Lee at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013
Christopher Frank Carandini Lee
27 May 1922
Belgravia, London, England
|Died||7 June 2015 (aged 93)|
Chelsea, London, England
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Years of service||1939–1946|
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee,  With a career spanning nearly seven decades, Lee attracted notice first for portraying villains before appearing as Count Dracula in a sequence of Hammer Horror films. His other film roles include Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (2002–2005), and Saruman in both the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and the Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014).(27 May 1922 – 7 June 2015) was an English actor, singer and author.
Lee was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009, received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011, and received the BFI Fellowship in 2013. Lee credited three films "for bringing me to the fore" as an actor, A Tale of Two Cities (1958), in which he played the villainous marquis, and two horror films, The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). He considered his best performance to be that of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah (1998), and his best film to be the British cult film The Wicker Man (1973). He frequently appeared opposite his friend Peter Cushing in many horror films, and late in his career had roles in five Tim Burton films.
Prior to his acting career, Lee served in the Royal Air Force, where he was attached to the No. 260 Squadron RAF as an intelligence officer where he was a liaison officer for the Special Operations Executive, although he was unlikely to have been behind enemy lines. Following his World War II service he retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of flight lieutenant.
Always noted as an actor for his deep, strong voice, Lee was also known for his singing ability, recording various opera and musical pieces between 1986 and 1998, and the symphonic metal album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross in 2010, after having worked with several metal bands since 2005. The heavy metal follow-up Charlemagne: The Omens of Death was released on 27 May 2013, Lee's 91st birthday. He was honoured with the "Spirit of Hammer" award at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards ceremony.
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