Friday, June 12, 2015

Christopher Lee, 1922-2015

Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man (1973)

Christopher Lee, the actor whose career spanned Hammer horror movies in the late 1950s through to recent roles in popular film series like the Star Wars prequels or The Hobbit, died over the weekend at the age of 93, although the death was only announced yesterday morning.

Probably Lee's earliest recognizable role would be in 1949's Scott of the Antarctic about the doomed expedition to get to the South Pole first. I don't know which of his roles would be the most recognizable, if only because he played so many roles. Dracula in a bunch of the Hammer horror films would be a good choice; another good choice might be the bad guy Scaramanga, he of the superfluous third nipple, in the James Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun. One of my favorites has to be Lord Summerisle in the wonderfully creepy and shocking The Wicker Man.

The picture above is from The Wicker Man, but it's also from this 2009 interview that shows Christopher Lee to be a very interesting man who was not just an actor. He also sang and released several CDs worth of music in various genres, such as a heavy metal Christmas song.

If TCM does a programming tribute, it will probably be heavy on the Hammer horror, but it would be nice to see a tribute with the other stuff.

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