A veteran actor who appeared in some of the biggest film franchises in history has died. BBC News reports that Christopher Lee died Sunday in a London hospital where he was being treated for respiratory problems and heart failure. He was 93.
The British-born Lee made a name for himself early in his career in a series of Hammer horror movies in the 1950s, notably playing Frankenstein’s monster in “The Curse of Frankenstein” in 1957 and then tackling the title role in the 1958 feature “Dracula.” Lee went on to play Dracula again in other films, including the 1965 Hammer release “Dracula: Prince of Darkness.”
He later played Francisco Scaramanga in the 1974 James Bond movie “The Man With the Golden Gun,” and starting in 2001 turned up as Saruman in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” trilogy.
Lee played Count Dooku in the 2002 and 2005 installments of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy.
He had a long list of TV credits, including a string of appearances in TV movies and miniseries. Among them, he played Tiresias in “The Odyssey” in 1997 and Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski in “Pope John Paul II” in 2005. Earlier in his career he appeared on TV anthology series such as “Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Presents,” “Errol Flynn Theater” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.”
Lee also was a singer and an author. Here’s a clip of Lee talking about his 2010 “symphonic metal” album “Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross”: