Christopher Lee, the screen legend whose career took him from Hammer horror to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and a role as one of the great Bond villains, has died. He was 93.
The veteran actor died at 8.30am on Sunday at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, sources close to his family said.
He had been treated there for respiratory problems and heart failure over the preceding three weeks and turned 93 in hospital.
Lady Lee chose to delay the public announcement of Sir Christopher’s passing until she had informed close family members. The couple were married for more than 50 years.
The actor first achieved fame as a Hammer Horror star in the 1950s, but the last 15 years of his career were among the most fruitful.
He was introduced to a new generation of fans as a star of some of the world’s biggest franchises: Count Dooku in the Star Wars films, Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
There was also a sucessful partnership with Tim Burton in films including Alice in Wonderland and Sleepy Hollow.