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Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee

May 27, 1922, Belgravia, London, England, UK
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee (27 May 1922 – 7 June 2015) was an English actor, singer and author. With a career spanning nearly 70 years, Lee was well known for portraying villains and became best known for his role as Count Dracula in a sequence of Hammer Horror films, a typecasting he always lamented. 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 and 2005), and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and the Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014). 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 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 six 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 and later the Special Operations Executive. 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 Metal" award at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards ceremony.