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Christopher Lee, evil count of cinema, dies at age 93

Agencies | Updated: 2015-06-12 11:11

Career reianssance in old age

Lee won new generations of fans after the turn of the century in some of the biggest moneymakers in film history. He played the evil Count Dooku, fighting Jedi knights in "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" (2002) and "Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith" (2005).

Lee was also the fiendish criminal genius Fu Manchu in five films, Scaramanga in the Bond film and, in a rare departure from cinematic wickedness, gave life to the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in a couple of movies.

He portrayed the power-hungry wizard Saruman in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012) and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" (2014).

As part of his late-career flourish, he also appeared in Martin Scorsese's "Hugo" (2011) and Burton's black comedy "Dark Shadows" (2012) with Johnny Depp.

According to movie industry website IMDb, Lee has a lead role in the as-yet unreleased "Angels in Notting Hill" and was to have appeared in "The 11th", which has not yet gone into production.

He also had a lifelong interest in music. His single "Jingle Hell" in 2013 entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 22, making him the oldest living artist to enter the charts.

Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was born on May 27, 1922 and took up acting on the suggestion of a cousin after serving in Britain's Royal Air Force in World War Two.

He made his film debut in 1947, launching a career that eventually spanned more than 200 movies.

Lee was most closely associated with the role of Dracula, dispensing with the nobility Lugosi had given the role and adopting a more beastly, lustful bearing as he dispatched various buxom victims.

He played the bloodthirsty vampire in movies including "Dracula" (1958), "Dracula: Prince of Darkness" (1966), "Dracula Has Risen from the Grave" (1968), "Count Dracula" (1970), "Taste the Blood of Dracula" (1970), "Scars of Dracula" (1970), "Dracula A.D. 1972" (1972), "The Satanic Rites of Dracula" (1973) and "Dracula and Son" (1976).

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