The Prince Of Darkness
June 11, 2015 4:58 AM   Subscribe

RIP Sir Christopher Lee, actor most famous for playing Dracula in numerous horror films but also notable roles as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun and Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies posted by fearfulsymmetry (198 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
 
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posted by Pendragon at 5:03 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Akhu at 5:03 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by doctornecessiter at 5:05 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by mfoight at 5:05 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by cobaltnine at 5:05 AM on June 11, 2015


-,..,-
posted by um at 5:07 AM on June 11, 2015 [27 favorites]


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He was also a pretty good baddie in The Last Unicorn.
posted by Calzephyr at 5:07 AM on June 11, 2015 [10 favorites]


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posted by crocomancer at 5:08 AM on June 11, 2015


Booooooooooo.
posted by Kitteh at 5:10 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Empty Planet at 5:11 AM on June 11, 2015


We all have our appointment with the wicker man. He made excellent use of his time until it was up.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:12 AM on June 11, 2015 [15 favorites]


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Always impressed by how watchable Lee is. Was. :( 100% professional. Even in the slightest of his roles never gave the impression the part was beneath him. And in the brightest he just sang. The slowly dawning menace Lord Sumerisle still chills.
posted by arha at 5:12 AM on June 11, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by tofu_crouton at 5:12 AM on June 11, 2015


He might have also been the real life James Bond.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:12 AM on June 11, 2015 [47 favorites]


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posted by condour75 at 5:13 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by adventureloop at 5:13 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by doctornemo at 5:14 AM on June 11, 2015




I need a drink now.
posted by Splunge at 5:15 AM on June 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by crossoverman at 5:18 AM on June 11, 2015


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He had an epic run.
posted by fairmettle at 5:18 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by valkane at 5:19 AM on June 11, 2015



posted by Smart Dalek at 5:20 AM on June 11, 2015


Knew it was coming but this is still hard to take. Lee was a big part of my childhood in all those British horror films.
posted by octothorpe at 5:21 AM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


I honestly thought, like Dracula and Saruman, he was immortal.
posted by crossoverman at 5:21 AM on June 11, 2015 [24 favorites]


From Strange Interlude's link, the commentary on Return of the King, in re: the noise Saruman makes when he gets killed by Grima:

When I was shooting the stabbing shot with Christopher, as a director would I was explaining to him what he should do...and he says ‘Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?’ And I said, 'Um, no.’ And he says 'Well, I have, and I know what to do.’”

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posted by damayanti at 5:22 AM on June 11, 2015 [68 favorites]


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posted by meinvt at 5:24 AM on June 11, 2015




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posted by eriko at 5:27 AM on June 11, 2015


"We don't always get the kind of work we want, but we always have a choice of whether to do it with good grace or not." - Sir Christopher Lee

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posted by zarq at 5:27 AM on June 11, 2015 [66 favorites]



posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:28 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by sukeban at 5:28 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by zombieflanders at 5:29 AM on June 11, 2015


But he was supposed to be immortal.

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posted by pxe2000 at 5:30 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 5:30 AM on June 11, 2015


He was certainly in an awful lot of schlock, but I suppose he had a good time making them. We saw this prime example at the drive-in movies back around the time it came out.
posted by pracowity at 5:30 AM on June 11, 2015


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What an absolute legend of a man he was. Just amazing. He will be sorely missed :(
posted by longbaugh at 5:31 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Foosnark at 5:31 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by dubitable at 5:32 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by pseudocode at 5:35 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by ShutterBun at 5:36 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Too soon.
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posted by Mezentian at 5:37 AM on June 11, 2015




He was certainly in an awful lot of schlock

But he made schlock awesome.
posted by Mezentian at 5:38 AM on June 11, 2015 [17 favorites]


Wow, sort of appropriately spooky. I just finished planning a Hammer and Amicus marathon long weekend for me and my partner, to commence tonight. And now we hear this. Well, we'll miss you, toast you, and enjoy your legacy Sir Christopher!

What a long, productive, and presumably fulfilling life, right until the end.
posted by gilrain at 5:38 AM on June 11, 2015


Let me just say what we're all thinking: he'll be back as soon as he stares Death down.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:39 AM on June 11, 2015 [19 favorites]


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posted by elisse at 5:39 AM on June 11, 2015


Damn it. Death took Ron Moody, 91, too.

