British actor, Christopher Lee, has died at the age of 93. According to British media, the famed actor passed away June 7 at Westminster Hospital in London after being admitted for respiratory and heart ailments.
The Guardian reported that his wife kept the news of his death internal in order to inform family members first.
With is deep voice, dignified air and 6-foot 4-inch frame, Lee is known for having one of the longest and most prolific screen careers of all time. He played key roles in movies such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Mummy for Hammer, Star Wars, Sherlock Holmes, James Bond and Lord of the Rings. He was one of the last truly great English-language horror movie stars.
His film career began in the late 1940s even though casting agents told him he was “too tall and foreign-looking” to play Englishmen. The result was bit roles including one in Laurence Olivier’s 1948 screen version of Hamlet.
He eventually moved on to larger roles such as the Frankenstein creature in The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 and then the blood-savoring, fang-toothed Dracula in 1958. That led to several other Dracula roles.
Lee’s career included more than 250 films and television shows in a career that spanned almost seven decades. Most of his roles were unsavory, as Lee once said he tried to “make the unbelievable believable” to humanize even the most macabre characters.
Lee and his wife, former Danish model and painter Gitte Kroencke, had been married since 1961. In an emailed statement Lee’s agent said his family “wishes to make no comment”.