biography

Born in London, England, on May 27, 1922, actor Christopher Lee was raised in and around London. At the age of 19, he joined the Royal Air Force and served his country through the end of World War II. Following the war, Lee developed a taste for acting and was accepted in the renowned Rank Organisation. Getting his break in films in the late 1940s, Lee was often cast in small roles. Handsome enough to be a leading man, initially his career suffered a bit from his 6'5" height, but his stature later worked to his advantage. Throughout the 1950s, Lee developed his film career in character roles. When he began his long association with Britain's Hammer Film Productions in 1957, he finally became a star. Much as Universal horror actors Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi had done 25 years beforehand, Lee tackled the title monster roles in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957; with Peter Cushing and Hazel Court), Horror of Dracula (1958; with Peter Cushing), and The Mummy (1959; with Peter Cushing and Yvonne Furneaux). In the late 1950s, Hammer Films forged an agreement with Universal to remake that studio's famed monster movie classics from the 1930s and 1940s. Lee acted in many of Hammer's productions throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

the films of christopher lee

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee portrays the monster and Peter Cushing is Baron Victor Frankenstein in Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein. This film marked the beginning of Hammer's long association with horror films

The Mummy (1959)

Christopher Lee

As Kharis the Mummy, Christopher Lee meets his next victim in Hammer's The Mummy

The Treasure of San Teresa (1959)

Christopher Lee

Lee portrays Jaeger in the low-budget British adventure effort The Treasure of San Teresa

The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)

Christopher Lee and Anton Diffring

Lee as Dr. Pierre Gerard helps Anton Diffring live well beyond his years in the Dorian Gray-inspired The Man Who Could Cheat Death

Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

Christopher Lee

As the title character in Hammer Film Productions' Dracula: Prince of Darkness

Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)

Christopher Lee

As Dracula in Hammer Film Productions' Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

Scream and Scream Again (1969)

Marshall Jones and Christopher Lee

With Marshall Jones in AIP's effective horror flick Scream and Scream Again

I, Monster (1971)

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee

With frequent costar Peter Cushing in the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde themed I,Monster. Cushing and Lee made more than 20 films together

Hannie Caulder (1971)

Raquel Welch and Christopher Lee

Lee with Raquel Welch as the title character in the offbeat western Hannie Caulder

Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

Christopher Lee and Caroline MunroChristopher Lee

From the trippy Hammer release Dracula A.D. 1972. LEFT: Lee makes beautiful Caroline Munro his latest victim. RIGHT: Taking on another victim

The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Christopher Lee and Roger Moore

Lee as Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga duels with Roger Moore in the 007 spy thriller The Man with the Golden Gun

The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974)

Christopher Lee and Joanna Lumley

With Joanna Lumley as Jessica Van Helsing in Hammer's The Satanic Rites of Dracula

Return from Witch Mountain (1978)

Bette Davis and Christopher LeeBette Davis,Ike Eisenmann, and Christopher Lee

From Walt Disney's Return from Witch Mountain. LEFT: With Bette Davis. RIGHT: With Bette Davis and Ike Eisenmann

An Eye for an Eye (1981)

Christopher Lee

As television station owner Morgan Canfield in the Chuck Norris actioner An Eye for an Eye

Safari 3000 (1982)

Hamilton Camp and Christopher Lee

Lee as Count Borgia with Hamilton Camp in the campy comedy Safari 3000

later years

Although Christopher Lee is best known for his horror reputation, in reality he's acted in a number of comedies, mysteries, and dramas. In the mid to late 1960s, Lee did a series of Fu Manchu films, including The Face of Fu Manchu (1965; with Karin Dor and Nigel Green) and The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969; with Rosalba Neri). And he makes for a terrific Bond villain as Francisco Scaramanga in the 007 thriller The Man with the Golden Gun (1974; with Roger Moore and Britt Eklund).

While the careers of most actors ebb with advancing age, Christopher Lee proved to be an exception, continuing to act in films into his 90s. While Lee acted in mostly lower-budgeted films in the 1950s through the 1980s, his later career consisted of blockbusters, including Sleepy Hollow (1999; with Johnny Depp and Casper Van Dien), the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Star Wars: Episode II---Attack of the Clones (2002; with Ewan McGregor). Sadly, Christoper Lee passed away from natural causes on June 7, 2015, at the age of 93. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Gitte Lee, and a daughter.

