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RIP Christopher Lee

christopher_lee1 LONDON–Legendary actor Sir Christopher Lee died in a hospital here Sunday, June 7. He was 93. For most of his long career, he was an icon of horror films and the cinematic embodiment of villainy. Later in life, his intimidating presence and powerful voice helped him dominate two of Hollywood’s biggest franchises, “Star Wars” (as the scheming Count Dooku) and “The Lord of the Rings” (and the “The Hobbit” prequels, as the corrupt wizard Saruman). MSTies will always remember him as Fu Manchu in the movie in episode 323- THE CASTLE OF FU-MANCHU.

His BBC obit is here.

46 Replies to “RIP Christopher Lee”

  1. torm says:

    RIP. this may seem weird but i’ll remember him from “Starship Invasions”, one of my favorite bad movies. rifftrax should do it.

       3 likes

  2. Heela Monster says:

    He was the scariest Dracula ever and a fine dramatic actor.
    I believe this is the end of an era, as I think he was the last living of the great classic horror movie stars.
    I only wish when he and Cushing did the Sherlock Holmes films, that Lee had been cast as Moriarty. What a missed opportunity!

       8 likes

  3. goalieboy82 says:

    say hi to Cushing for me.
    also my friend did a film that had Lee in it.

       3 likes

  4. PrezGAR says:

    So many great roles from just one man.
    Dracula
    Scaramanga
    Dr Catheter (Gremlins 2)
    Count Dooku
    Sauruman
    Wilbur Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)
    The Jabberwock (Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland)

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

       5 likes

  5. Pete says:

    He played an awesome Dracula and I also enjoyed his versions of the Mummy and Frankenstein’s Monster. Classic actor. He will be missed.

       7 likes

  6. Amazing man. I hope they declassify his war record. That should be a hell of a read.

       11 likes

  7. Bruce Boxliker says:

    RIP. Amazing actor with an amazing voice. Be sure to check out his work with the heavy metal band Rhapsody of Fire.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z16_mx1edG0

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=is8vmOBMPHo

       5 likes

  8. Herandar says:

    Agree with #6 John M. Hanna. I really want to know those stories. Also, I really loved the albums he released about Charlemagne a few years ago.

       4 likes

  9. Murdock Hauser says:

    RIP Mr. Lee. I second with Bruce Boxliker. Christopher Lee was great in Rhapsody of Fire.

       3 likes

  10. Kenneth Morgan says:

    He was one of the few actors who made any movie, no matter how bad, watchable. And when the movies were good, he made them very good.

    You could also check out the time he hosted “Saturday Night Live”, when he got to play Van Helsing for a change.

       7 likes

  11. Matthew Redwine says:

    I first remember him as the evil gene splicing mad scientist from Gremlins 2.

       5 likes

  12. VeryDisturbing says:

    No…!
    So sad.
    We’ve lost a lot of greats this year, haven’t we?

       4 likes

  13. Tork_110 says:

    He played Death in a few Discworld adaptations.

       2 likes

  14. K Goon says:

    The only other decent Dracula. RIP, sir.

       3 likes

  15. ck says:

    Bummer. Well, at least he got to act in Peter Jackson’s (flawed) LOTR movies. Although
    Tolkien apparently approved of him doing Gandalf, not the lesser Saruman role. And I’m sure he silently didn’t
    approve of PJ’s silly way of killing off Saruman.

       3 likes

  16. Nadroz says:

    One of my favorite actors. R.I.P.

    I have this Everquest II Promo book-like item that when ever you open it, Lee gives such a great reading. Unfortunately, the battery of it died awhile back.

    “Now sharpen your steel and prepare for the battles that lie ahead. There is no place for mercy in this shattered land.”

    I can’t see anyone else saying that!

       2 likes

  17. Mr. B(ob) says:

    In case you missed it, Venita Wolf of Catalina Caper died last November, but her daughter only recently announced it.
    http://www.startrek.com/article/remembering-venita-wolf-1944-2014

    I watched a lot of Christopher Lee movies on TV while growing up, many of those had Peter Cushing in them as well. He was always entertaining and turned in a good performance regardless of the quality of the film. I’m so glad he got to be in some popular big budget franchises in his last few years and show his stuff to a wider audience and new generations of movie fans.

       3 likes

  18. Sitting Duck says:

    Did they put a stake through him before the burial? ;-)

       3 likes

  19. BIG61AL says:

    a huge impact as an actor and as a person…he will be missed…another star in the constellation MST3K :star:

       7 likes

  20. ck says:

    Have to admit, it would be though to choose between Venita Wolf’s Catalina Caper
    character and Creepy Girl. Wait, do I hear a small, rotund robot singing a ballad?

       1 likes

  21. Into The Void says:

    God speed, man.

    Recently I was watching part of a doc about John Carpenter’s Halloween, and apparently the part of the psycho kid’s psychiatrist (Donald Pleasence) had initially been offered to Lee, who wasn’t about to sign on with these unknown kids making a horror flick, and so promptly turned the offer down.

    Cut to many yrs after the fact, at a genre convention, and Lee admitted to JC that it was likely the biggest mistake of his career. Incidentally, Pleasence had only accepted the role after much coaxing from his daughter who had seen Assault On Precinct 13, and realized that JC was soon to be a renown name in the field.

