19 Reasons Why Christopher Lee Was A Pretty Amazing Human Being
The veteran British actor, who has died at the age of 93, had a life and career that put the rest of us to shame.
1. You most likely already know that Christopher Lee was in The Lord of the Rings as Saruman.
He was a massive Tolkien fan – and the only member of the cast of Peter Jackson's movies to actually meet the author.
According to an interview in The Guardian in 2001, the longest stretch of time he spent without a project to work on was two weeks.
2. He also released several heavy metal albums – and even some Christmas singles.
They included heavy metal covers of "Silent Night", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "Jingle Bells" and "The Little Drummer Boy".
The music website Blabbermouth reported that '"Jingle Hell" reached No. 18 on Billboard, making him the oldest performer in history to have entered the charts. (The record was previously held by Tony Bennett.)
3. He was also one of the oldest people ever to enter the UK chart, with his album "Metal Knight" in 2014.
He told Sky News "I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that music delivers."
4. He was even on the cover of one of Paul McCartney's albums, Band on the Run.
5. He served in the Second World War as a Royal Air Force intelligence officer, repeatedly being promoted.
6. After the war, he worked to track down Nazi war criminals.
8. As Dracula, he was the man who first made vampires sexy.
9. He was one of the best Bond villains, playing Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun.
He told Empire magazine that his character Scaramanga "is actually a real name – there was a boy at Eton who Ian Fleming didn’t like at all, so he used his name." He didn't mention whether the guy had a third nipple.
10. He was also a step-cousin of Ian Fleming.
That's the Bond author on the left, and the Bond star on the right.
11. When he played Count Dooku in the second and third episodes of Star Wars, he did many of his own stunts, even though he was almost 80.
12. He presented Saturday Night Live in 1978, doing the monologue and introducing Meat Loaf.
13. He was left a hat in his will by the actor Vincent Price.
14. He portrayed Sherlock AND Mycroft Holmes.
15. He starred as Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, one of the great cult films of the 20th century, and was one of its biggest cheerleaders.
He toldTotal Film magazine: "That’s the story of my career really, making cult movies. And I’ve always said it’s the best film I’ve ever made, even in its butchered form, which it is. Even the DVD is butchered."