Actor Christopher Lee has died. He was 93 years old.
The actor, best know perhaps for his deep, sonorous voice, was a prominent part of many films over the decades. Originally best known for his horror movies, Lee had been told initially he was too tall to be in movies, and then he turned around and made Dracula sexy. Every sexy vampire you’ve ever seen in a movie or TV show probably owes something to this guy.
He was a Bond villain in The Man With The Golden Gun, which may not be the best James Bond movie, but he had another connection to the character. Lee, you see, was part of the Special Operations Executive, a group tasked by Winston Churchill to “set Europe ablaze” during World War II. These guys were behind-the-scenes commandos. Lee reportedly once described to a director he was working with what exactly the sound of a knife in the back sounded like, probably because he’d heard it during this period. What exactly he was doing then is still classified. But the Bond connection? Bond creator Ian Flemming was also a member of this group.
In more recent years, Lee lent his talents to The Lord of the Rings, the Star Wars prequels, a few Tim Burton movies, and even recorded a heavy metal album. The actor’s natural gravitas made even blatantly silly material sound deep, which even worked when he did comedy, like his roll in Gremlins 2 as what could only be called a mad scientist. He will be sorely missed.