A massive film legend passed away this past Sunday, as we learned today that Christopher Lee had died at age 93. Sir Christopher Lee was an icon, appearing in some of the biggest franchises of all time on top of being a World War II spy and pilot and being a massive heavy metal fan and musician.
Depending on when you were born or what you first saw, for many, Christopher Lee’s most iconic role was playing Dracula in the Hammer horror films of the 50’s to the 70’s
Much different from Bela Lugosi’s cold and calculated Prince of Darkness, Lee’s portrayal became just as famous, even though at the time he was not a fan of working with Hammer. He frequently worked with the equally as great Peter Cushing, who played Van Helsing and other gentlemen scientists facing off against Lee’s monsters. Besides Dracula, Lee also portrayed Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy and Rasputin for Hammer, as well as playing Sir Henry Baskerville in Hammer’s version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, where Cushing played Sherlock Holmes, and then he played Holmes himself in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace from 1962.
Moving into another massive franchise, Lee played the titular Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun, playing assassin Scaramanga who lures Bond to his private island to see which one of them is truly the best. (Lee was actually step-cousin to Bond author, Ian Fleming)
And the iconic roles just never stop, as in recent years Lee joined both the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises, playing the villainous Count Dooku and Saruman respectively.
Lee has also appeared in such varied movies as Gremlins 2, Sleepy Hollow, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Airport ’77, Police Academy: Mission to Moscow and the original Wicker Man.
On top of all that, Lee was also heavily into heavy metal music as well. He worked with the power metal band Rhapsody of Fire by providing narration for four of their albums as “The Wizard King”, and he also worked with Manowar for the new version of their album, Battle Hymns. Lee recorded his own album of metal called, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and released four more albums after that, as well as a few EPs for Christmas.
Lee was truly a legend who had a fascinating life and career and we are all going to miss him here at Everything Action.