It is with tremendous sadness that we report that Christopher Lee, one of the most iconic actors in cinema history, has died at the age of 93.
He had been in hospital for respiratory problems and heart failure and it is reported that he passed away on Sunday June 7 at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Born in London in 1922, Christopher Frank Carandini Lee’s career spanned eight decades and he was revered by generations of film fans.
Through his work with Hammer Films he found worldwide fame as Dracula and he made 20 films with Peter Cushing.
The vampire was one of a number of unforgettable characters he brought to life, with Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, Scaramanga in Bond adventure The Man with the Golden Gun, the biopic Jinnah and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit series just some of the other films that showed his depth and range.
Along with his Lord of the Rings role, he became a favourite of a new generation as Count Dooku in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
He worked with director Tim Burton on Sleepy Hollow, The Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.
Among his many other credits were Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Gormenghast, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Steven Spielberg’s 1941, cult favourite The Devil Rides Out and The Mummy.
Christopher Lee’s work as a singer – ranging from Wicker Man folk to disco to heavy metal – ran from the 1970s to the release of his final EP, Metal Knight, in 2014.
A World War Two veteran, Christopher Lee was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and honoured with the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011.
Some video highlights from his career: