Christopher Lee biography

Christopher Lee

Birth Name: Christopher Frank Carandini Lee

Date of Birth: May 27, 1922

Best known for playing characters who are intelligent, unsympathetic, aggressive, humorless, ruthless and totally evil, Lee was born in London, England, to an Italian contessa and a colonel in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. First exposed to theater in school, the interest became so deeply routed that after receiving a scholarship to enter Eton and Welling College, he became a classical Greek and Latin scholar. Throughout his years of study, Lee was in the top ranking at squash, racquets and fencing, and was equally at home at cricket, rugby, football and hockey.

Following school, Lee worked as an office boy and messenger in the city of London. When WW2 hit, Lee entered the army and served five years in the Royal Air Force and Special Forces (where he learned several languages including French, Italian and German). He was decorated for distinguished service and held the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

After the war, Lee tried acting but his height (6'4") impeded his career. For ten years his career consisted mostly of bit parts and television work. He even worked at a London department store for a time in the early 1950s.

Lee's big break in film came in 1957 when he played the monster in a Hammer Films' remake called Curse of Frankenstein. The film was successful on both sides of the Atlantic and helped revive interest in horror films. He followed the success with starring roles in many more horror films, making him one of the icons of that industry. With his imposing presence, he has played numerous villainous roles including the Frankenstein Monster, Count Dracula, Fu Manchu, the Mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Throughout his many years in front of the camera, Lee has portrayed Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft, made powerful performances as King Charles the First of England and King Louis the Sixteenth of France, and he has appeared in more sword fights in front of the camera than probably any other actor in history. He performed all of his own stunts and is an honorary member of three Stuntmen's Unions. Lee has also won numerous awards for his contribution to cinema from the United States, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Great Britain. In 2001, Lee was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II.

Some of Lee's memorable film credits include Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005), Dr. Wonk in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and the wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He reprised his Saruman character for Jackson's latest prequel trilogy, starting with 2012's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. More recently, he starred in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

Married to Danish model and painter Gitte Kroencke since 1961, the two share a daughter, Christina. Presently living in the United Kingdom, Lee's other interests include golf, traveling and opera. He is also a published author of four books including his autobiography, Tall, Dark and Gruesome and The Films of Christopher Lee.

Filmography:

