Christopher Lee biography

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

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.

Christopher Lee Filmography

Actor:

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

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Genre:  Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Running Time:  169 min.
Release Date: December 14, 2012
DVD: March 19, 2013

Current rating: Rating: 4.38
based on 276 votes and 85 reviews
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Cast: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, James Nesbitt, Ken Stott, Sylvester McCoy, Barry Humphries, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Manu Bennett, Conan Stevens

Inspiration: Filming in New Zealand