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Christopher Lee Edit Profile
He began his legendary career in monster movies in the 1950, playing both Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula, the latter in several classics of the genre. Lee has recently become known to a whole new generation of filmgoers in The Lord of the Rings films and Star Wars prequels. Lee is well known for his deep, strong voice and imposing height. He was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009.
Lee was like a taller, darker Dennis Price, which is to say he could have expected gentleman roles—romancer or bounder. And he was ten years in pictures, to no great effect, before someone realized that the Count fitted both sides better than any other part. Once infected, Lee could never get out of horror, and so he chose to invest the genre with dignity and feeling. If it possessed him, then it was worthy of proper attention and heartfelt acting.
On the way to Transylvania (and Hammer), he did Corridor of Mirrors (48, Terence Young); Hamlet (48, Laurence Olivier); One Night with You (48, Young); Penny and the Pownall Case (48, Slim Hand); Scott of the Antarctic (48, Charles Frend); A Song for Tomorrow (48, Fisher); Saraband for Dead Lovers (48, Basil Dearden); My Brother’s Keeper (48, Alfred Roome); Trottie Tme (49, Brian Desmond Hurst); They Were Not Divided (49, Young); Prelude to Fame (50, Fergus McDonnell).
He was in Captain Horatio Homblower (51. Raoul Walsh); Valley of the Eagles (51, Young); Paid Temple Returns (52, Maclean Rogers); The Crimson Pirate (52, Robert Siodmak); Innocents in Paris (53, Gordon Parry); Moulin Rouge (53, John Huston); That Lady (54, Young); The Dark Avenger (54. Henry Levin); Storm over the Nile (55, Zoltán Korda); The Cockleshell Heroes (55, José Ferrer); Private’s Progress (55, John and Roy Boulting); Pori Afrique (56, Rudolph Maté); Alias John Preston (56, David MacDonald); Beyond Mombasa (56, George Marshall); Battle of the River Plate (56, Michael Powell); Moby Dick (56, Huston); III Met By Moonlight (57, Powell); Fortune Is a Woman (57, Sidney Gilliat); The Traitor (57, Michael McCarthy); The Truth About Women (57, Muriel Box); Bitter Victory (57, Nicholas Ray); St. Evremonde in A Tale of Two Cities (58, Ralph Thomas).
But in 1957 he was cast as the Monster in The Curse of Frankenstein (Fisher). Next year he was Dracula, and his future was set. There have been very few diversions allowed in a litany of films that is like a poem to the horror genre: The Hound of ike Baskervilles (59, Fisher); The Man Who Could Cheat Death (59, Fisher); as The Mummy (59, Fisher); The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (60, Fisher); Beat Girl (60, Edmond T. Greville); Horror Hotel (60, John Moxey); Too Hot to Handle (60, Young); The Hands of Orlac (61, Greville); Taste of Fear (61, Seth Holt); The Terror of the Tongs (61, Anthony Bushell); The Pirates of Blood Biver (62, John (idling); Corridor of Blood (62, Robert Day)—filmed several years earlier, and costarring Boris Karloff.
He was in The Longest Day (62, Ken Annaldn and others); and he began to make many films in Europe. But he was back at Hammer for The Gorgon (64, Fisher); Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (65, Freddie Francis); She (65, Day); The Skull (65, Francis); The Face of Fu Manchu (65. Don Sharp); very good in Rasputin: The Mad Monk (66, Sharp); The Brides of Fu Manchu (66, Sharp); Circus of Fear (67. Moxey); Blood Fiend (67, Samuel Gallu); Dracula lias Risen from the Grave (68, Francis); The Crimson Cult (68, Vernon Sewell), with Karloft and Barbara Steele.
He played with Vincent Price in The Oblong Box (69, Gordon Messier); he was a guest Dracula in The Magic Christian (69. Joseph McGrath); Scream and Scream Again (70, Hessler)—even- title has been used, first as a verb and then as a noun; Taste the Blood of Dracula (70. Peter Sasdy); Scars of Dracula (70, Roy Ward Baker); as Artimedorus in Julius Caesar (70, Stuart Burge); as Mycroft in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (70, Billy Wilder); The House That Dripped Blood (70, Peter Dnffell).
Tall, Dark and Gruesome. He played Rochefort in Dick Lester’s two Musketeer films. He was James Bond’s villain in The Man with the Golden Gun (74, Guy Hamilton)—face it, he could just as easily have been Bond. And he has been seen recently in Police Academy VII—Mission to Moscow (94, Alan Metter); as Rameses in the TV Moses (96, Roger Young); as Tiresias in The Odyssey (97, Andrei Konchalovsky); as Jinnah (98, Jamil Dehlavi); in Sleepy Hollow (99, Tim Burton); Gormengliast (00, Andy Wilson); outstanding as Saruman in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (01, Peter Jackson); and very cool as Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of the Clones (02, George Lucas).
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