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies(2014)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug(2013)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey(2012)
Dark Shadows(2012)
The Hunting of the Snark (2012)
Hugo(2011)
The Resident(2011)
Season of the Witch(2011)
The Wicker Tree(2010)
Alice in Wonderland (2010) (voice)
The Heavy(2010)
Burke and Hare (2010)
Boogie Woogie(2009)
Triage(2009)
Glorious 39(2009)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars(2008)
The Golden Compass(2007)
Corpse Bride (2005) (voice)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory(2005)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith(2005)
Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocolypse/Les Rivières pourpres 2 - Les anges de l'apocolypse (2004)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack Of The Clones(2002)
The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers(2002)
Cries in the Night: Orlof 2001 (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring(2001)
The Rocky Interactive Horror Show (1999) (voice)
Sleepy Hollow(1999)
Jinnah (1998)
Tale of the Mummy (1998)
Soul Music (1996)
The Stupids (1996)
A Feast at Midnight (1994)
Funny Man (1994)
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994)
Jackpot(1992)
Journey of Honor (1992)
Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (1991)
Incident at Victoria Falls (1991)
Honeymoon Academy (1990)
The Rainbow Thief (1990)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch(1990)
L'Avaro (1989)
La Chute des aigles (1989)
Murder Story (1989)
La Révolution française (1989)
The Return of the Musketeers (1989)
Dark Mission (Operación cocaína) (1988)
Jocks (1987)
Shaka Zulu (1987)
Mio min Mio (1987)
The Girl (1986)
Mask of Murder (1985)
Howling II (1985)
The Rosebud Beach Hotel (1984)
House of the Long Shadows(1983)
New Magic (1983)
The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)
The Last Unicorn (1982) (voice)
Safari 3000 (1982)
Desperate Moves (1981)
The Salamander (1981)
An Eye for an Eye(1981)
Serial (1980)
Fade to Black (1980) (uncredited)
Arabian Adventure (1979)
Jaguar Lives! (1979)
Nutcracker Fantasy (1979)
1941(1979)
Bear Island (1979)
The Passage (1979)
Circle of Iron(1979)
Caravans (1978)
Return from Witch Mountain(1978)
End of the World (1977)
Meatcleaver Massacre (1977)
Starship Invasions (1977)
Dracula père et fils (1977)
Airport '77(1977)
Albino (1976)
The Keeper (1976)
To the Devil a Daughter (1976)
Diagnosis: Murder (1975)
Killer Force (1975)
Vem var Dracula? (1975)
Dark Places(1974)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974)
The Four Musketeers (1974)
The Man with the Golden Gun(1974)
Le Boucher, la star et l'orpheline (1973)
The Creeping Flesh(1973)
The Wicker Man(1973)
The Three Musketeers(1973)
Death Line (1972)
Horror Express(1972)
Nothing But the Night (1972)
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
Hannie Caulder (1971)
I, Monster(1971)
The House That Dripped Blood(1970)
Julius Caesar(1970)
One More Time (1970) (uncredited)
Taste the Blood of Dracula(1970)
El Umbracle (1970)
Vampir-Cuadecuc (1970)
Scars of Dracula (1970)
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
El Conde Drácula (1970)
La Isla de la muerte (1969)
Night of the Blood Monster (1969)
The Oblong Box (1969)
Scream and Scream Again(1969)
The Magic Christian(1969)
Die Folterkammer des Dr. Fu Man Chu (1969)
Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)
The Face of Eve (1968)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)
Five Golden Dragons (1967)
Night of the Big Heat (1967)
Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel (1967)
Theatre of Death (1967)
The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967)
Victims of Terror (1967)
The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
Psycho-Circus (1966)
Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
Sfida al diavolo (1965)
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
The Skull (1965)
The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
She (1965)
Il Castello dei morti vivi (1964)
The Gorgon (1964)
The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)
La Frusta e il corpo (1963)
La Maldición de los Karnstein (1963)
La Vergine di Norimberga (1963)
The Longest Day (1962) (uncredited)
Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes (1962)
Doctor from Seven Dials (1962)
The Pirates of Blood River (1962)
Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee (1962)
Ercole al centro della terra (1961)
Das Geheimnis der gelben Narzissen (1961)
The Hands of Orlac(1961)
Les Mains d'Orlac (1961)
Taste of Fear (1961)
The Devil's Agent (1961)
The Terror of the Tongs (1961)
The City of the Dead (1960)
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)
Beat Girl (1960)
Tempi duri per i vampiri (1959)
Too Hot to Handle (1959)
The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)
The Treasure of San Teresa (1959)
The Mummy(1959)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
The Truth About Women (1958)
The Battle of the V.1 (1958)
Dracula (1958)
A Tale of Two Cities (1958)
Amère victoire (1957)
The Traitor (1957)
The Curse of Frankenstein(1957)
Fortune Is a Woman (1957)
Ill Met by Moonlight (1957)
Alias John Preston (1956)
The Battle of the River Plate (1956)
Beyond Mombasa (1956)
Port Afrique (1956)
Private's Progress (1956)
Crossroads(1955)
Final Column (1955)
Man in Demand (1955)
Police Dog (1955)
Storm Over the Nile (1955)
The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)
The Dark Avenger (1955)
That Lady (1955)
Destination Milan (1954)
Innocents in Paris (1952) (uncredited)
Moulin Rouge (1952) (uncredited)
Top Secret (1952)
Babes in Bagdad (1952)
Paul Temple Returns (1952)
The Crimson Pirate (1952)
Valley of Eagles (1951)
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)
Prelude to Fame (1950)
They Were Not Divided (1950)
Trottie True (1949)
Penny and the Pownall Case (1948)
Scott of the Antarctic (1948)
Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948)
Hamlet (1948) (uncredited)
My Brother's Keeper (1948)
Song of Tomorrow (1948)
One Night with You (1948)
Corridor of Mirrors (1948)

Christopher Lee Photo