Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Christopher Lee, evil count of cinema, dies aged 93

11 June 2015, 20:34

London - Master of the macabre Christopher Lee, who portrayed Dracula in outrageous Hammer Films horror classics but became known to later generations for roles in "Star Wars" and as the wizard Saruman in the "Lord of the Rings", has died aged 93.

Also read: Yvonne Nelson gives relationship advice

Lee died last Sunday in hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for respiratory problems, a copy of his death certificate posted online showed. Lee's agent, in an emailed statement, said his family "wishes to make no comment".

Roger Moore, who played James Bond in "The Man with the Golden Gun" (1974) in which Lee was the villain Scaramanga, paid tribute to Lee on Twitter and offered condolences to his wife of 54 years, the former Danish model Birgit Kroncke, their daughter Christina and her husband, Juan Francisco Aneiros Rodriguez.

"It's terrible when you lose an old friend, and Christopher Lee was one of my oldest," Moore said. "We first met in 1948."

The London-born Lee achieved fame from the late 1950s into the 1970s playing characters such as Dracula, Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy for Hammer Films.

With his deep, mellifluous voice and ramrod 6-foot 4-inch (1.93 metre) frame, Lee was the last English-language horror movie star in a line that traced back to silent era luminary Lon Chaney and included Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Peter Cushing, Lee's regular Hammer Films co-star.

Lee brought to his monsters a sense of pitifulness that he called "the loneliness of evil." Despite being a master of the horror genre, Lee did not even like the word.

"It implies something nauseating, revolting, disgusting - which one sees too often these days. I prefer the word 'fantasy,'" he told the New York Times in 2002.

Many leading directors sought out Lee's talents, especially in the latter stages of his career when he was already elderly.

Career Renaissance in old age

He won new generations of fans after the turn of the century in some of the biggest money-makers in film history. He played the evil Count Dooku, fighting Jedi knights in "Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones" (2002) and "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005).

Lee was also the fiendish criminal genius Fu Manchu in five films, Scaramanga in the Bond film and, in a rare departure from cinematic wickedness, gave life to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in a couple of movies.

Lee portrayed the power-hungry wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012) and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014).

As part of his late-career flourish, he also appeared in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" (2011) and Tim Burton's black comedy "Dark Shadows" (2012) with Johnny Depp.

According to movie industry website IMDB, Lee has a lead role in the as-yet unreleased "Angels in Notting Hill" and was to have appeared in "The 11th", which has not yet gone into production.

He also had a lifelong interest in music and his single "Jingle Hell" in 2013 entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 22, making him the oldest living artist to enter the charts.

Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was born on May 27, 1922 and took up acting on the suggestion of a cousin after serving in Britain's Royal Air Force in World War Two.

He made his film debut in 1947, launching a career that eventually spanned more than 200 movies.

Lee was most closely associated with the role of Dracula, dispensing with the nobility Lugosi had given the role and adopting a more beastly, lustful bearing as he dispatched various buxom victims.

He played blood-sucking Dracula in movies including "Dracula" (1958), "Dracula: Prince of Darkness" (1966), "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave" (1968), "Count Dracula" (1970), "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1970), "Scars of Dracula" (1970), "Dracula A.D. 1972" (1972), "The Satanic Rites of Dracula" (1973) and "Dracula and Son" (1976)

- Reuters


WATCH: Kaffy lied says DNMT boss

27 October 2016, 12:04

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...