What can we say that hasn’t already been said about the passing of acting legend Christopher Lee? Even saying “acting legend” seems a bit insulting if you realize the amount of great performances he gave this world in a career lasting a longer period of time than the average worldwide human lifespan. Lee’s performances commanded our attention and no matter the role, genre or even time on screen, we certainly loved every moment he gave us.
From Count Dracula to Count Dooku, Saruman to Francisco Scaramanga, the man remained in our lives and did so with an energy that kept us on tenterhooks for every line he delivered. The sheer scope of his career is a tough thing to sum up in any article, let alone convey the number of memorable characters we will remember for, well, forever. Part of Lee’s appeal is that no matter the character he played, he managed to always remain genuine. Speaking to that genuine nature of his parts, Lee had paraphrased Anthony Hopkins on a few occasions saying “I don’t play villains, I play people”. Never acting as a conduit of the deeds a character has done, he played the person which is why his villains were always so compelling, and on some level, sympathetic.
The video above begins with a quote from Lee himself that perfectly encapsulates the very essence of his career:
“I think if you’re going to be a real actor, professional, whatever you like to call it – you must possess a degree of versatility otherwise youre not going to last very long, are you?”
It’s clear he meant those words with every fiber of his being when you consider his impressive nearly 70 year career.
While there’s a collective sadness in our hearts that Christopher Lee has passed on, we take comfort in the fact that through his body of work, gave the world so much to treasure that he will surely never be forgotten.
What are your favorite Christopher Lee roles? Let us know in the comments below.