       6 likes

  22. torm says:

    #17: couldn’t have been that recent. the SAG site had an in memorial for her in at least April. https://web.archive.org/web/20150424092436/http://sagawards.org/inmemoriam

       0 likes

  23. goalieboy82 says:

    @3
    here is the film my friend company made:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIj5N85ERw8

       0 likes

  24. Keith in WI says:

    I was also going to mention the SNL hosting that he did back in the 70s which was a great episode. As Van Helsing he has to drive a stake through Nixon’s memoir if I remember correctly. I would have to agree that he definitely made every movie that he was in better simply through his presence. How many actors have a career that spans as long as his did with the same impact? Working in big budget films into his 80s and 90s and still doing a great job at that age. He will be missed for sure.

       4 likes

  25. ready4sumfootball says:

    Looking back, Christopher Lee has been in some movies that were less than stellar. That said, I don’t know if I’ve ever NOT enjoyed watching him in a role. He was a great Dracula, a really good Saruman, and I’ll just say it, I even liked him as Count Dooku. He was also Death in a lot of the Discworld TV stuff. (Check out The Color of Magic if you haven’t already.) He even did some heavy metal stuff. He was in his 90s and did heavy metal! Nobody can accuse him of not being cool with that kind of stuff in consideration.

       3 likes

  26. DirtyTerry says:

    We should all sit down. Lord Summerisle said that shocks are so much better absorbed with the knees bent.

       3 likes

  27. goalieboy82 says:

    The Castle of Fu Manchu opening credits (non mst3k)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPUYte3JcX8
    the only good part of the film itself.

       0 likes

  28. Kenneth Morgan says:

    Keith in WI:
    I was also going to mention the SNL hosting that he did back in the 70s which was a great episode.As Van Helsing he has to drive a stake through Nixon’s memoir if I remember correctly.I would have to agree that he definitely made every movie that he was in better simply through his presence.How many actors have a career that spans as long as his did with the same impact?Working in big budget films into his 80s and 90s and still doing a great job at that age. He will be missed for sure.

    That’s correct. And John Belushi, as Van Helsing’s assistant, wards off a hissing, vampiric Nixon (Dan Aykroyd) with a picture of Eisenhower.

       3 likes

  29. DirtyTerry says:

    “The Wicker Man”. Hammer. Won’t you?

       5 likes

  30. It’s been so long since I’ve watched THE CASTLE OF FU MANCHU. I actually didn’t like it, and denounced it as one of the worst films featured on MST3K. But maybe I should give it another go. Christopher has done much better films. RIP

       3 likes

  31. GornCaptain says:

    I saw one of the other Fu Manchu flicks on TCM a while back, and it was a better film than what Joel and the Bots suffered through. I’m guessing it was an earlier entry in the series?

    Lee was such a gentleman, he apologized to Joe Dante for having been in The Howling 2.

       0 likes

  32. Mr. E says:

    Has anybody seen Return of Captain Invincible? Lee got to sing a great song in that one. So many roles, so much fun…

       0 likes

  33. A-lion-jumped-out-and-shot-her says:

    His eyes never lost that great intensity, even into his 90’s. He will be missed.

       4 likes

  34. GregS says:

    My wife was president of his resurrected fan club in the mid-90’s. As such, both of us had several on-line discussions with Sir Christopher, the memories of which will be with us the rest of our lives. He was such a wonderful man: actor, soldier, singer.

    The world is just a little bit darker without him in it. Our hearts are broken, but what a life it was!

    Rest in peace Sir Christopher.

       5 likes

  35. Sampo says:

    A little anecdote about the things Christopher learned when he served in British Special Forces.

    http://wordsofdiana.tumblr.com/post/78578811456/notthedroidyouarelookingfor-lotr

    “i’m not saying christopher lee has killed a man but i think we all know christopher lee has killed a man.”

       6 likes

  36. Satoris says:

    A great and versatile actor who still remains one of my favorite movie villians. He had a long and productive life as an actor and a human being. Rest in peace Christopher.

       5 likes

  37. Sitting Duck says:

    GornCaptain:
    I saw one of the other Fu Manchu flicks on TCM a while back, and it was a better film than what Joel and the Bots suffered through. I’m guessing it was an earlier entry in the series?

    Castle of Fu Manchu (the one featured on MST3K) was the last entry in a series of five films. There have been plenty of other film franchises that were running on fumes by the end, so it’s not surprising that it would be the case here as well.

       1 likes

  38. Michael Howe says:

    Oh, Fu will be back in Sweet Sweet-ah, who cares!?

       0 likes

  39. Johnny's nonchalance says:

    Mr. Lee, you were among my man-crushes.

    Miss you much

       2 likes

  40. radioman970 says:

    Probably 4 years old when I saw him as Frankenstein in that Hammer. That blurred image stayed with me until adulthood, had no idea what it was until I watched Curse of Frankstein and messed my pants (just as I had a 4 years old!!1) lol That was it!! That blurred image is still in my mind 40+ years later!

    RIP Sir Dracula!

       1 likes

  41. Slicer87 says:

    Sad to see him gone, he was great as Count Dooku and the Man with the Golden Gun.

       1 likes

  42. GornCaptain says:

    Sampo:
    A little anecdote about the things Christopher learned when he served in British Special Forces.

    http://wordsofdiana.tumblr.com/post/78578811456/notthedroidyouarelookingfor-lotr

    “i’m not saying christopher lee has killed a man but i think we all know christopher lee has killed a man.”

    Thanks for that link, Sampo. Lee’s war exploits would probably make for one heck of a movie! Mind blown!

       1 likes

  43. Cornjob says:

    Check him out in The Magic Christian as “Ship’s Vampire”.

       1 likes

  44. ck says:

    FYI, TCM is running six of his horror films Monday 6/22 during the day.
    I’d like to hve had his Bond movie and Fellowship of the Ring in lieu
    of all Frankenstein and co., though.

       1 likes

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