It was with considerable sadness I read of the death of Christopher Lee on Twitter today. I have a particular soft spot of The Man With The Golden Gun as it was my first ever Bond film and while the film has many detractors one of its strengths is Lee’s portrayal of Scaramanga, with his iconic golden gun.
Although he will be best remembered by me for his role as Bond villain, Lee made his name as Count Dracula in the Hammer Horror films. He went on to have major roles in the Star Wars prequels as Count Dooku, as well as playing Saruman in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
Lee was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009, received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011 and received the BFI Fellowship in 2013. Lee considered his best performance to be that of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah (1998), and his best film to be the British horror film The Wicker Man (1973).
He died at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on 7 June 2015 at 8:30 am after being admitted for respiratory problems and heart failure shortly after celebrating his 93rd birthday in hospital.