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Christopher Lee dies at the age of 93
The veteran actor was best known for playing villains including Dracula, Count Dooku in the Star Wars Prequel’s and The Dark Wizard Lord Saruman in the Lord of the Rings franchise.
Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93 after being hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure
The decision to release the news days after was based on his wife’s desire to inform family members first. The couple had been married for over 50 years.
As well as his career in film, Lee also released a series of heavy metal albums, including Charlemagne: The Omens of Death. He was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011.
His film career started in 1947 with a role in Gothic romance Corridor of Mirrors but it wasn’t until the late 50s, when Lee worked with Hammer, that he started gaining fame. His first role with the studio was The Curse of Frankenstein and it was the first of 20 films that he made with Peter Cushing, who also became a close friend.
“Hammer was an important part of my life, and generally speaking, we all had a lot of fun,” he said in a 2001 interview.”
The veteran actor, immortalized in films from Dracula to The Wicker Man through to James Bond and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, passed away at 8:30am on Sunday morning at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London.
His wife, the former Danish model Birgit Kroencke, decided to hold back the information for four days until all family members and friends were informed. The couple had been married for over 50 years and had one daughter, Christina.
The actor was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011.
News of his death prompted an outpouring of grief from actors, musicians, and even the Prime Minister, who all paid tribute to Lee’s great talent. His Lord of the Rings co-star Dominic Monaghan and Sir Roger Moore, who played 007 opposite Lee in The Man With The Golden Gun, were among those leading the tributes.