Christopher Lee’s Most Memorable Roles

Above: Sir Christopher Lee (1922 - 2015)
Above: Sir Christopher Lee (1922 - 2015)

Iconic British actor Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93. Famous for his turns in classic horror films, as well as playing sinister antagonists, Lee graced the screen for over 60 years. The news was revealed Thursday June 11th in a statement from the family, a public release coming four days after his death in a London hospital. His bellowing voice along with undeniable acting chops, it seems Lee had career defining roles in every decade of his work.

As fans mourn the loss of another iconic actor, we take a look back at some of Christopher Lee’s most memorable roles.

5. Count Dooku
Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones (2002), Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

While the prequel trilogy is still unforgivingly lackluster, the menacing Count Dooku is far from the problem. His constant manipulation, evil scheming, and signature lighsaber, all add up to one of the most unique sith lords in the story’s cannon. Lee’s duel with a surprisingly competent Yoda, is by far the most enjoyable scene in Attack Of The Clones.

4. Lord Summerisle
The Wicker Man
(1973)

Lee played the pagan high priest whose rituals taint the small township of Summerisle. As stated in an interview by the man himself, the role of Lord Summerisle was especially written for Lee. It’s not hard to see why either, when the creepiness is knocked out of the park. This movie is still unnaturally disturbing, especially existing beside a recent and poorly executed remake. It’s hard getting the imagery out of our heads. As if cults weren’t creepy enough already.

3. Scaramanga
The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

The James Bond series has given rise to some amazing villains. From Gert Frobe to Mads Mikkelsen, actors have consistently delivered unforgettable characters. Christopher Lee’s take on the franchise is no exception. Armed with one of the most unique weapons in cinema, Lee’s Scaramanga never missed a shot, literally.

2. Saruman
Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring (2001), Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002), Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King (2003), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies (2014)

When Peter Jackson set off to film his sprawling opus, he knew a chunk of its success depended on gripping performances. Through casting Christopher Lee, we were beckoned to enter the world of Middle Earth and invested ourselves into the fate of his character. Saruman’s sinisterness was forever hypnotic, and when he finally bit the bullet, we cheered as if it were the fall of some real world tyrant. The performance was simply, that good.

1. Dracula
Dracula (1958), Dracula: Prince Of Darkness (1965), Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968), Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1969), Count Dracula (1970), The Scars Of Dracula (1970), Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), The Satanic Rites Of Dracula (1973)

There really couldn’t be anything else at the top of our list. Frequently credited as reviving the modern vampire, Christopher Lee’s most important contribution to film comes in the form of a cape and two fangs. For fifteen years, Lee gave his life to a character so iconic, it’s hard imagining anyone else executing the role with more intrigue and grace. Christopher Lee was an amazing performer and his skill is evident in any one of his Dracula features.

Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan D'Aoust

Aidan is a writer from Toronto. His favourite things in the world are music, movies, and mini dachshunds. Give him a follow on Twitter at @aidandaoust, where he’ll also accept your mixtape submissions.

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