performance and character were praised in touch of his charisma and the skill he rivals with his arch-foe. Lee would eventually move away from England to America in 1977 with his friend Peter Cushing while still in the film acting business before moving back in later years near the end of his life. Christopher Lee was a frequent collaborating favourite of director Tim Burton who has selected him in the supporting cast and appeared with lead actor Johnny Depp in their films such as 'Sleepy Hollow', 'Corpse Bride', 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Dark Shadows'. In the 2000s saw Lee as he began his career resurgence beginning with his portrayal as the dark wizard Saruman in the film trilogy of 'The Lord of the Rings' and as Darth Maul's replacement and separatist leader Count Dooku in the final two Star Wars prequels, 'Attack of the Clones' and 'Revenge of the Sith' before settling in to voice the same character in the pilot animation 'The Clone Wars'. He also appeared in 'Hugo' as the librarian and reprised his old character of Saruman in the first and final movies of 'The Hobbit' prequel series.

This is why I miss Christopher Lee and his voice, God may rest your soul as those who will pay tribute to your acting virtuosity ;-(

1 comment:

  1. Hi Film Guru Lad,

    Thats tragic news, I did not know Christopher Lee had passed away until I read your review. I also did not realise he was 93, that's impressive. He must have really looked after himself. I have only ever seen him in LOTR trilogy as I have not seen Star Wars or his other films which you mentioned. Except for Golden Gun but it has been many years since seing that and I don't remember his character. I think he was a very talented actor and that he will be missed by many fans around the world. Keep up the good work Film Guru Lad.