Published Jun 11, 2015British actor Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93, following hospitalization for respiratory problems and heart failure.
The veteran actor graced the screen as some of Hollywood's favourite villains in horror films like Dracula and The Wicker Man, as well as in blockbuster franchises like James Bond, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings.
Lee served in World War II before returning to London to begin work as an actor. He rose to prominence after appearing in a series of Hammer Horror flicks that saw him take on the roles of Frankenstein's monster and Dracula. Following success in the horror genre, he branched out, appearing as the villain in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.
More recently, he played Count Dooku in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, reprising the role for the final film in the prequel trilogy, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Perhaps his most famous role of recent years, Lee played evildoer Sarumon in Peter Jackson's award-winning blockbuster Lord of the Rings trilogy.
He also frequently collaborated with director Tim Burton, appearing in Sleepy Hollow, The Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.
In addition to film work, Lee dabbled in music, releasing a full-length symphonic metal album paying homage to the first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne. Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross was released in 2010 and well received by the metal community. He followed it up with some festive heavy metal Christmas music.
Before releasing his own music, Lee appeared on the cover of Wings' Band on the Run, dressed as a convict alongside Paul and Linda McCartney, and a handful of other prominent British personalities.
Lee was knighted for his contributions to drama and charity in 2009. He passed away on Sunday (June 6), with his wife of 50 years opting to keep the news private until family members had been informed.