Little Known, Interesting Sir Christopher Lee Facts

Opening of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival
Opening of the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival

Christopher Lee’s Early Career and Rise to Fame

Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee shortly known as Christopher Lee was one of England’s most famous and prolific actors. His recent passing left a vast number of people sad as the world and movie industry lost one of its greatest talents. Here are several interesting and little known Christopher Lee facts about with which we commemorate his amazing career.

Christopher Lee’s career began in 1948 when he got a role in the British drama film Corridor of Mirrors. However it was a decade later that the actor gained world prominence when he starred in Terence Fisher’s, 1958 British honor film Dracula in the role of Count Dracula. Lee portrayed the iconic vampire with such finesse that he became synonymous with the horror genre, a legacy that would define much of his career. This wasn’t the first movie in which the actor worked with the renowned director as a year before the release of Dracula, Lee played the role of Frankenstein’s monster in The Curse of Frankenstein.

Lee and Cushing: A Legendary Friendship

Peter Cushing was one of the actors’ closest friends despite the fact that the two of them were onscreen mortal enemies (in a total of three Dracula related movies) as Cushing played the role of the famed vampire hunter Doctor Van Helsing. In the aforementioned, The Curse of Frankenstein, Cushing appeared along his friend in the role of Victor Frankenstein. Their collaboration extended beyond these films, notably in Hammer horror films, where they frequently co-starred, solidifying their status as icons of the genre. Throughout their careers both actors have played alongside in a large number of movies which explains there close friendship which lasted until Cushing’s death in 1994.

After the completion and release of Dracula in 1958, Christopher Lee expressed that he had no desire to continue playing the role of the vampire. Despite his feelings on the matter he did play the role of the count a total of ten times. He was the tallest leading actor to play Dracula, standing at an imposing 6 feet 5 inches, which added a unique physical presence to his portrayal. He explained that he decided to reprise the role because of his fans who sent him an innumerable account of mail which he described as “emotional blackmail”.

In 2014, Lee celebrated his 92nd birthday by releasing this third EP of covers called “Metal Knight”. The EP was a follow-up to his earlier heavy metal Christmas albums, showcasing his versatility and passion for music. The EP contains heavy metal rendering of Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way”, “The Toreador March” from the opera Carmen, “The Impossible Dream” and “I Don Quixote” both from the musical Man of La Mancha. He released the album as he wanted to share his version of these musical pieces with his fans.

Lee’s Bond Connection and War Service

Christopher Lee was a step-cousin of renowned English author Ian Fleming. Lee’s step-cousin, the James Bond creator, admired Lee’s wartime experience as an intelligence officer in the Royal Air Force. Fleming the creator of the legendary fiction spy James Bond based his character on his cousin due to the fact that the actor was part of a Special Operation Units during World War II. The actions in which Lee was involved are still classified by the British government and the actor never elaborated any details. In 1974, Sir Christopher Lee starred in the ninth installment of the James Bond series in the role of Francisco Scaramanga, one of Bond’s most emblematic foes. In this role, Lee wielded the infamous Golden Gun, becoming the only actor to have portrayed both a James Bond villain and a relative of the James Bond creator.

Versatility in Acting: From Horror to Holmes

During his career Christopher Lee appeared in a total of 206 films, most of which you can see today. Among these, he notably starred as Sir Henry Baskerville in the 1959 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes’ ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, further cementing his versatility as an actor beyond the horror star label. But before you do so, make sure that you complete your removal project. You can drastically facilitate your move by using professional removal services.

Iconic Roles in Modern Cinema

Other notable films that starred Sir Christopher Lee: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit trilogy and the Star Wars prequel trilogy. In the Star Wars prequel trilogy, particularly in Episode II, Lee portrayed the formidable Count Dooku, a character that showcased his ability to dominate in the fantasy film genre. His collaboration with director Peter Jackson in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies further highlighted his adaptability and continued relevance in modern cinema.

His work with Tim Burton, including films like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Corpse Bride’, demonstrated Lee’s ability to evolve with cinematic trends while maintaining his unique presence onscreen. Lee told Carpenter in an interview that his roles in these films were among his favorites, as they allowed him to explore different aspects of his acting range.