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Christopher Lee dies

Published 11/06/2015

Sir Christopher Lee
Sir Christopher Lee

Lord of the Rings actor Sir Christopher Lee has died.

The legendary British actor was known as a horror star in the 1950s before finding further fame in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy later in life.

British newspaper The Telegraph reports that Christopher passed away on Sunday in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, England.

He had been treated for heart failure and respiratory problems in the lead up to his passing.

The actor played Count Dracula in the Hammer Horror movies on a number of occasions as well as Bond villain Scaramanga in 1974's The Man With the Golden Gun opposite Sir Roger Moore.

A new generation of cinema audiences will know him best for his role as evil sorcerer Saruman in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, as well as Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus in the Star Wars prequels.

As for his personal life, the actor married for 54 years to Birgit Kroencke, a Danish former model. The couple have one child together, daughter Christina.

Before he became an actor Christopher served in World War II in the Special Forces but never revealed what work he carried out during any interviews.

The star was grateful to be able to make the move into film after his efforts in the war.

"They gave me this great opportunity, made me a well-known face all over the world for which I am profoundly grateful," he once said of Hammer Horror.

As well as his acting career, the late star also had a secondary career as a heavy metal singer. In the last two decades he released four albums, two of which were concept albums about the medieval emperor Charlemagne.

Last year, to mark his 92nd birthday, he released a heavy metal version of the Frank Sinatra classic My Way.

He received his knighthood from the Queen in services to drama and charity in 2009. During his career he also received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011 and the BFI Fellowship in 2013.

© Cover Media

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