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Christopher Lee as Saruman
 

Saruman Christopher Lee

Date of Birth: 27 May 1922
Place: London, England
Height: 6’ 5”

Education: Eton College and Wellington College
Family: one daughter (Christina) with his wife of 43 years, Danish painter Gitte Kroencke

Official Website: http://www.christopherleeweb.com
 

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Born Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, in Belgravia, London, he comes from an acting dynasty (his great-grandparents founded the first Australian opera company) and is of royal Italian ancestry on his mother's side (Carandini).  He made his stage debut in school as the demonic lead in Rumpelstiltskin, a sign of things to come.

He worked briefly as an office junior, but the start of the Second World War brought that career to a halt and he enlisted in the RAF, serving with them and with Special Forces.  He was decorated for distinguished service and held the rank of Flight Lieutenant. 

After the war, he entered the film industry, working first for the Rank organisation.  He worked steadily all through the late forties and fifties but without taking any lead roles as he was considered too tall and foreign looking.  However, this worked to his advantage when he began his association with the Hammer Film Productions, starting with The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Dracula (1958), The Mummy (1959), and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), all co-starring Peter Cushing.  Lee continued his role as Dracula in a number of Hammer sequels throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s.  During this time, he made numerous appearances as Fu Manchu, most notably in the first of the series The Face of Fu Manchu (1965), and also appeared in a number of films in Europe.  With his own production company, Charlemagne Productions, Ltd., Lee made Nothing But the Night (1972) and To the Devil a Daughter (1976).  By the mid-1970s, Lee was tiring of his horror image and tried to widen his appeal by participating in several mainstream films, such as The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), The Three Musketeers (1973), The Four Musketeers (1974), and the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), based on the books written by his cousin, Ian Fleming. 

After a busy, if unremarkable, series of appearances, his career was revitalised by two blockbuster film series – Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, where he again takes up the villainous mantles of Sauruman and Count Dooku respectively. 

He has appeared in the theatre and in operatic performances and has recorded for radio world-wide.  He sang in T    he Return of Captain Invincible and recorded The King of Elfland's Daughter for Chrysalis, Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for Nimbus, Peter and the Wolf also for Nimbus, conducted by Yehudi Menuhin, The King and I, Christopher Lee sings Devils, Rogues and Other Villains, from Broadway to Bayreuth and many others.  Most recently, he has recorded an album with world famous metal band Rhapsody. 

He considers the most important point in his career to have been as host of Saturday Night Live in 1978, with John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman and Jane Curtin.  It is still the third highest rated show of the series.

In 2001, he was a made a Commander of the Empire in recognition of his contributions to the film and television industries and he is also a Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem

 Random Facts

  • In a bonding of two generations of Frankenstein's monsters, Lee and his wife were good friends with Boris Karloff and his wife.  This friendship wasn't as a result of them working together (they made two films together, Corridors of Blood and Curse of the Crimson Alter) but by the coincidence that they lived next door to each other in England.
  • Possibly the only actor who has portrayed three different Sherlock Holmes characters: Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes and Henry Baskerville.
  • Is the only member of the cast and crew of Lord of the Rings to have met Tolkien.
  • Is an honorary member of three stuntmen's unions
  • Although he has been in well over 200 films, he has very rarely played a hero, having been a villain in perhaps about 85% of his films (even his bit parts learn towards the unsympathetic).
  • On July 21st 2004 he was given the honorary citizenship of the Italian city of Casina (Province of Reggio Emilia) where Sarzano, the castle of his ancestors is situated. He gave his speech of thanks in Italian.
  • According to his official website http://www.christopherleeweb.com: He speaks French, Italian, Spanish and German and can "get along" in Swedish, Russian and Greek.
  • He wanted to attend the Heavy Metal Festival, Earthshaker Fest, in 2005, to support his favorite bands Rhapsody and Manowar, but he had to cancel at the last minute. He recorded a message to the fans in advance, which was shown just before Rhapsody appeared onstage.
Filmography

