RIP Sir Christopher Frank Caradini Lee


Last night, the 11th of June, 2015 while studying for a sheer swine of an exam, I heard from a friend that Sir Christopher Lee had departed from this life at the ripe old age of 93. At first I was in denial, and quickly sourced several reliable websites (because eat a dick, TMZ you bunch of shitheads) where I found the news to be sadly real.

I was stunned. For most of my life I had admired and enjoyed Lees' work not just as an actor of the stage and screen, but of the very life he led. Everything he accomplished seemed to have been intertwined with a sense of fate and purpose even if at the time he probably felt otherwise.

Let me level with you: of course I never had the privilege of meeting the man, and I had only ever seen his movies, watched his interviews and listened to his music, but I do feel as if a part of me has passed on. He was a huge part of my life, a positive influence, an inspiration, and although he was on this planet for a considerably long time, a part of me felt he would live forever due to that impact he has left on the world and myself. He wasn't just an actor; he was a craftsman in every sense of the word.

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Although he was born into a prestigious British family, his father, Geoffrey Trollope Lee a decorated Lieutenant Colonel who had fought in both the First World War and the Boer War; his mother, Contessa Estelle Marie (ne' Carandini di Sarzano). Christopher was not merely content to rest on the laurels of his family name and wanted to make his mark on what would become a long and prosperous life.

Having being bitten by the acting bug after playing Rumplestiltskin in a school performance, the stage life had a certain, undeniable calling to the young boy. However, soon the world became shrouded by World War II, and Lee wanted to make a difference, thus began one of the longest, darkest yet ultimately some of the most rewarding chapters of Lees' life, one he never bloviated about because to him, it wasn't about glory; it was about doing the right thing.

For a far more intimate account of what Lee did during Hitlers' kegger, have a good read here and marvel about just how much this man did before the world even knew his name. If it doesn't inspire you to look at your life and wonder just how much more you can do with it, I simply have no words.

Lees' filmography is very extensive not to mention commanding, but I feel most of us are familiar with his work as Count Dracula from the seminal Hammer Horror films. The sequels such as they were varied in quality, with some being amazing to others being absolutely naff, but one thing they all had going for them was Lee's' presence. Although he ultimately found that the money-grabbing studio had cheapened the character, the main reason he continued to work in them was to help other actors keep their jobs.

It takes a selfless, clever soul to have that sort of pragmatism, but his efforts and professional ethics went a long way in the lives of those actors he kept in work that they never forgot his actions. Lee possessed an upstanding character who did what he could to assist others, a trait he had fostered since his youth and it only continued to remain well into his advanced age. Lee may have developed cardiac and respiratory issues, but the man never desisted working, never ceased in the amazing work he churned out. 'Retirement' was definitely not in that mans' vocabulary, and neither was 'I can't.'

I could sing my praises until the bats come home, but ultimately, Christopher Lee was a whole, and entirely singular person. His professional life remained professional, his personal life remained his own, a personality full of charm, intelligence and good humor with that distinctive baritone voice, this and more made up an individual who helped create a legacy of the likes which will never be seen by the world again. He was the last of a generation, but he has also given us a lot to enjoy and consider. He was a man who took life by the horns and wrestled with that bull, never gave up, remained true to himself and boy golly wasn't he badass doing it.

So thank you, Mr. Lee, for not only what you accomplished and what you gave back to us, but for who you were. Your physical self may be gone, but your spirit, integrity and joy for life will forever live on and it will continue to make me aspire to be a better person.


A friend of mine said he looks at Mr. Lee's passing beyond the veil as, and I quote: "I'm trying to look at it this way. Now he's gone home to hang with Cushing, Price, Karloff, Lugosi, and the Chaneys."
You forgot arm-wrestling with Oliver Reed and singing bawdy songs with Ingrid Pitt, buddy. But in all seriousness,there is no need to try, because you know he is. 

Now pardon me while I choke these damn onion ninjas.
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