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Dracula Dies: Christopher Lee has Passed Away


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Christopher Lee dies aged 93

just now | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

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The veteran actor died on Sunday after being hospitalised for respiratory problems and heart failure.

Sir Christopher Lee has died, according to sources close to his family. He was 93.

The veteran actor died on Sunday (June 7) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London following respiratory problems and heart failure.

Lee had more than 280 film and television credits to his name but was best known for his role as Count Dracula in a string of popular Hammer Horror films, James Bond villain Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) and more recently Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies. He also featured in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.

The decision to release the news days after was based on his wife’s desire to inform family members first. The couple had been married for more than 50 years.

Lee still has one film yet to be released

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Of interest is the following bit of trivia: Lee holds an Academy Awards record as the actor with the longest span of time between appearances in Oscar-winning best pictures. He appeared uncredited in Olivier's HAMLET, which took home the prize in 1948 and co-starred as Saruman in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, which snagged the best picture Oscar 55 years later.

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Here is the RECENTLY RESTORED ending to HORROR OF DRACULA, which contains footage thought to be lost that was included in the Japanese release of the film- The Count's death scene is now longer and more graphic (something like 20 seconds not seen in the American version.)

 

 

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Here is the RECENTLY RESTORED ending to HORROR OF DRACULA, which contains footage thought to be lost that was included in the Japanese release of the film- The Count's death scene is now longer and more graphic (something like 20 seconds not seen in the American version.)

 

 

I saw this restoration no the big screen in London a while ago.  If you play Lorna's clip you may notice some interesting things going on with the soundtrack.  No sound of footsteps when Dracula ascends the stairs or runs across the hall.  When Helsing enters it is clomp, clomp, clomp as one would expect.

And Christopher Lee's grotesque death sounds really help sell the somewhat cheesy shots of the body disintegrating.

A really wonderful restoration.  

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I wish I could find this whole episode. I recall the SNL crew created three "horror" skits, one of which had John Belushi as an insufferable party guest in "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave." Come to think of it ... oh, never mind.

 

Lee was a fine actor, and the best Dracula in my opinion.

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I guess it says something about me that whenever I hear about Christopher Lee, the first thing I think of is his hosting SNL in the '70s and complaining about a cheap horror film he'd just made: The Creature From The Black Studies Program.

 

:lol:

 

93 is quite a run

 

RIP

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I wish I could find this whole episode. I recall the SNL crew created three "horror" skits, one of which had John Belushi as an insufferable party guest in "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave." Come to think of it ... oh, never mind.

 

Lee was a fine actor, and the best Dracula in my opinion.

 

 

LOL!!!

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Just two more films among his many films I especially like:

 

The Wicker Man (1973)--a London girl is missing, & Christopher Lee is head (Lord Summerisle) of the island where she was last seen.  Edward Nortons' character, a devout Christian, is sent to find her.  Chilling film that is sunny at its start, grows darker as film progresses.  Ending packs a wallop.  Had to search to find 15 years ago--don't know if it's on DVD or not.

 

The Three Musketeers--Lee shows his sense of humor in this remake.  Very enjoyable film.

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I wish I could find this whole episode. I recall the SNL crew created three "horror" skits, one of which had John Belushi as an insufferable party guest in "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave."

 

There was a My Fair Lady spoof where Lee played Henry Higgins, who tries to teach proper English to... Barbara Walters.

 

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At one point Babs says she's going to quit and "marry Freddie Silverman".*

 

Higgins is horrified: "Marry Freddie???"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Actually she says, "Mawwy Fweddie Sivvaman"

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There was a My Fair Lady spoof where Lee played Henry Higgins, who tries to teach proper English to... Barbara Walters.

 

vm9e5eN.png

 

 

At one point Babs says she's going to quit and "marry Freddie Silverman".*

 

Higgins is horrified: "Marry Freddie???"

 

*Actually she says, "Mawwy Fweddie Sivvaman"

 

 

Oh, that's pretty damn funny.

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I wish I could find this whole episode. I recall the SNL crew created three "horror" skits, one of which had John Belushi as an insufferable party guest in "The Thing That Wouldn't Leave." Come to think of it ... oh, never mind.

 

Lee was a fine actor, and the best Dracula in my opinion.

OOPS!

 

I brought up Lee's SNL appearance in Ron Moody's thread!

 

I recall all those "mock" horror picture trailers.  MY favorite was---

 

"Dr. Jekyll and MISTER ROGERS"!

 

Also, in a skit with Gilda Radner where Lee, portraying the Grim Reaper explains why he had to "take" her beloved pet dog.  He explains he's "taken" a lot of loved people.  She asked about her grandma, and he said 'yes", and asking about other people, he also answered in the affirmative, until she asked , "Did you kill JESUS, too?"  He quickly said, "No!  THAT was the ROMANS!"  :lol:

 

 

Sepiatone

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Recently in the Basil Rathbone thread there was some great contributions from Tom and Nakano about Basil's fencing skills.  Rathbone took particular pride in being able to out fence people even in his advanced years.

 

There is a very good interview with Lee in the Three/Four Musketeers dvd set where he proudly says very much the same thing.  That he was required to fence with actors just about half his age in that film.  You may recall that the final duel in Four Musketeers goes on and on and on requiring great stamina I'm sure.

 

 

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Again, really looking forward to the TCM Remembers tribute. Going to be interesting to see how they approach it.

 

Another interesting image to imagine unfolding in sepia-tone as the gentle dirge music plays on:

 

 

Christopher-Lee-als-Dracula-.jpg

 

 

Wonder if they consider him a big enough star to offer a film tribute? Time will tell.

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