Christopher Lee passes away at 93

British screen legend Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, better known as Christopher Lee to his fans all over the world, passed away on Sunday morning last June 7, 2015 due to “heart failure and respiratory problems” after being confined at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for three weeks. He was 93. His wife, Brigit, whom he has been married to for more than 50 years initially withheld the news of his death to allow his immediate family members and close friends to privately grieve first. News of his passing spurred countless tributes all over the world from his friends, fans, and colleagues from the film industry.

Among those who praised Lee included his co-stars Dominic Monaghan and Sir Roger Moore in The Man With The Golden Gun. Moore, who played James Bond opposite Lee’s villainous Francisco Scaramanga, described Lee as one of his oldest friends, with their friendship dating back to 1948. “It’s terrible when you lose an old friend,” he tweeted. Prime Minister David Cameron also extended his tribute to Lee, describing the actor as a “titan of the Golden Age of Cinema.” Born in Belgravia, Westminster, Lond on May 27, 1922, Lee’s colorful life started when he first volunteered to fight for Finland against the Soviet Union in 1939. Afterwards, he joined the British Home Guard before finally enlisting with the Royal Air Force and participating in some of the war’s most decisive campaigns in North Africa and the Mediterranean. After the war, Lee honed up his acting career and steadily climbed through the ranks before achieving lasting fame with the horror films produced by Hammer Film Productions. Among his countless list of movies and a career which spanned decades, Lee would be most remembered for his role as Count Dracula in Hammer’s horror film genre, the Sith Lord Count Dooku in the Star Wars universe, and the evil wizard Saruman in the Lord of the Rings series. Lee, who was made a knight in 2009 for his philanthropic services, was also an avid singer; having recorded several operatic and musical pieces including the symphonic metal album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross in 2010 and its follow-up Charlemagne: The Omens of Death in 2013.
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