Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sir Christopher Lee

This well-known horror actor has been in over 250 films since 1948. It's an amazing feat, no matter who you are, but especially for an eighty-seven year old man suffering from RA.


This recently-knighted actor was literally born into royalty. His mother was a Countess and his father a Lieutenant-Colonial in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. His mother later married Ian Flemming's uncle. He went on to join the Royal Air Force and served during World War II.

Lee's first film appearance was in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet (1948). He went on to appear in many loved B movies, including Dracula (1958). Most people nowadays know him from his role as Saruman from LOTR and Count Dooku from the second and third episodes of Star Wars. He has also worked a lot with one of my favorite directors, Tim Burton. Lee had a small role in Sleepy Hollow, voiced the Pastor in Corpse Bride, and played Wonka's father in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Lee is also the voice of the Jabberwock in the soon-to-be-released Alice in Wonderland. He has a few more films in the works right now as well... including taking part in a heavy metal musical about Charlemagne.

Unfortunately, while I can find a lot about this talented actor's work, I can not find that much about his battle with RA. All I can find is from this comic book website:

Although Lee is known to suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis (which is one reason why his hands are rarely photographed today), at an age [87] when most performers would have already scaled back their work, Lee has virtually reinvigorated his career in the 21st century, posting featured roles in many top box office blockbusters including Sleepy Hollow (cameo), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring & The Two Towers & The Return of the King, Star Wars: Attack of the Clones & Revenge of the Sith, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, The Golden Compass, Alice in Wonderland and he provides voice work for the popular Cartoon Network animated series The Clone Wars (reprising his role as Count Dooku from the Star Wars films).

For more on his life, visit his personal website.

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