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filmography

FILM
The Girl from Nagasaki (2013) with Mariko Miyamitsu and Edoardo Ponti
Night Train to Lisbon (2013) with Jeremy Irons, Tom Courtenay, Lena Olin, and Charlotte Rampling
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) with Ian McKellen
Dark Shadows (2012) with Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, and Jackie Earle Haley
Hugo (2011) with Ben Kingsley and Sacha Baron Cohen
The Wicker Tree (2011) with Graham McTavish
The Resident (2011) with Hilary Swank, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Lee Pace
Season of the Witch (2011) with Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman
Alice in Wonderland (2010) with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter
Glorious 39 (2009) with Julie Christie
Triage (2009) with Colin Farrell
Boogie Woogie (2009) with Gillian Anderson, Alan Cumming, and Joanna Lumley
The Heavy (2009)
The Golden Compass (2007) with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig
Pope John Paul II (2005) with John Voight, Ben Gazzara, and James Cromwell
Corpse Bride (2005) with Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Tracey Ullman, and Joanna Lumley
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter
Greyfriars Bobby (2005)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) with Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jimmy Smits
Crimson Rivers 2: Angels of the Apocalypse (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
In the Beginning (2000) with Martin Landau, Jacqueline Bisset, Bill Campbell, Geraldine Chaplin, and Diana Rigg
Gormenghast (2000)
Sleepy Hollow (1999) with Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson, Casper Van Dien, Jeffrey Jones, and Christopher Walken
Jinnah (1998)
Tale of the Mummy (1998) with Jason Scott Lee, Honor Blackman, and Shelley Duvall
The Odyssey (1997) with Armand Assante, Greta Scacchi, Isabella Rossellini, Bernadette Peters, Eric Roberts, Geraldine Chaplin, and Vanessa Williams
The Stupids (1996) with Tom Arnold, Mark Metcalf, and Matt Keeslar
A Feast at Midnight (1994)
Funny Man (1994)
Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow (1994) with Michael Winslow and David Graf
Death Train (1993) with Pierce Brosnan and Patrick Stewart
Double Vision (1992) with Kim Cattrall
Cyber Eden (1992) with Carroll Baker
Kabuto (1992) with David Essex
Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (1991) with Jenilee Harrison
The Rainbow Thief (1990) with Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) with Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Haviland Morris, Dick Miller, Jackie Joseph, Gedde Watanabe, and Keye Luke
Honeymoon Academy (1990) with Robert Hays, Kim Cattrall, Leigh Taylor-Young, Doris Roberts, and Gordon Jump
Treasure Island (1990) with Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, and Oliver Reed
Murder Story (1989)
The Return of the Musketeers (1989) with Michael York, Oliver Reed, C. Thomas Howell, Kim Cattrall, and Geraldine Chaplin
Around the World in 80 Days (1989) with Pierce Brosnan, Eric Idle, Peter Ustinov, and Jack Klugman
Dark Mission: Evil Flowers (1988) with Christopher Mitchum and Richard Harrison
Jocks (1987) with Mariska Hargitay and Richard Roundtree
Shaka Zulu (1987)
The Girl (1986) with Franco Nero
Mask of Murder (1985) with Rod Taylor and Valerie Perrine
Howling II (1985) with Reb Brown and Sybil Danning
The Rosebud Beach Hotel (1984) with Peter Scolari, Fran Drescher, Eddie Deezen, Chuck McCann, Hamilton Camp, and Daniel Greene
The Far Pavilions (1984) with Ben Cross, Amy Irving, Rossano Brazzi, Omar Sharif, and John Gielgud
The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) with Alan Arkin
House of the Long Shadows (1983) with Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Desi Arnaz Jr., John Carradine, and Richard Todd
Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story (1982) with Rod Taylor and Charles Gray
Safari 3000 (1982) with David Carradine, Stockard Channing, and Hamilton Camp
The Salamander (1981) with Franco Nero, Anthony Quinn, Martin Balsam, Sybil Danning, Cleavon Little, Claudia Cardinale, and Eli Wallach
Goliath Awaits (1981) with Mark Harmon, Alex Cord, John Carradine, Eddie Albert, Robert Forster, and Frank Gorshin
An Eye for an Eye (1981) with Chuck Norris, Richard Roundtree, and Mako
Once Upon a Spy (1980) with Ted Danson, Mary Louise Weller, and Eleanor Parker
