Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ
A man so legendary, even his legend is legendary…
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ (born 27 May 1922) is an English actor and musician.
Lee was born in Belgravia, Westminster, as the son of:
Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Trollope Lee, of the 60th King’s Royal Rifle Corps,
and his wife, Contessa Estelle Marie (née Carandini di Sarzano).
Lee is well known for his deep, strong voice and imposing height.
He has performed roles in 275 films since 1946 making him the Guinness World Record holder for most film acting roles ever.
He was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009,
and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011.
Service in World War II
Initially, Lee volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War in 1939. He and other British volunteers were kept away from actual fighting, but he was issued winter gear and was posted on guard duty a safe distance from the front lines. He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force and intelligence services during World War II, including serving as an intelligence officer with the Long Range Desert Group in Northern Africa.
He trained in South Africa as a pilot, but eyesight problems forced him to drop out. He eventually ended up stationed in North Africa as a Cipher Officer for No. 260 Squadron RAF and was with it through the campaigns in Sicily and Italy.
He has mentioned serving in Special Operations Executive but has always declined to go into details.
“ I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden
– former, present, or future –
to discuss any specific operations.
Let’s just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that.
People can read in to that what they like.”
After the war, Lee, who can speak “fluent” English,French, German, Italian, Spanish “Moderately proficient” in Swedish, Russian & Greek, and “conversational” in Mandarin Chinese, was seconded to the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. Here, he was tasked with helping to track down Nazi war criminals.
Of his time with the organization, Lee has said:
“We were given dossiers of what they’d done and told to find them,
interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority …
We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not.”
Lee then retired from the RAF to take up acting after the end of the war with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
In 1946, Lee gained a seven-year contract with the Rank Organization.
He made his film debut in Terence Young’s Gothic romance
Corridor of Mirrors (1947).
Lee initially portrayed villains and became famous for his role as Count Dracula in a string of Hammer Horror films, however his first film for Hammer was
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), in which he played the Monster, with Peter Cushing as the Baron.
Corridors of Blood (1958),
1958 film Dracula (known as Horror of Dracula in the United States).
Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness in 1965. This film set the standard for most of the Dracula sequels in the sense that half the film’s running time was spent on telling the story of Dracula’s resurrection and the character’s appearances were brief.
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968),
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969),
Scars of Dracula (1970)
Lee’s other work for Hammer included:
- The Mummy (1959)
- Rasputin in Rasputin,
- the Mad Monk
- Sir Henry Baskerville (to Cushing’s Sherlock Holmes) in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
- Lee later played Holmes himself in 1962′s Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace,
- The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), in which he plays Sherlock’s smarter brother, Mycroft
- Lee played a leading role in the German film The Puzzle of the Red Orchid (1962), speaking German, which he had learned during his education in Switzerland.
He was responsible for bringing acclaimed occult author Dennis Wheatley to Hammer.
- The Devil Rides Out (1967), is generally considered to be one of Hammer’s crowning achievements.
According to Lee, Wheatley was so pleased with it that he offered the actor the film rights to his remaining black magic novels free of charge. However, the second film,
- To the Devil a Daughter (1976), was fraught with production difficulties and was disowned by its author.
Although financially successful, it was Hammer’s last horror film and marked the end of Lee’s long association with the studio that brought him fame.
Like Cushing, Lee also appeared in horror films for other companies during the 20-year period from 1957 to 1977.
- the series of Fu Manchu films made between 1965 and 1969, in which he starred as the villain in heavy oriental make-up;
- I, Monster (1971), in which he played Jekyll and Hyde;
- The Creeping Flesh (1972);
- The Wicker Man (1973), in which he played Lord Summerisle.
- Willy Wonka’s dad
- a pastor,
- a judge,
- and a werewolf hunter
- King Haggard in The Last Unicorn
- and supplied the voice for The King of Elfland on the album “The King of Elfland’s Daughter” by Knight and Johnson, based on Lord Dunsany’s work.
Notable roles include:
- Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974),
- Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003),
In the ‘extended’ disk appendices for LOTR:ROTK, Peter Jackson tells the story about the knife in the back. Other people have played heroes (and villains), but SCL really *has been* a hero.
- Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (2002, 2005).
He has collaborated with director Tim Burton in five films, most recently with Dark Shadows (2012).
Lee considers his most important role to be his portrayal of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah (1998); however, he considers his best role to be that of Lord Summerisle in the British cult classic The Wicker Man (1973), which he also believes to be his best film.
- Marquis St. Evremonde in a Tale of Two Cities (with Dirk Bogarde)
- Christopher Lee is also an accomplished sword fighter from way back in the days of Errol Flynn, and it shows in his role as Dooku
- not to mention he’s a voice in ALOT of animated films (mostly Tim Burton)
- I’m Not dead…. (Monte Python voice)
- And evil languages of Mordor as well
- record holding sword fighter
- He was King Haggard
- He was also alleged to be the inspiration for James bond
- holds the Guiness book of world records for appearing in the greatest number of movies
- Best version of Terry Pratchett’s Death
- And a creepy genetic scientist in gremlins 2
- He also is on the cover for Paul McCartney’s ‘Band On the Run’ album.
- Hades in the Odyssey (Satan AND Hades)
- He had a rose named after his wife that he grew himself
- He was also Errol Flynn’s fencing coach and body double
- Chuck Norris’ best friend
- good close friends with Peter Cushing
- met J R R Tolkien in person
- He was in Lolita
- Rochefort in the 1980s version of The Three Musketeers
- Jacques Sanluere in the Da Vinci Code
- He is also in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
He’s also Ian Fleming’s cousin, & related to Robert E Lee!!!
has his own website
he is a SIR
And he has one of the greatest speaking voicez of the 20th century.
More recently, has taken to using 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 titled Charlemagne: The Omens of Death is scheduled for a release on 27 May 2013.
He was honored with the “Spirit of Metal” award in the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden God awards ceremony.
What’s the name of the Heavy Metal album?
Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
& is a main vocalist in the Symphony: Rhapsody Of Fire Song – The Magic Of The Wizard’s Dream