Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sir Christopher Lee dies at 93

Christoper Lee had a way of making any movie more entertaining, at least for the moments when he was on screen.

Despite his towering, leading-man presence, Lee tended to play supporting characters. Even when his character's name was in the movie's title (I'm looking at you, Dracula), Lee was happy lurking around in the background as his increasingly younger co-stars tried to steal the spotlight. They almost never succeeded.

The older Lee got, the less reason directors needed to include him in their movies. Filmmakers were delighted to just put Lee in front of the camera and let him do his thing. There was absolutely no reason for him to have appeared in Tim Burton's DARK SHADOWS, but nobody walked out of the theater complaining about his cameo. Count Dooku might be the most underwritten villain to ever have a speaking part in a movie, but nobody thought Lee's presence was one of the faults of the STAR WARS prequels. The guy was a dynamo: While most people tend to ease into retirement in their golden years, Christoper Lee was having sword fights with a Muppet and singing on heavy metal records.

Reports are circulating this morning that Lee has died, which just feels impossible.

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