As deaths go, it’s hard to be too sad about a man who became an icon, lived to the age of 93, and achieved pretty much everything one could hope in the field. Yet perhaps because of all he did, we got the sense that Christopher Lee would live forever.
Most actors are lucky if they tap into one iconic role that is remembered – James Bond, perhaps, or Mr. Spock. Lee was Dracula, he was Saruman, he was Count Dooku, he was Fu Manchu, he was Sherlock Holmes, and long after most people have given up on life, he was recording heavy metal songs about Charlemagne and Christmas. This was the man who matter-of-factly told Peter Jackson that he wasn’t getting the sound of people being stabbed quite correct, and he knew because he’d done it to German soldiers.
I remember wanting George Lucas to hurry up and finish the Star Wars prequels to ensure Lee would stay alive for them. Not only did he, but he then went on to make the whole Hobbit trilogy. He got away with playing a guy named “Dooku” and not making him seem silly; “It may be difficult to secure your release” is still one of the best lines of Lucas-penned dialogue thanks to his delivery of it.
He also stayed married for 53 years. I can’t think of many actors at his level of success who can say that.
Nobody could encapsulate everything he did in one piece. That I own multiple plastic versions of him says much in itself, though I think his own words – or rather Paul Anka’s, as delivered by him – are as good a way to send him off as any…
Luke Y. Thompson has been writing professionally about movies and pop-culture since 1999, and has also been an actor in some extremely cheap culty and horror movies you will probably never hear much about (he is nonetheless mostly proud of them, as he met his wife on one). As editor of The Robot's Voice since 2012, he can take the blame for the majority of the site's content, all of which he creates because he loves you very, very much. (Although he loves nachos more. Sorry.)
Prior to TRV, Luke wrote for publications that include the New Times LA, Los Angeles CityBeat, E! Online, OC Weekly, Geekweek, GeekChicDaily, The L.A. Times, The Village Voice, LA Weekly, and Nerdist