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Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee
Birth name: Christopher Frank Carandini Lee
Gender: Male
Medium(s): Film
Roles: Actor
Date of birth: May 27th, 1922
Place of birth: London, England
Date of death: June 7th, 2015
Place of death: Chelsea, London, England
Notable works: Dracula
Hammer Horror
The Howling
1st Horror: Curse of Frankenstein

Christopher Lee (27 May, 1922 - 7 June, 2015) is a British actor who was born Christopher Frank Carandini Lee in Belgravia, London, England. With a career spanning more than sixty years, Lee has cemented himself as a horror film icon, due in no small part to his portrayal of the infamous vampire Dracula in Hammer Horror's series of films from the 1950s and 1960s. Preceding his 1958 introduction to the world of Dracula, Lee had made appearances in two other Hammer Horror film. It was his portrayal of the Frankenstein Monster in the 1957 film Curse of Frankenstein that put Lee on the path towards Dracula. Also for Hammer, Lee played the role of the evil Egyptian Kharis in the 1959 remake of the Mummy. In 1960, he played a character named Paul Allen in Terence Fisher's The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll. This character was in stark contrast to the roles that Lee would go on to play, and remains one of the actor's personal favorites throughout his career with Hammer.

Christopher Lee passed away from heart and respiratory failure in Kensington and Chelsea, England on June 7th, 2015 at the age of 93. [1]

Dracula Edit

Dracula (Hammer Horror) 001

Lee as Dracula

Lee first donned the cloak and fangs of Count Dracula in the 1958 Terence Fisher film Horror of Dracula (sometimes referred to only as Dracula). Though this film established his genre career for several more sequels, Lee was absent from the following film, Brides of Dracula and did not resume the role again until the 1966 film Dracula: Prince of Darkness. This movie stands out from the others, as this is the only film of Lee's Dracula set where the character has no dialogue. The following three sequels, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, and Scars of Dracula all took place in the 19th century and found the lord of the undead pitted against his sworn enemy Van Helsing (played by Lee's longtime friend Peter Cushing in nearly every film). As the title suggests, Dracula 1972 A.D. propelled the vampire lord into the 20th century where he was now forced to combat Van Helsing's living descendents. Lee's final portrayal of Dracula for Hammer was in the critically revilved Satanic Rites of Dracula. Lee was offered to resume the part for 1974's Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires (the last Hammer Dracula film), but turned it down after reading the script. [2]

1980s Edit

In 1985, Lee played the role of occult scholar Stefan Crosscoe in The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf. According to one interview, Lee agreed to do the movie because he had never before been in a werewolf film. In 1990, Lee worked with director Joe Dante (the director of the first Howling) in the film Gremlins II: The Second Batch, at which point Lee apologized to Dante for having worked in The Howling II. [3]

Body of Work Edit

Film Year Role
Curse of Frankenstein 1957 The Creature
Horror of Dracula 1958 Dracula
Corridors of Blood 1958 Resurrection Joe
The Mummy 1959 Kharis
Hard Times for Vampires 1959 Baron Roderico da Frankurten
City of the Dead 1960 Professor Alan Driscoll
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll 1960 Paul Allen
The Hands of Orlac 1960 Nero
Taste of Fear 1961 Pierre Gerrard
The Castle of Terror 1963 Erich
The Whip and the Body 1963 Kurt Menliff
Castle of the Living Dead 1964 Count Drago
The Gorgon 1964 Karl Meister
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors 1965 Franklyn Marsh
The Skull 1965 Matthew Phillips
Dracula: Prince of Darkness 1966 Dracula
Rasputin: The Mad Monk 1966 Girgori Rasputin
Circus of Fear 1966 Gregor
Night of the Big Heat 1967 Godfrey Hanson
Theatre of Death 1967 Philippe Darvas
Castle of the Walking Dead 1967 Count Frederic Regula
The Devil Rides Out 1968 Duc de Richleau
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave 1968 Dracula
Curse of the Crimson Altar 1968 Morley
The Oblong Box 1969 Doctor J. Neuhart
Scream and Scream Again 1970 Fremont
Count Dracula 1970 Dracula
Taste the Blood of Dracula 1970 Dracula
The Throne of the Blood Monster 1970 Lord George Jeffreys
Scars of Dracula 1970 Dracula
The House That Dripped Blood 1971 John Reid
I, Monster 1971 Doctor Charles Marlowe
Raw Meat 1972 Stratton-Villiers, MI5
Dracula A.D. 1972 1972 Dracula
Horror Express 1972 Sir Alexander Saxton
Dark Places 1973 Doctor Mandeville
Nothing But the Night 1973 Colonel Charles Bingham
The Creeping Flesh 1973 James Hildern
Satanic Rites of Dracula 1973 Dracula
The Wicker Man 1973 Lord Summerisle
To the Devil a Daughter 1976 Father Michael Rayner
Meatcleaver Massacre 1977 Narrator
House of the Long Shadows 1983 Corrigan
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf 1985 Stefan Crosscoe
Gremlins 2: The New Batch 1990 Doctor Catheter
Curse III: Blood Sacrifice 1991 Doctor Pearson
Talos the Mummy 1998 Sir Richard Turkel
Sleepy Hollow 1999 The Burgomaster
Corpse Bride 2005 Pastor Galswells
The Wicker Tree 2011 Old gentleman
Dark Shadows 2012 Clarney

Hammer's Dracula series Edit

Film Year Role
Horror of Dracula 1958 Dracula
Dracula: Prince of Darkness 1966 Dracula
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave 1968 Dracula
Taste the Blood of Dracula 1970 Dracula
Scars of Dracula 1970 Dracula
Dracula 1972 A.D. 1972 Dracula
Satanic Rites of Dracula 1973 Dracula

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Christopher Lee considers The Wicker Man to be the finest fim he has ever worked on, and the role of Lord Summerisle his favorite character.

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Telegraph.co.uk; June 11th, 2015; "Sir Christopher Lee dies at 93 - latest reaction and tributes".
  2. Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires at IMDB
  3. Howling II at IMDB

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