The Last Unicorn (2006) (pre-production)
Cowboys for Christ (2005) (pre-production)
Pope John Paul II (2005) (TV) (filming)
The Last Unicorn (2006) (pre-production)
The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby (2005)
Corpse Bride (2005) (filming) (voice)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
EverQuest II (2004) (VG) (voice)
Les Rivières pourpres II - Les anges de l'apocalypse (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003/II) (VG) (voice)
Freelancer (2003) (VG) (voice)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Conquest: Frontier Wars (2001) (VG) (voice)
Les Redoutables (2001) TV Series
Ghost Stories for Christmas (2000) (mini) TV Series (voice)
In the Beginning (2000) (TV)
Gormenghast (2000) (mini) TV Series
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Adventures in the Secret Service (1999) (V)
The Rocky Interactive Horror Show (1999) (VG)
Sleepy Hollow (1999)
Jinnah (1998)
Tale of the Mummy (1998)
Ivanhoe (1997) (mini) TV Series
The Odyssey (1997) (TV)
 Sorellina e il principe del sogno (1996) (TV)
 Soul Music (1996) (TV) (voice)
Welcome to the Discworld (1996)
Wyrd Sisters (1996) (TV) (voice)
The Stupids (1996) r
Moses (1996) (TV)
A Feast at Midnight (1994)
Funny Man (1994)
Police Academy: Mission to Moscow (1994) 
Death Train (1993) (TV)
Double Vision (1992) (TV)
Jackpot (1992)
Kabuto (1992/I)
Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady (1992) (TV)
Curse III: Blood Sacrifice (1991)
Incident at Victoria Falls (1991) (TV)
The Care of Time (1990) (TV)
The Rainbow Thief (1990)
Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
Honeymoon Academy (1990)
L’Avaro (1990)
Treasure Island (1990) (TV)
La Chute des aigles (1989)
Murder Story (1989)
La Révolution française (1989)
The Return of the Musketeers (1989)
Around the World in 80 Days (1989/I) (mini) TV Series
Dark Mission (Operación cocaína) (1988)
Jocks (1987)
Shaka Zulu (1987)
Mio min Mio (1987)
The Disputation (1986) (TV)
The Girl (1986)
Un métier du seigneur (1986) (TV)
Shaka Zulu (1986) (mini) TV Series
Valhalla (1986) (voice) )
Mask of Murder (1985)
Howling II: Stirba - Werewolf Bitch (1985) 
The Rosebud Beach Hotel (1984)
The Far Pavilions (1984) (mini) TV Series
New Magic (1983)
The Return of Captain Invincible (1983)
House of the Long Shadows (1983)
The Last Unicorn (1982) (voice)
Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story (1982) (TV)
Massarati and the Brain (1982) (TV)
Safari 3000 (1982)
Desperate Moves (1981)
Evil Stalks This House (1981) (TV)
The Salamander (1981)
Goliath Awaits (1981) (TV)
An Eye for an Eye (1981)
Once Upon a Spy (1980) (TV)
Serial (1980)
1941 (1979)
Bear Island (1979)
Jaguar Lives! (1979)
Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979) (TV)
Arabian Adventure (1979)
Nutcracker Fantasy (1979)
The Passage (1979)
Circle of Iron (1978)
The Pirate (1978) (TV)
Caravans (1978)
Return from Witch Mountain (1978)
How the West Was Won (1978) (mini) TV Series
End of the World (1977)
Starship Invasions (1977)
Meatcleaver Massacre (1977)
Airport '77 (1977)
Albino (1976)
The Keeper (1976)
Dracula père et fils (1976)
To the Devil a Daughter (1976) 
Killer Force (1976)
Diagnosis: Murder (1975)
Le Boucher, la star et l'orpheline (1975)
The Four Musketeers (1974)
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974)
Dark Places (1973)
The Wicker Man (1973)
The Three Musketeers (1973)
Horror Express (1973)
Poor Devil (1973) (TV)
The Creeping Flesh (1973)
Death Line (1972)
Nothing But the Night (1972)
Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
Hannie Caulder (1971)
I, Monster (1971)
The House That Dripped Blood (1970)
Julius Caesar (1970)
Scars of Dracula (1970)
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
Eugenie (1970)
One More Time (1970/I) (uncredited)
Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
Count Dracula (1970)
Il Trono di fuoco (1970)
Light Entertainment Killers (1969) (TV)
Scream and Scream Again (1969)
The Magic Christian (1969)
The Oblong Box (1969)
Die Folterkammer des Dr. Fu Man Chu (1969)
Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)
Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968)
The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)
The Face of Eve (1968)
The Devil Rides Out (1968)
Night of the Big Heat (1967)
Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel (1967)
Five Golden Dragons (1967)
The Vengeance of Fu Manchu (1967)
The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
Circus of Fear (1966)
Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966) 
Theatre of Death (1966)
Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
Ten Little Indians (1965) (uncredited)
The Skull (1965) 
She (1965/I)
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)
Il Castello dei morti vivi (1964)
The Gorgon (1964)
The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)
La Maldición de los Karnstein (1963)
La Vergine di Norimberga (1963) (as Cristopher Lee)
La Frusta e il corpo (1963)
Katarsis (1963)
Stranglehold (1962)
Sherlock Holmes und das Halsband des Todes (1962)
Corridors of Blood (1962)
The Pirates of Blood River (1962)
Das Rätsel der roten Orchidee (1962)
Ercole al centro della terra (1961)
The Devil's Agent (1961) 
Taste of Fear (1961)
Das Geheimnis der gelben Narzissen (1961)
The Hands of Orlac (1961)
The Terror of the Tongs (1961)
The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960)
The City of the Dead (1960)
Beat Girl (1960)
Too Hot to Handle (1960)
Tempi duri per i vampiri (1959) 
The Mummy (1959)
The Treasure of San Teresa (1959)
The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
The Truth About Women (1958)
The Battle of the V.1 (1958)
Dracula (1958)
A Tale of Two Cities (1958)
The Traitor (1957)
Amère victoire (1957)
Manuela (1957) (uncredited)
The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
Fortune Is a Woman (1957)
Ill Met by Moonlight (1957)
Alias John Preston (1956) 
The Battle of the River Plate (1956)
Beyond Mombasa (1956)
Port Afrique (1956)
Private's Progress (1956)
Crossroads (1955/I)
Final Column (1955)
Man in Demand (1955)
Moby Dick Rehearsed (1955) (TV)
Police Dog (1955)
Storm Over the Nile (1955)
The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)
The Dark Avenger (1955)
That Lady (1955)
Destination Milan (1954)
Les Vacances de M. Hulot (1953) (uncredited)
Innocents in Paris (1952) (uncredited)
Moulin Rouge (1952) (uncredited)
Top Secret (1952) (uncredited)
Babes in Bagdad (1952)
Paul Temple Returns (1952)
The Crimson Pirate (1952)
Valley of Eagles (1951)
Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. (1951) 
They Were Not Divided (1950) 
Prelude to Fame (1950)
Trottie True (1949)
Penny and the Pownall Case (1948)
Scott of the Antarctic (1948) 
Saraband for Dead Lovers (1948) (uncredited)
Hamlet (1948)
My Brother's Keeper (1948) (scenes deleted)
Song of Tomorrow (1948)
One Night with You (1948)
Corridor of Mirrors (1948)
 

All letters should be sent to:

Christopher Lee
c/o Jean Diamond
London management
2-4 Noel St.
London
WLV 3RB
United Kingdom





Contributed by
Anne



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