I hope he found his Nidus.
posted by Mezentian at 5:41 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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On the way to lichdom I guess.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:42 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by pianoblack at 5:43 AM on June 11, 2015




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posted by supermassive at 5:44 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by koucha at 5:44 AM on June 11, 2015


I wish I could find the source for this, but I remember his fellow Lord of the Rings cast mates talking about how, on interminable press junkets, he would just sort of snap at some point or another and start answering questions with flat-out lies to amuse himself - always with a completely straight face and sincere tone of voice, and the interviewers never noticed. He also responded to a number of reporters in their native languages, sometimes carrying on full conversations to the exclusion (and delight) of his cast mates.

What a life.

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posted by tzikeh at 5:44 AM on June 11, 2015 [42 favorites]


The bats have left the belltower
The victims have been bled

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posted by Pope Guilty at 5:45 AM on June 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


He was also notable in the Earthbound episode of Space:1999, season one.


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posted by wittgenstein at 5:46 AM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Dawww:
The decision to release the news days after was based on his wife’s desire to inform family members first. The couple had been married for over 50 years.

I had no idea, but I am not really that surprised.
He seemed like the kind of guy who would have been married forever.
posted by Mezentian at 5:46 AM on June 11, 2015 [32 favorites]


A Titan. He was in Olivier's Hamlet in 1948. He was the best Dracula. He freaking MET Tolkien. He had the personal weight to give Count Doocu (a poorly written character drowning in a poorly written movie, filmed in a way that made it nearly impossible to 'act') a measure of gravity and life.

When you watch those Lord Of the Rings documentaries you get the impression that he was a steward of Doing Things Right.

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posted by dirtdirt at 5:49 AM on June 11, 2015 [20 favorites]


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:50 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by aesop at 5:50 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by rahnefan at 5:53 AM on June 11, 2015


He seemed like the kind of guy who would have been married forever.

Well, only since the 15th C, but that's pretty long!

He'll be missed.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:55 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by neushoorn at 5:55 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by sammyo at 5:55 AM on June 11, 2015


I'm not worried- all we have to do is steal the body/ashes, sprinkle blood over his remains, bam, he'll be up and about in 1, 2 scenes max. Time-tested technique.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:56 AM on June 11, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:58 AM on June 11, 2015


I like there are a few reports that this is a hoax and that Lee is still alive. If anyone would have the inside track on cheating death, you know it would be Christopher Lee.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:58 AM on June 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


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posted by Thorzdad at 6:00 AM on June 11, 2015


At least there will be apples on Summerisle again, but what a sacrifice.
posted by maxsparber at 6:00 AM on June 11, 2015 [18 favorites]


And here is the short 1968 New York Times review of Devil's Bride. They liked it.
posted by bukvich at 6:02 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


My last name is Lee. My parents were toying around with two different middle names when my brother was born. My mom lobbied super hard for Christopher. Christopher won. We were raised to be Christopher Lee fans from birth.

My mom always told my brother if anyone asks he can tell them he's named after Dracula.

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posted by phunniemee at 6:07 AM on June 11, 2015 [25 favorites]




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posted by Faintdreams at 6:09 AM on June 11, 2015


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While I will always remember him primarily for his role as Saruman, he somehow managed to bring dignity and gravitas to the role of Count Dooku and that may be his greatest triumph.
posted by nubs at 6:14 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by lmfsilva at 6:15 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Mogur at 6:16 AM on June 11, 2015


nubs: Well said.

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posted by Jeff Morris at 6:18 AM on June 11, 2015


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for a heavy metal Jedi vampire RAF Intelligence wizard.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:20 AM on June 11, 2015 [20 favorites]


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posted by Fizz at 6:20 AM on June 11, 2015


I really did think he would live forever.

