Legendary 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Star Wars' Actor Christopher Lee Dies at 93

by Antoinette Bueno 1:42 PM PDT, June 11, 2015
Playing Legendary 'Lord of the Rings,' 'Star Wars' Actor Christopher Lee Dies at 93

Actor Christopher Lee, whose incredible career spanned seven decades, has died at the age of 93. According to The Telegraph, Lee passed away in a hospital in London on Sunday, June 7, after being treated for respiratory problems and heart failure.

The talented actor first made a name for himself playing Dracula in multiple films for the U.K. company Hammer Film Productions, including classics like Taste the Blood of Dracula and Scars of Dracula. He also starred in multiple iconic films such as 1973's The Three Musketeers, and memorably played the villain, Francisco Scaramanga, in the 1974 James Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun.

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Many fans will remember his roles as Saruman in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Count Dooku in two Star Wars films. He also frequently collaborated with Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, with roles in Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows. His most recent film appearance was in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, where he reprised his role as Saruman.

The legendary British actor's multiple accolades include being named a knight of the British Empire in 2009 for "services to drama and to charity," and being honored with a BAFTA fellowship in 2011.

"I’m much softer than people think," Lee told The Telegraph in 2011, referencing his often villainous roles. "I don't present to the world an emotional face. I'm pretty good at self-control, but I am easily moved."

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Lee is survived by his wife, Birgit Kroencke, and their daughter, Christina.