Friday, September 24, 2010

Facts about Christopher Lee
First of all, important roles he's played, in no particular order: Dracula, Bond villain Scaramanga, Saruman the White and Count Dooku. Also "Mephistoles" (the Devil in what looks like a little-known campy Italian film), Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu, Rasputin the Mad Monk and Sherlock Holmes' even smarter brother Mycroft. Lee also voiced Death (from the Discworld), the Jabberwocky in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and, in some animated movie due for release in 2012, Santa Claus. That's just a small fraction of his roles, but they look like the most recognizable ones.

And in real life? He's supposedly a descendant of Charlemagne, and has met J.R.R. Tolkien in person; he was the only Lord of the Rings cast member to do so. In World War II he served in the Royal Air Force and the Special Operations Executive, or in layman's terms, he was a spy behind enemy lines. (He consulted with Peter Jackson on his character's death scene in LotR; specifically, on what it looks like when someone is stabbed in the back. Now how would he know that?) Being knighted is kind of nice, but being knighted on Halloween is really great. He holds the world's record for appearing in the most movies, speaks five languages, and enjoys heavy metal and head-banging.

I already knew most of that, or the interesting parts (the first four roles I list, the fact that he was a spy and consulted on his death scene, his involvement with some kind of a heavy metal group, the fact that he's been in a hell of a lot of movies, and the fact that he's a knight), and today I stumbled on yet another fact about him: he's the cousin of Ian Fleming. That means he may be a partial inspiration for James Bond directly, rather than just in the general sense of having been a spy.

Christopher Lee is clearly the most awesome man there is.

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