Serial (1980) with Martin Mull, Tuesday Weld, Sally Kellerman, Bill Macy, Nita Talbot, and Peter Bonerz
1941 (1979) with Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lorraine Gary, Tim Matheson, Warren Oates, Robert Stack, Treat Williams, and Nancy Allen
Bear Island (1979) with Donald Sutherland, Vanessa Redgrave, Richard Widmark, Barbara Parkins, and Lloyd Bridges
Jaguar Lives! (1979) with Joe Lewis, Donald Pleasence, Barbara Bach, Capucine, Woody Strode, and John Huston
Arabian Adventure (1979) with Milo O'Shea, Emma Samms, and John Ratzenberger
Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979) with Reb Brown, Connie Sellecca, and Lana Wood
The Passage (1979) with Anthony Quinn, James Mason, Malcolm McDowell, Patricia Neal, and Kay Lenz
Circle of Iron (1978) with David Carradine, Roddy McDowall, and Eli Wallach
Caravans (1978) with Anthony Quinn, Michael Sarrazin, Jennifer O'Neill, Joseph Cotten, and Barry Sullivan
Return from Witch Mountain (1978) with Bette Davis, Kim Richards, and Jack Soo
The Pirate (1978) with Stuart Whitman, Franco Nero, Anne Archer, Olivia Hussey, Ian McShane, James Franciscus, and Marjorie Lord
How the West Was Won (1978)
End of the World (1977) with Sue Lyon, Dean Jagger, Lew Ayres, and Macdonald Carey
Airport '77 (1977) with Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Brenda Vaccaro, Joseph Cotten, Olivia de Havilland, James Stewart, George Kennedy, and Darren McGavin
The Night of the Askari (1976) with Trevor Howard and Sybil Danning
The Keeper (1976)
Dracula and Son (1976)
To the Devil a Daughter (1976) with Richard Widmark, Honor Blackman, Denholm Elliott, and Nastassja Kinski
Killer Force (1976) with Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda, Hugh O'Brian, O.J. Simpson, and Maud Adams
Diagnosis: Murder (1975) with Judy Geeson
The Four Musketeers (1974) with Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Geraldine Chaplin, and Faye Dunaway
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) with Roger Moore, Britt Ekland, Maud Adams, Herve Villechaize, Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell, and Desmond Llewelyn
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974) with Peter Cushing and Joanna Lumley
Dark Places (1973) with Joan Collins
The Wicker Man (1973) with Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, and Ingrid Pitt
The Three Musketeers (1973) with Oliver Reed, Raquel Welch, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York, Geraldine Chaplin, and Faye Dunaway
Horror Express (1973) with Peter Cushing and Helga Line
The Creeping Flesh (1973) with Peter Cushing
Raw Meat (1973) with Donald Pleasence
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972) with Peter Cushing, Stephanie Beacham, and Caroline Munro
Hannie Caulder (1971) with Raquel Welch, Robert Culp, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Elam, Strother Martin, and Diana Dors
I, Monster (1971) with Peter Cushing
The House That Dripped Blood (1970) with Peter Cushing and Denholm Elliott
Julius Caesar (1970) with Charlton Heston, Jason Robards, John Gielgud, Robert Vaughn, Richard Chamberlain, and Diana Rigg
Scars of Dracula (1970) with Dennis Waterman
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) with Robert Stephens
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
The Nights of Dracula(1970) with Herbert Lom and Klaus Kinski
Night of the Blood Monster (1970) with Maria Schell and Margaret Lee
Scream and Scream Again (1969) with Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, and Alfred Marks
The Magic Christian (1969) with Peter Sellers, Ringo Starr, Leonard Frey, Laurence Harvey, Roman Polanski, and Raquel Welch
The Oblong Box (1969) with Vincent Price and Peter Arne
The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969) with Richard Greene
Eugenie (1969)
The Crimson Cult (1968) with Boris Karloff, Mark Eden, and Barbara Steele
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968) with Veronica Carlson
The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968) with Richard Greene
Eve (1968) with Celeste Yarnall, Robert Walker Jr., and Herbert Lom
The Devil's Bride (1968) with Charles Gray
Night of the Big Heat (1967) with Peter Cushing
The Blood Demon (1967) with Lex Barker and Karin Dor
Five Golden Dragons (1967) with Robert Cummings, Margaret Lee, Klaus Kinski, Brian Donlevy, Dan Duryea, and George Raft
The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967) with Horst Frank
