R.I.P. Sir Christopher Lee 1922 ~ 2015

Screen legend Sir Christopher Lee has passed away at the age of 93. The Telegraph reports he died in hospital as a result of “respiratory problems”.

Possession at first sight; my introduction to Sir Christopher Lee came in the form of British classic Hammer Horror films, which are still, and always will be, great.

Tired of playing Dracula and feeling that the movies had gotten sub-par, Lee tried to quit Hammer films, but studio executives guilted him into returning by stressing how many people could be out of work if Lee stopped churning out hits. Lee agreed to star in 1966 Dracula: Prince of Darkness, he felt the script was so awful he adamantly refused to say any of the dialogue. Hammer decided that it was far more important to have a mute Lee as star as opposed to anyone else, and thus had Dracula hiss and yell through the film.

In addition to his impossibly prolific film career, Lee was a world champion fencer, an opera singer, spoke six languages, was an intelligence officer for the Long Range Desert Patrol, a forerunner of the SAS, Britain’s special forces — He fought the Nazis (before he was even 25 years old), he released his first full heavy metal album in 2010 at the age of 88, titled Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, which won the “Spirit of Metal” award from the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods ceremony; Lee followed that up with a metal Christmas album in 2012, making him the oldest metal performer, and the oldest musician to ever hit the Billboard music charts; and last but not least: despite everything you’ve heard about the “six degrees of Kevin Bacon,” Christopher Lee was recognized as being the most connected actor in the world in 2008, by Guinness — He connects to virtually any actor in 2.59 steps, beating Bacon. Sir Christopher Lee truly is a screen legend by all accounts of the term. May thou eternal slumber be peaceful.

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~ by Fionnlagh on June 13, 2015.

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