Originally published here on June 11, 2015.
We lost one of the greats this week.
Christopher Lee, exemplary actor and supreme cinema villain, has died at the age of 93 after hospitalization for respiratory problems and heart failure.
Over his 65-plus year career, Lee has been well-known by many as a prolific character actor, with a particular talent for playing evil-minded villains.
Many first knew him as Count Dracula, a character he is played in a staggering nine films through the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. He also memorably played Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga in 1974’s The Man With the Golden Gun and pagan cult leader Lord Summerisle in 1973’s cult classic The Wicker Man.
Weird Girls readers, however, may know him better by the roles he played during his more recent career resurgence. In the last 15 years, Lee has played the villain in several major franchises, including appearing as Count Dooku in two of the three Star Wars prequels and – of course – as the corrupt Saruman the White in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. He also became a frequent member of Tim Burton’s recurring cast, appearing in Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dark Shadows and lending his iconic voice to characters in Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland.
In addition to his many roles, Lee was also knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity, and he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011.
As an amazingly awesome bonus, he also made a few heavy metal albums.
Thank you, Sir, for all the wicked joy you’ve given us. We won’t soon forget.