6 Great Christopher Lee Roles to Remember Such a Great Actor
News of Christopher Lee's death rang around the web June 11.
We thought we'd honor him by listing some of his best turns as villains from recent and classic movies.
Beginning in 1958 with the film Dracula, Lee would play a character that would stay with him for decades.
He would go on to play Count Dracula in 10 different movies over the span of almost 20 years.
This movie launched the success of the cult classic Hammer Horror series that would provide many generations with beloved horror classics, many of which starred Lee.
Saruman the White
A new generation of viewers learned the measure of fear Lee could inspire in his roles as he betrayed Gandalf the Grey and the Fellowship of the Ring as Saruman the White.
According to Wikipedia Lee had wanted to play Gandalf for years, but felt that his age and physical health could not take the role when Peter Jackson began making the films.
Still, as the leader of wizards, the resident of Isengarde and the creator of the Uruk-hai, Lee played the role with all the gravitas and imposing grandeur you would expect.
Lord Summerisle from The Wicker Man
This is one of our personal favorites. In the original 1973 Wicker Man which he said was also his favorite film, Lee played a slightly different form of villain as the charming Lord of a rural and mysterious English island.
He not only imbues the character with some mischievous, good-natured allure, he essentially embodies the role of a cult leader.
As Summerisle, Lee played a man who knew something very important that you did not know. Hidden behind his eyes and his conversation, you could see the glimmer of some tucked away information. As the unsettled viewer, you only caught the sense that whatever he knew was terrible indeed.
Star Wars' Count Dooku
This might be the lesser of the roles on here because of the maligned prequels that many feel cast a long Vader-shaped shadow over the Star Wars franchise.
Still, it was yet another way for Lee to reinvent himself for a new generation and a new genre. His Count Dooku was maybe as hokey and cheesy as all the other things in the prequels, but Lee definitely took it seriously and remains a memorable part of Star Wars lore.
Plus, he got to fight yoda.
Francisco Scaramanga or the titular Man With the Golden Gun
As an assassin out for James Bond's blood, Lee made as much gold out of he could with this straw of a movie.
Lee was actually a step cousin of Bond auther Ian Fleming who wanted to cast Lee as the original Dr. No.
But Lee said Fleming was "a forgetful man" and so had to settle for a golden gun.
Hopefully he got to keep it after filming ended.
King Haggard from The Last Unicorn
As a hallmark of many a childhood, The Last Unicorn was played on repeat. From that, Lee began scaring the pants off children as the voice of King Haggard.
Playing the isolated king who uses the Red Bull to trap all the Unicorns in the sea, he sent a chill through our spines as we watched him try and capture the very last of them.
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