Christopher Lee: How to Live Life

Saruman (header)

1922-2015

Well, what can I say.

It’s been a terrible few months in terms of Hobbit-related news; and not the kind of updates we were expecting.Christopher Lee

Lesnie’s death last April was totally unlooked-for. And whilst Christopher Lee’s recent birthday celebrations at 93 demonstrated an individual defying the norm of old age, this news still comes as a devastating shock.

Admittedly, I’m not one who can claim to have seen the majority of his impressively long (and unconquerable) filmography.

His role as Saruman – the wizard whose thinly veiled evil schemes pose a danger to Middle-earth – is naturally the first image that springs to mind when I come across his name.

Then again, who can deny the power conveyed in Dracula or his villainous role in James Bond. Heck, I even enjoyed his interpretation as Sherlock Holmes (yes, Lee even portrayed the super-sleuth on screen – as if he needed another reason to be cool).

Not a fan of heavy metal music, I was nonetheless awed by his ability to keep recording and releasing albums even at his age.

Not just as a skillful actor, boasting an impressive deep-voice that could put anyone else’s to shame, but even as an individual, he seemed to have lived life to the full.

His work with the British special forces in World War II deserves many praise in itself.

“Boy, that guy’s had a life . . .”

So comments Graham McTavish (Dwalin), in a behind the scenes clip from the special features on the extended edition of An Unexpected Journey.

And he’s right.

Just watching Lee talking to Peter Jackson and the other crew members, recalling past experiences and telling jokes, you can’t help but think how appropriate the phrase “a long and fruitful life” applies to him.

Let us not forget that he was also the only person from the entire The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit cast to have actually met Professor Tolkien.

I mean, how much more awesome can you be?

I still remember in one of his Christmas video messages, prior to the release of the Hobbit films, where he jokingly proclaimed: “I hope I live to see!”

It was a concerning thought. But then, one year passed and An Unexpected Journey was released. Then another, and another.

I shall always be thankful he got the chance to see one of his final performances on screen.

Thank you Sir Christopher. We salute you.

Saruman

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15 thoughts on “Christopher Lee: How to Live Life

  1. I’m thrilled Christopher lived a long, fulfilling life and we got to experience his talents as often as we did… but it’s still sad when actor this iconic passes away. I’ll never forget how mesmerized I was in my childhood by his characters in “Wicker Man” or any of his Dracula films. I’m not usually intimidated by an on-screen presence, but Christopher just had “it.” He’s such a terrific actor and screen presence, HE even got me to want to see the newer Star Wars films. I’m serious — without his inclusion in the cast, there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell I’d have paid to see that sludge.

    And for anyone who doesn’t know much about him personally, go ahead and take an even more entertaining trip through his life. I mean it. His life reads like a Dos XX Equis commercial at times. In my humble opinion, he ranks right up there with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole as actors whom I would loved to have had the chance to tell them how much I appreciate their work. Christopher will definitely be missed.

  2. Anyone else hear the Lee holds the record for on-screen sword fights? Crazy. I wish I had the source for that. I do remember a story of him schooling Oliver Reed in one of the Musketeer films because he was “lumberjacking” the scene.

  3. R.I.P. Christopher Lee – you were a great man! Thank you for everything!
    I just hope he and Tolkien are now discussing about the LotR movies – whereever they are now.

  4. My friend told me about this earlier today and I was shocked. I thought that Christopher Lee would live forever. Even in his 90s, Christopher Lee was awesome. Everything I have ever heard of him said that he lived an amazing life, so while I am sad at his passing, I am glad that he had such an enjoyable life. Rest in Peace Christopher Lee. My condolences to his family.
    (Best Lee stories: schooling Peter Jackson on noises people make when they are stabbed from personal experience stabbing a German in WWII, refusing to read any lines in a Dracula story because the script was awful).

  5. Aye, he shall be missed dearly. He did a lot in life, and with his legacy, his passing shall inspire more.

  6. Rest in Peace and God Bless, Christopher Lee. I may not have seen all of his movies but I loved the ones I did!

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