Christopher Lee: Requiescat in Pace

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At 93 his death does not come as a shock, but it did come far too soon on June 7.  The great underrated actor of several generations in Great Britain, Christopher Lee was something of a man for all seasons.  In World War II he fought for his country with the Royal Air Force and had adventures worthy of a book on their own.  (Prior to serving in that War he had volunteered to fight for Finland in the Winter War of 1939-1940, although he did not see combat.)  His activities with the Special Air Service are still classified.

Taking up acting after the War, he achieved fame by starring in endless horror films produced by Hammer films.  His Dracula is still considered to be the definitive portrayal.  Lee warned his fans about getting involved with the occult:

“I have met people who to claimed to be Satanists, who claimed to be involved in black magic,” Lee continued.

“I certainly haven’t been involved and I warn all of you – never, never, never – you will not only lose your mind you’ll lose your soul.”

 

He could play anything, acting in over 200 films, although he seemed to have a penchant for over the top villains.  A world champion fencer, he probably has the record for the number of sword fights in films.  He always seemed to be having  a very good time on and off screen.

In addition to his acting he had a notable career also as a singer.

He was fluent in several languages, including Mandarin Chinese, although he never recorded any Chinese love ballads, alas.

He entitled his first volume of memoirs:  Tall, Dark and Gruesome.

 

Unlike a lot of actors and actresses he had a happy home life, married to the same woman for 53 years.  Your life was a grand performance Mr. Lee and you will be missed.

 

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6 Comments

  1. As a person of maternal Finnish descent, I’m delighted to hear Sir Chris wanted to fight for Finland during the Winter War! BTW, the wife and I are going to the Monster Bash next Friday, where a tribute to Mr. Lee will be held. To learn about the Monster Bash go to http://www.creepyclassics.com

  2. Awesome, Don. Good to hear so many interesting facts about this interesting man. I always really liked him, and I’m glad to hear he led such a worthy life. I felt bad for him when he wast cast as Saruman; he was a huge Tolkien fan and wanted to portray Gandalf, which would have been an amazing role for him. Alas, but of course, his Saruman was so good it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role.

    May he rest in peace.

  3. Love his response to requests for details of what he did in the intel service.
    “Can you keep a secret?”
    “YES!”
    “So can I.”

  4. Christopher Lee was one of my several adolescent crushes in the ’50s…others were Leo Genn, Vincent Price, and Charlton Heston, whose gravel-ly American accent was tolerated. I congratulate myself on such good taste.

  5. One of the best “Draculas” ever: a dastardly scoundrel from beyond the grave, with a dash of the incomprehensible escape-artistry of James Bond, and (theatrically speaking of his villainousness), “Damn you, Count Dracula!”

    In real life and on the stage,a phenomenally great actor of immense depth and boundless talent. Requiescat in pace.

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