Sir Christopher Lee, known in the Star Wars universe for his portrayal of the fallen Jedi Count Dooku, has died at the age of 93.
According to reports, the legendary actor was admitted to Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London, after suffering respiratory problems and heart failure. He died on Sunday 7th June.
Sir Christopher Lee was a truly inspirational figure in the world of show business, with a career spanning seven decades and various forms of media; from cinema to opera to heavy metal. In 2009 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to drama and charity, and in 2011 he was awarded a Bafta fellowship.
He was responsible for the portrayal of iconic characters in movie history, and his most notable work included roles in Hammer horror movies. His first role for Hammer Studios saw him portray the creature in 1957's The Curse of Frankenstein opposite Peter Cushing, who twenty years later would later play Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars. Lee and Cushing became lifelong friends, and often appeared alongside each other on screen including in 1958 when they again starred opposite eachother, with Lee as Dracula and Cushing as his arch enemy, Abraham van Helsing.
His distinctive deep voice and tall stature meant that he instantly dominated any scene, and he went on to star in cult classic The Wicker Man in 1973 and also played the titular villain, Scaramanga, in the 1974 James Bond outing The Man With the Golden Gun.
In the late 1970s Lee moved to the United States to break the cycle of being typecast in horror movies, and was guest host for popular comedy show Saturday Night Live. Nevertheless, he did often end up in the role of the villain, and in the 2000s was reintroduced to a new audience when he became the evil wizard Saruman in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
In 2002 he joined the Star Wars universe as Count Dooku, a Jedi Master who had left the order and joined the Sith and become Darth Tyranus in Attack of the Clones, and he reprised the role for Revenge of the Sith in 2005. George Lucas has paid tribute to him, saying; "Christopher was a great British actor of the old school. A true link to cinema's past and a real gentleman. We will miss him."
"Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life."
- Sir Chirstopher Lee, 1922 - 2015.