British screen icon Christopher Lee has died aged 93.
The Telegraph reports that the actor passed away on Sunday at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. His family delayed the public announcement to inform close family members first.
Lee was being treated for respiratory problems and heart failure over the last few weeks before he succumbed to his illnesses.
The actor who first found fame as a Hammer Horror star went on to achieve global star status thanks to high profile roles as Scaramanga in ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’, Saruman in ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’, and as Count Dooku in ‘Star Wars: Attack of the Clones’.
Lee’s film career began in 1947, making his debut in Terrence Young’s ‘Corridor of Mirrors’ but it was his relationship with British horror stable Hammer that would establish his career for the coming decades.
His first Hammer film ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ in 1957 saw him playing Frankenstein’s monster opposite Peter Cushing as the mad scientist, but be would be best known for playing Dracula which he did a total of 9 times between 1958 and 1973.
Memorable roles as Lord Summerisle in ‘The Wicker Man’ and Scaramanga in ‘Man With The Golden Gun’ followed in the 1970s before he won legions of new fans with roles in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Star Wars’ franchises.
Lee is survived by his wife Birgit. The couple married in 1961.
Image credits: Rex