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Sir Christopher Lee (May 27, 1922 - June 7, 2015) was a British actor, who was born Christopher Frank Carandini Lee in Belgravia, London, England. With a career spanning more than sixty years, Lee 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 The 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. He remained active as an actor almost to the end of his life, becoming very famous for his role as Saruman in Lord of the Rings and Count Dooku in Star Wars.

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 film 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 descendants. Lee's final portrayal of Dracula for Hammer was in the critically reviled 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. [1]

1980sEdit

In 1985, Lee played the role of an 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 the director Joe Dante (the director of the first Howling) in the film Gremlins II: The New Batch, at which point Lee apologized to Dante for having worked in The Howling II. [2]

1990sEdit

in 1999, Lee played a small part in Tim Burton's horror film Sleepy Hollow as the Burgomaster that sends Ichabod (Johnny Depp) to investigate the murders at Sleepy Hollow.

Horror filmography Edit

Film Character Year
Horror of Dracula Dracula 1958
Dracula: Prince of Darkness 1966
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave 1968
Taste the Blood of Dracula 1970
Scars of Dracula 1970
Dracula 1972 A.D. 1972
Horror Express Alexander Saxton 1972
Satanic Rites of Dracula Dracula 1973
The Wicker Man Lord Summerisle
Dark Places Dr. Mandeville
To the Devil a Daughter Father Michael Rayner 1976
Dracula and Son Dracula
House of Long Shadows Corrigan 1983
Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf Stefan Crosscoe 1985
Gremlins 2: The New Batch Doctor Catheter 1990
Tale of the Mummy Sir Richard Turkel 1998
Sleepy Hollow Burgomaster 1999
Corpse Bride Pastor Galswells (voice) 2005
Season of the Witch Cardinal d'Ambroise 2011
The Wicker Tree Old Gentleman
Dark Shadows Silas Clarney 2012

TriviaEdit

External LinksEdit

References Edit

  1. Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires at IMDB
  2. Howling II at IMDB
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