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Here is a musical gem in memory.
posted by Gordafarin at 6:25 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


He stomped the Terra like few others, and his voice will forever be unique in the sonic landscape. RIP

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posted by dbiedny at 6:28 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by OmieWise at 6:31 AM on June 11, 2015


Even knowing he was 93 and this day was inevitable, it still feels too soon. He was a powerhouse of a talent and also always seemed so gracious and humble. That voice, too! The world will be less interesting without him.
posted by darksong at 6:35 AM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


Of all his magnificent roles, the one that affected me most personally was, of all things, his 1994 performance as Dr. Malcolm Grimalkin in the super-creepy-for-its-time interactive PC tale Ghosts. Here's a walkthrough:

Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3 -- Part 4 -- Part 6 -- Part 7 -- Part 8 -- Part 9 -- Part 10 -- Part 11 -- Part 12 -- Part 13

I'm not sure whither Part 5.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 6:37 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I AM UPSET
posted by poffin boffin at 6:37 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:38 AM on June 11, 2015


Christopher Lee left behind an impressive body of work and will be long remembered.

Today I remembered him by listening to this clip of him reading "The Tell-Tale Heart".

Soon I will re-watch The Wicker Man and pretend it never got remade.
posted by Gelatin at 6:39 AM on June 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's out of season, but I have my own song to contribute - for reasons only he can explain, zippy once sent me a Christmas email with this mp3 attached.

Its majesty has always been a bit too intimidating for me to include it in my usual Christmas mixes. However I think this moment befits its grandeur.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:40 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Renoroc at 6:44 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Iridic at 6:45 AM on June 11, 2015


Oh no! A wonderful genre actor with a great body of work and entirely deserving of the late career rediscovery/return to fame afforded by Jackson and Lucas. Like Cushing before him, his name is synonymous with the best of Hammer Horror. I always thought Scaramanga was the best Bond villian too. RIP.
posted by comealongpole at 6:53 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I read a short story by Clive Barker a while back, and without giving away any spoilers, one of the characters is an elderly actor who found great success on the Shakespearean stage but didn't work much in modern film because his voice was so dramatic that nobody could take him seriously. He couldn't help it; it was just the way he spoke.

Although Sir Christopher did of course have a great film career, my mind's eye (and ear) instantaneously associated him with this character, especially when he complains "I can't even order a cup of coffee without sounding like Lear in the storm."

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posted by Faint of Butt at 6:54 AM on June 11, 2015 [12 favorites]


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posted by reedcourtneyj at 6:54 AM on June 11, 2015


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So many great roles in his career, of course, but he'll always be the voice of Discworld's Death to me.
posted by kmz at 6:55 AM on June 11, 2015 [13 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 6:57 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by ZeusHumms at 7:19 AM on June 11, 2015


Christopher Lee: Badass of the Week.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:20 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by Going To Maine at 7:23 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Small Dollar at 7:27 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by JKevinKing at 7:31 AM on June 11, 2015


What an incredible man.

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posted by MissySedai at 7:33 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Christopher Lee: Badass of the Week.

There's also this tidbit that gives a glimpse at his WWII career.
posted by kmz at 7:34 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:34 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by xorry at 7:41 AM on June 11, 2015


Metal as fuck.

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posted by tommasz at 7:48 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


One of my favorite Lee films is Horror Express: just the perfect mix of schlock, self-parody, and genuine creepiness.
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posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:54 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by Etrigan at 7:57 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by cazoo at 7:57 AM on June 11, 2015


A strange coincidence - this morning, before I heard the news, my thoughts turned to the scene in Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King where the Gandalf and the eagles save Frodo & Sam from Mt. Doom. Which lead to the scene in the movie where Sauron's army flees the battleground, only to fall into chasms that open up in the ground.
I like to insert this scene - remnants of Saruman's Uruk Hai standing their ground as the "morgul rats" run past them in panicked retreat. Saruman's children exchange glances, and then make a suicidal rush at Aragorn's troops, shouting as their final battle cry "SAAARUUUUMAN!"
posted by King Sky Prawn at 7:59 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by lalochezia at 7:59 AM on June 11, 2015


RIP Sir Christopher. Apparently sometime in the 50s he first read the Lord of the Rings. He then went to Oxford, found out what pub Tolkien frequented, and found him there. If there was ever a time and a place that I would want to be sitting quietly with a pint in my hand and just listening, this would be it.
posted by Ber at 8:02 AM on June 11, 2015 [16 favorites]


He was honoured with the "Spirit of Metal" award in the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden God awards ceremony.