The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
Circus of Fear (1966) with Klaus Kinski, Margaret Lee, and Suzy Kendall
Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966) with Barbara Shelley and Suzan Farmer
Theatre of Death (1966)
Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1966) with Barbara Shelley, Andrew Keir, and Suzan Farmer
The Face of Fu Manchu (1965) with Nigel Green and Karin Dor
The Skull (1965) with Peter Cushing and Nigel Green
She (1965) with Ursula Andress, Peter Cushing, and John Richardson
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965) with Neil McCallum, Bernard Lee, Peter Cushing, and Donald Sutherland
The Gorgon (1964) with Peter Cushing and Barbara Shelley
The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964) with Suzan Farmer
Crypt of Horror (1963)
Horror Castle (1963) with Rossana Podesta
The Whip and the Body (1963) with Daliah Lavi and Tony Kendall
Katarsis (1963) with Bella Cortez
Stranglehold (1962) with Macdonald Carey and Barbara Shelley
Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace (1962) with Senta Berger
Corridors of Blood (1962) with Boris Karloff, Betta St. John, Nigel Green, and Yvonne Romain
The Pirates of Blood River (1962) with Kerwin Mathews, Andrew Keir, Glenn Corbett, Peter Arne, and Oliver Reed
The Secret of the Red Orchid (1962) with Marisa Mell and Klaus Kinski
Hercules in the Haunted World (1961) with Reg Park, Rosalba Neri, and Raf Baldassarre
The Devil's Agent (1961) with Peter van Eyck and Macdonald Carey
Scream of Fear (1961) with Susan Strasberg
The Devil's Daffodil (1961)
The Hands of Orlac (1961) with Mel Ferrer and Donald Pleasence
Terror of the Hatchet Men (1961)
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960) with Dawn Addams and Joe Robinson
The City of the Dead (1960) with Betta St. John and Venetia Stevenson
Beat Girl (1960) with Adam Faith
Too Hot to Handle (1960) with Jayne Mansfield
Uncle was a Vampire (1959) with Sylva Koscina
The Mummy (1959) with Peter Cushing and Yvonne Furneaux
The Treasure of San Teresa (1959) with Eddie Constantine and Dawn Addams
The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) with Anton Diffring and Hazel Court
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959) with Peter Cushing
The Truth About Women (1958) with Laurence Harvey, Julie Harris, Diane Cilento, Mai Zetterling, Eva Gabor, and Jocelyn Lane
Missile from Hell (1958) with Michael Rennie and Patricia Medina
Horror of Dracula (1958) with Peter Cushing
A Tale of Two Cities (1958) with Dirk Bogarde
The Accursed (1958) with Anton Diffring
Bitter Victory (1958) with Richard Burton, Curd Jurgens, and Ruth Roman
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) with Peter Cushing and Hazel Court
Fortune Is a Woman (1957) with Jack Hawkins and Arlene Dahl
Night Ambush (1957) with Dirk Bogarde
Alias John Preston (1956) with Betta St. John
The Battle of the River Plate with Anthony Quayle and Bernard Lee
Beyond Mombasa (1956) with Cornel Wilde, Donna Reed, and Ron Randell
Port Afrique (1956) with Pier Angeli, Anthony Newley, and Philip Carey
Private's Progress (1956) with Richard Attenborough and Terry-Thomas
Final Column (1955) with Ron Randell and Laurence Naismith
Storm Over the Nile (1955) with Laurence Harvey
The Cockleshell Heroes (1955) with Jose Ferrer, Trevor Howard, Anthony Newley, and Peter Arne
The Warriors (1955) with Errol Flynn, Joanne Dru, and Peter Finch
That Lady (1955) with Olivia de Havilland, Gilbert Roland, Paul Scofield, and Anthony Dawson
Destination Milan (1954) with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Babes in Bagdad (1952) with Paulette Goddard, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Sebastian Cabot
Bombay Waterfront (1952)
The Crimson Pirate (1952) with Burt Lancaster, Eva Bartok, and Dana Wynter
Valley of the Eagles (1952) with Anthony Dawson
Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951) with Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo
They Were Not Divided (1950)
Prelude to Fame (1950) with Guy Rolfe
The Gay Lady (1949)
Penny and the Pownall Case (1948) with Diana Dors
Scott of the Antarctic (1948) with John Mills
Song of Tomorrow (1948)
One Night with You (1948)
Corridor of Mirrors (1948) with Lois Maxwell

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Watch Christopher Lee's 1960 horror film Horror Hotel


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