Sunday, May 27, 2012

Happy 90th Birthday Christopher Lee

Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was born in Belgravia, London, England on May 27, 1922. Lee attended Wellington College for three years, and then worked as an office clerk in a couple of London shipping companies. He subsequently enlisted in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War and, on finishing his army service, sought to become an actor. He struggled initially in his new career because he was discriminated as being taller than the leading male actors of his time and being too foreign-looking. However, it was when playing the monster in the Hammer film, “The Curse of Frankenstein” (1957) that proved to be a blessing in disguise, since the movie was successful, this lead to him being signed on for future roles in Hammer Film Productions. Lee's association with Hammer Film Productions brought him into contact with Peter Cushing and they became good friends. Lee and Cushing often than not played contrasting roles in Hammer films, where Cushing was the protagonist and Lee the villain. Lee went on to play Count Dracula in a number of Hammer sequels up until the early part of the 1970s, when he finally retired from Hammer Film Productions. This, of course, didn't mean that he was through with the film business. He continued to play roles, mostly as villains, in “The Man with the Golden Gun” (1974), opposite Roger Moore, “The Three Musketeers” (1973) and “The Four Musketeers: Milady's Revenge” (1974). The triumph of these movies prompted him to Hollywood, though he didn't fare well in the film business, culminating in his returning back to England. However, the beginning of the new millennium has re-launched his career to some degree, during which he has played Count Dooku in “Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones” (2002) and as Saruman the White in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Lee played Count Dooku again in “Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith” (2005) and as Johnny Depp's character's father in the Tim Burton film, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005). Lee is married to actress Birgit ‘Gitte’ Kroencke Lee [1935- ] since 1961 and is the father of actress Christina Erika Lee [1963- ]. Lee was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2001. Christophe appeared in one Euro-western as Bailey the gunsmith in “Hannie Caulder” (1970) with Raquel Welch and Robert Culp. Today we celebrate Sir Christopher Lee’s 90th birthday.  -  Sidhartha Shankar

1 comment:

  1. Who does not love of the Sir. Christopher Lee,
    does not like movies.
    Great actor will be immortalized in the cinema history.
    Great Tribute Tom.