This! Is! Amazing! He was 88 when this happened.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:07 AM on June 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


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posted by djeo at 8:07 AM on June 11, 2015


While a student, we rented a beachside house near Canterbury. Sir Christopher was a neighbour and it was a surreal delight to sometimes be behind him in the queue at the local convenience store on a Sunday morning while he was buying his newspapers.

Alas, a former neighbour is no longer undead.
posted by epo at 8:09 AM on June 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


[Full clip NSFW] Christopher Lee camps it up in The Magic Christian from 1969. Great corridor vamp starts at 4:54!
posted by King Sky Prawn at 8:09 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Great run, Lee has a fond place in my teenage memories and it's been a delight to see him lately as well.

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posted by Sheydem-tants at 8:13 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Navelgazer at 8:15 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by get off of my cloud at 8:22 AM on June 11, 2015


The world is a little less bright today. Keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers...
posted by Hanuman1960 at 8:24 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by umberto at 8:28 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by of strange foe at 8:29 AM on June 11, 2015


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He was great in everything, even the worst schlock was wonderful once he was in it. I thought, like others, he was forever.
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posted by dougzilla at 8:41 AM on June 11, 2015


That's what Van Helsing and Mina Harker would like you to think, but I saw sudden fog and bats flying under the pale moonlight.

Assuming the role of Dracula in such a way - what a triumph. And I loved his zest to experiment with metal so late in life even though it wasn't my cup of tea. Amazing man, amazing run.
posted by ersatz at 8:46 AM on June 11, 2015


A Good Summation
posted by Navelgazer at 8:49 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by Alexandra Michelle at 8:49 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by lord_wolf at 8:50 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:06 AM on June 11, 2015


I try to minimize my contact with Star Wars and LOTR, but I did enjoy decades of genre films featuring Christopher Lee, both at the cinema and on late night teevy.
You know, I've appeared in over 130 motion pictures, and not all of them begin at 3 a.m. on Channel 9. I was the Man with the Golden Gun . . . [I was] in The Three -- and Four Muskateers. I drowned in Airport '77. And I'm sure that you will remember me vividly as Trixie in The Honeymooners.
Like Lugosi, Karloff, Price, and all the best of the genre actors, he brought a touch of class to even the cheapest (in all senses) productions.

In 1978, Lee hosted one of the more memorable episodes of Saturday Night Live featuring the original cast. You can't see it on YT of course, but it's on Hulu and other log-in type services.

From his monologue:
I first came to public attention through my appearances in certain, rather... eerie, macabre films. But you may be surprised to know that I haven't made one in several years. This is because I have a great deal of respect for this kind of film, and I don't think that very good ones are being produced any more. Week after week, I find myself receiving scripts like The Creature from the Black Studies Program, Frankenstein Snubs the Wolfman, and Dr. Terror's House of Pancakes*.
Then he shares 'trailers' for three further examples [It'd be blowing the punchline to name them.]

Oddly from a contemporary perspective, the movie Wicker Man never came up on the show at all, even though it was quite a recent effort. Although the appellation originated in the late 1970s, I don't think Wicker Man was widely regarded as "the Citizen Kane of horror movies" until after the VHS home video era gave it the widest possible exposure.

Here he is introducing musical guest Meat Loaf.

In sketches, Lee mostly plays it straight as Henry Higgins trying to improve Baba Wawa's elocution, and as a Van Helsing-like character out to drive a stake through Richard Nixon's (soon to be published) memoirs and "put the soul of Watergate to rest!"

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* Lee appeared in Dr. Terror's House of Horror, of course, a nice little UK horror anthology film that used to play on late night teevy quite a lot.
posted by Herodios at 9:14 AM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by asfuller at 9:17 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Ambient Echo at 9:18 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by dlugoczaj at 9:19 AM on June 11, 2015


THERE IS NO JUSTICE.
THERE IS JUST US.
posted by plinth at 9:24 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]




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He led a full life.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:29 AM on June 11, 2015


Remarkable. We likely won't see his sort again, but I'm glad I was here while he was.

