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Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Death of Dracula: RIP, Christopher Lee

At the ripe old age of 93, Christopher Lee has left the castle. Best known for his roles in the Hammer horror film series, he played Frankenstein, the Mummy, but is especially remembered for playing Count Dracula. He is also remembered for his roles in Lord of the Rings, the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, and The Wicker Man.

I thought he and Lee Grant made a wonderfully horrible married couple in Airport '77. Olivia DeHavilland, Brenda Vaccaro, Joseph Cotton, James Stewart and Jack Lemmon were also in that camp classic. Christopher Lee Grant, I thought, could have made a great recurring couple in dramas. I think they'd even make a great George and Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf!

Lee starred as Dracula nine times, including in the films Horror of Dracula, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Dracula Has Risen from the Grave and Taste the Blood of Dracula.

A WW II veteran, he also starred in two of my all-time favorite Brit horror films: Horror Hotel (City of the Dead in the UK) and Dr. Terror's House of Horrors. He died of respiratory complications (not a stake through the heart).

Rest in Peace, Christopher Frank Carandini Lee. A multiple award winner, he was an imposing presence at a towering 6'5". Oh, Mr Lee, Mr Lee!

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