The world has lost one of its most beloved talents in cinematic history, as Sir Christopher Lee passed away last Sunday June 7th due to respiratory problems and heart failure. The news went public just yesterday in sites like The Guardian and io9, and many iconic figures such as Sir Roger Moore (James Bond), director Martin Scorsese, and Star Wars creator George Lucas led tributes to the late and great 93 year old actor.
Many consider Lee to be the “Master of Horror“, due largely to his deep strong voice that nabbed him several iconic villain roles. That being said, the English actor’s filmography spans 70 years, where he has portrayed various roles and has even lent his talents to music, television, and literature.
As a tribute to this legendary icon, here are five roles in popculture fandom that Sir Christopher Lee has immortalized himself as and brought to life spectacularly in film.
1. Count Dracula – The Hammer Horror Films
One of the most iconic roles in his long decorated history in movies, Christopher Lee’s portrayal of the nefarious Count Dracula for the Hammer Horror films is well documented… And he lent his terrifying visage and voice (mostly hissing) to bring to life the Lord of Darkness.
Here’s a bite montage of Lee doing his evil deeds as the evil vampire himself.
While certainly not one of the most popular James Bond films in the history of the 007 franchise, The Man With A Golden Gun nevertheless got praise and appreciation for Christopher Lee’s portrayal of the titular villain – the assassin called Francisco Scaramanga. Lee also happens to be the real life step-cousin of James Bond creator Ian Fleming, and his portrayal of a Bond villain that rivals the British secret agent’s personality and skills added flavor and classiness that is well remembered by fans worldwide.
Also known by his Sith name “Darth Tyranus“, former Jedi turned Sith Lord Count Dooku was Christopher Lee’s signature role in the Star Wars Prequel Movies. He was the former apprentice of Yoda the Jedi Master, as well as the mentor of Qui-Gon Jinn. Falling to the Dark Side and following the orders of Darth Sidious, he instigates the “Clone Wars” and delivers the “Death Star” plans to his master. It is fitting of Lee to portray a Sith Lord in the Star Wars universe, as well as being one of the unique character who unfortunately ends up being the “placeholder” for Anakin Skywalker’s transformation in Darth Vader.
A former ally and guardian of Middle-Earth corrupted by power, Saruman is another iconic character that Lee’s booming voice and stature have brought to life iconically through the course of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Saruman’s desire to rule Middle-Earth puts him at odds with his fellow wizard Gandalf, who eventually takes over his role as the White Wizard and leads the charge for the forces of good to fight against Sauron and his armies.
Here’s a brilliant fight scene from “The Fellowship of the Ring” where Saruman surprises Gandalf with his betrayal.