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posted by hippybear at 9:32 AM on June 11, 2015


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He led an amazing life. Everyone should read Lord of Misrule, his autobiography. He relates stories about meeting Rasputin's assassins, about being the first Allied soldier into the Vatican in WWII, about living down the road from Charlie Chaplin - these are just the non-showbiz ones - in such a calm and professional manner.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 9:34 AM on June 11, 2015 [5 favorites]


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Thank you, Sir Christopher.
posted by Naamah at 9:37 AM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by chaosys at 9:38 AM on June 11, 2015


I think I know now how Catholics felt when John Paul II died. Some part of me truly thought he'd be here forever, our glorious murderous imperious antipope, world without end amen.

I do wish they had given him the full Voice of Saruman scene in the LOTR films. When I first heard he was cast, I spent the next few years in eager anticipation of how he'd do "The Voice of Saruman." It's sad that we will never hear it now.

I am grateful that such a creature as Christopher Lee existed, and that we have so much of his work to remember him by, but-- god, the world is so much less extraordinary without him.
posted by Pallas Athena at 9:41 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, Christopher Lee wrote an autobiography about the entire 20th century and he didn't perform it as an audiobook? What an absolute loss to humanity.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:42 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not unexpected, still pretty devastating. As I said to my husband, he lived one of the more interesting lives in the history of mankind, and I hope he died with no regrets, but our species is poorer for the loss.

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posted by town of cats at 9:48 AM on June 11, 2015


I cannot believe you guys for not having posted this earlier. I am deeply disappointed.

I will cherish Christopher Lee primarily for this, the shedding of the blood of the Saxon man.
posted by qcubed at 9:52 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by pt68 at 10:01 AM on June 11, 2015


We all know that Saruman died. But still...

Just looking at the extra material of the first Hobbit movie--the scene where he keeps telling anecdotes--makes you think that he was truly unstoppable. Not so, sadly.
posted by Namlit at 10:10 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by joedan at 10:21 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Joey Michaels at 10:22 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Michele in California at 10:34 AM on June 11, 2015


"There are many vampires in the world today - you only have to think of the film business," he once quipped.

RIP
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:48 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I realize he was getting up there with Saruman in years, but Renaissance man doesn't even begin to describe Sir Christopher Lee and the amazing contributions he made to this world.

His wit, professionalism and immense range of talents (acting! fencing! operatic metal Christmas albums! WWII veteran!) will be greatly missed, and I for one am curious about the many secrets he took to his grave.

Good on you, Sir Christopher, you lived an enviable and full life.

With this in mind I mark your passing with the only salute that's fitting, because you truly were too much metal for just one hand:

\mm/
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:57 AM on June 11, 2015 [2 favorites]



posted by Lynsey at 10:58 AM on June 11, 2015


I can only assume that he defeated Death, and decided to take Death's place.

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posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:01 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


A wonderful part of my best childhood nightmares. RIP .
posted by jabo at 11:10 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Token Meme at 11:24 AM on June 11, 2015


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posted by axoplasm at 11:26 AM on June 11, 2015


I started watching him in Hammer films as a child and I developed in inordinate fondness for him, and the late Peter Cushing (one of his dearest friends in real-life). I always loved this exchange in Horror Express.

RIP, Sir Christopher. You were awesome.
posted by nikitabot at 11:49 AM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by clockworkjoe at 11:59 AM on June 11, 2015


Yeah, there was no question it was coming, given that he was 93 and all, but...

still acting, still producing heavy metal songs at 93. I think he did all right, given that. We'll miss you, sir.

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posted by Archelaus at 12:08 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dammit, no.

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posted by New England Cultist at 12:31 PM on June 11, 2015


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Though we've seen him do this kind of thing before. Could he at this very moment chillin at a bar with Elvis, Tupac, and his cousin Bruce? Conspiracy experts, let me hear you say, "Yes!"
posted by otherchaz at 12:43 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


I will miss his voice

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posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 1:00 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by detachd at 1:09 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by drnick at 2:15 PM on June 11, 2015


I just love how much of himself he put into his roles. I mean, I love The Last Unicorn (which, as a child, was my first introduction to Lee), but that he brought his own annotated copy of the book and dubbed his role in German too is just so amazing. This wasn't a major role for him, but that seemed to be how he treated all his roles. He wanted to play them the best he could, regardless of what they were.

