I’ve belatedly learned that Sir Christopher Lee, the last of the great classic horror actors, has died at the age of 93.
I don’t have the space or the knowledge to give an adequate summary of Mr. Lee’s long and very full life. He was one of the most prolific actors in history, appearing in nearly 250 films from 1948 to 2014, including Horror of Dracula (where he portrayed the second most famous cinematic Dracula to date), The Man with the Golden Gun, The Devil Rides Out (a rare heroic role), The Wicker Man, and The Lord of the Rings films.
Not only was Mr. Lee a great and prolific actor, but he was also a special forces veteran of World War II (there’s a great story of him creeping out Peter Jackson on the set of the Lord of the Rings by describing the sound a man actually makes when he’s stabbed in the back), an expert fencer, a trained stuntman, a polyglot able to field interview questions in French and German, and a classically trained singer who, towards the end of his life, featured in a number of heavy metal albums.
Personally, the thing that comes to my mind is that I remember seeing a clip from an interview with him in which he dismissed the rumor that he was an expert on the occult with a massive library on the subject. He went on to warn his listeners not to get involved in the subject, as it “will not only destroy your mind, it will destroy your soul.”
Christopher Lee was a great actor and a man of great class and sophistication. His like is rare in the world today and nearly non-existent in the film industry. He was always a welcome and entertaining presence in his films, and he will be sorely missed by everyone fortunate enough to have seen his work.
Eternal rest grant onto him, O Lord, let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.