Villain Extraordinaire – CHRISTOPHER LEE – The Man, The Movies, The Horror!

Christopher LeeLee will be 87, this May 27th. The man has more than 260 film and television credits and currently has five films in pre-production. He will be in Tim Burton’s upcoming remake of ALICE IN WONDERLAND playing The Jabberwock. Also in the works is COWBOYS FOR CHRIST,which is a reinvention of THE WICKER MAN directed by Robin Hardy, the same man who directed the 1973 original. At the bottom of this page is a list of Lee’s horror film credits. He has not been in a horror film since 1999’s SLEEPY HOLLOW. He’s been keeping himself busy though with two feature roles in two of the biggest film franchises in history; THE LORD OF THE RINGS and STAR WARS. christopher lee 2

Christopher Lee was born in England in 1922. He enlisted in the RAF during World War II. He joined the Rank Organisation in 1947, following his release from military service and began training as an actor. He landed a number of bit parts . It wasn’t until his association with Hammer Film Productions, that he really achieved world wide notoriety. He starred in many horror films along side Peter Cushing such as DRACULA (1958), THE HOUNDS OF BASKERVILLE (1959) and THE MUMMY (1959). Several years later they again would star in HORROR EXPRESS (1972), one of the dungeon’s all time favorites. He became best known for his portrayal of “Dracula”. He played the character in a number of Hammer sequels. This was not the only character Lee revisited. He also played Fu MANCHU in several films. Lee was responsible for bringing author Denis Wheatley to Hammer. The adaptation of his book The Devil Rides Out (1968) is considered by many to be the best of the Hammer horror films. Another one of his successful roles was as Lord Summerisle in the much loved flick THE WICKER MAN (1973). Also, cited by Lee himself as one of his favorites. Wanting to widen his appeal he went after and landed major roles in more mainstream fare, including the James Bond film THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN (1974). The other film made based on a Wheatley novel was TO THE DEVIL A DAUGHTER (1976) also starring Lee. The production was plagued with problems. It was a financial success, but it would be the last Hammer horror film. The work was always steady for Lee and he continued to make films and television appearances but it was 1999 when he was offered a role in Tim Burton’s SLEEPY HOLLOW that rebooted his career. He played Saruman in THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy and Count Dooku in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

christopher lee wicker manYou cannot deny the man’s “presence”. That intense, devilish stare and his trim 6 foot 5 inch stature practically commands it. The man was born to act. Without a doubt, he is one of the greatest screen Villains in film history. He is the subject of countless books including his own autobiography LORD OF MISRULE. The man’s performances stay with you long after the credits have rolled. His contribution to film and particularly the Horror Industry is unmeasurable. In 2001, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the film and television industry. Christopher Lee just kicks some serious ass!

1. Alias John Preston (1955)
2. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
3. Dracula (1958)
4. Corridors of Blood (1958)
5. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
6. The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)
7. The Mummy (1959)
8. Tempi duri per i vampiri (1959)
9. The City of the Dead (1960)
10. The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)
11. The Hands of Orlac (1960)
12. The Terror of the Tongs (1961)
13. Taste of Fear (1961)
14. Ercole al centro della terra (1961)
15. Katarsis (1963)
16. La vergine di Norimberga (1963)
17. La frusta e il corpo (1963)
18. La cripta e l’incubo (1964)
19. Il castello dei morti vivi (1964)
20. The Gorgon (1964)
21. Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965)
22. The Skull (1965)
23. The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
24. Theatre of Death (1966)
25. Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
26. Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)
27. Circus of Fear (1966)
28. The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
29. The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967)
30. Night of the Big Heat (1967)
31. The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (1967)
32. Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)
33. The Devil Rides Out (1968)
34. The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)
35. Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
36. The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969)
37. The Oblong Box (1969)
38. Scream and Scream Again (1970)
39. Il trono di fuoco (1970)
40. Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht (1970)
41. Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
42. Eugenie (1970)
43. Scars of Dracula (1970)
44. The House That Dripped Blood (1971)
45. I, Monster (1971)
46. Death Line (1972)
47. Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
48. Horror Express (1972)
49. Dark Places (1973)
50. Nothing But the Night (1973)
51. The Creeping Flesh (1973)
52. The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)
53. The Wicker Man (1973)
54. The Keeper (1976)
55. To the Devil a Daughter (1976)
56. Dracula père et fils (1976)
57. Meatcleaver Massacre (1977)
58. House of the Long Shadows (1983)
59. Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch (1985)
60. Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (1991)
61. Funny Man (1994)
62. Tale of the Mummy (1998)
63. Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Christopher lee vampire 3

One Response to “Villain Extraordinaire – CHRISTOPHER LEE – The Man, The Movies, The Horror!”

  1. […] May 2009, so if you want to learn a little more about one of horror’s greatest icons click here. Picking just 10 films was a more daunting task than I expected! Sure, the top 5 were obvious […]

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