I am really sad about his passing in a way I didn't expect to be, really. I've been thinking about it all day and I'm not over it.

I'll watch The Wicker Man and/or The Last Unicorn tonight, I think.
posted by darksong at 2:34 PM on June 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by immlass at 2:37 PM on June 11, 2015


Somehow, despite the fact that I've seen tons of things he's been in throughout his career, most recently I remembered LOTR most clearly, and it did not really sink in that he was nearly twenty years older than Ian McKellen. I lost my grandfather last year at a similar age to heart failure, and the very end of that is a difficult time, but... what amazing years to have gotten out of a heart!
posted by Sequence at 3:00 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by clavdivs at 3:05 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by cleroy at 3:11 PM on June 11, 2015


pxe2000: "But he was supposed to be immortal.

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Fear not. His films are immortal, and by extension, so is he.
posted by Splunge at 3:23 PM on June 11, 2015


“I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden – former, present, or future – to discuss any specific operations. Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read into that what they like.”

Is this really true? Won't the details of his exploits be declassified at some point? We're talking WWII era stuff, that's 70 years ago or so, can there really be much that's worth keeping secret still?

(This is important so that there can be a biographical TV series about Christopher Lee's exploits in the special forces and how he battled actual nazi vampires, getting turned into one in the process.)
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 3:43 PM on June 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


I asked an intelligence specialist once about Mr. Lee's statement, and he said there was nothing unusual there. As for the war, I've come across several Second World War items in the British Foreign Office records closed until 2017. I was told a lot of times it has to do with people still living, rather than the secret nature of the material.

In any case, what a life.
posted by Palindromedary at 4:13 PM on June 11, 2015


Palindromedary: " I was told a lot of times it has to do with people still living, rather than the secret nature of the material."

Fair enough, I guess there's the possibility of someone being outed as having done rather unsavory things. I do hope this gets opened up to the public some time in the future, though. In five or ten years, I can't imagine there'll be many people still living, if any.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:53 PM on June 11, 2015


Moritat von Mackie Messer

Mack the Knife, in the original German by Brecht and Weill. Sinister as fuck.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:18 PM on June 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


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posted by homunculus at 6:29 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Fibognocchi at 7:13 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by moons in june at 7:36 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by Canageek at 11:18 PM on June 11, 2015


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posted by On the Corner at 12:12 AM on June 12, 2015


Let us not forget* (which Pope Guilty obliquely reminded me above) that Sir Christopher got his own Bela Lugosi's Dead moment in the 1990s: Like Christopher Lee.


*Or you may forget, if nine-odd minutes of Finnish fetish vampiric goth-tinged metal isn't your thing.
posted by Mezentian at 12:23 AM on June 12, 2015


"When God spoke to Moses, he was worrried about his voice having the proper heft so he hired a young Christopher Lee to speak for him" - from the Facts I Just Made Up Tumbler
posted by Mezentian at 2:15 AM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is my oldest memory of him. Complicated to be sure, but Lord Summerisle was always the one to root for, obviously.
posted by talking leaf at 4:38 AM on June 12, 2015


(This is important so that there can be a biographical TV series about Christopher Lee's exploits in the special forces and how he battled actual nazi vampires, getting turned into one in the process.)

Paging Kim Newman! Put this on your to-do list.
posted by Grangousier at 5:06 AM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Paging Kim Newman! Put this on your to-do list.

*pulls out MeFi Trump Card*

Allow me to play Brian Stableford.

Besides, who could even play Sir Christopher?
posted by Mezentian at 7:09 AM on June 12, 2015


.

Christopher Lee was the bad guy in this movie.
posted by Lucinda at 11:29 AM on June 12, 2015


22 Incredible Facts about Christopher Lee

Some of them have already been surfaced in this thread, but still. An amazing life. We shall never see his like again.
posted by nubs at 12:38 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare is a movie I want to see, like, yesterday.
posted by Mezentian at 11:36 PM on June 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


A comment from the io9 article above: "fuck the Dos Equis guy, LEE was the Most Interesting Man In The World."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:17 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


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