Recently, we saw the passing of a legend. Christopher Lee was more than just an actor; he was a magical human being who truly immersed himself into a variety of roles. Aside from acting, he was also a noted member of the military during World War II, as well as a heavy metal singer with several albums. Yeah, it’s safe to say that he lived a very rich and fulfilling life. But people know him mostly for his acting career, and that’s totally fine. After all, the guy has been in over 200 films (don’t forget his numerous television appearances!). So which roles do we think really emphasized the awesomeness of Christopher Lee?
6. Lord Summerisle – The Wicker Man
No, we’re not talking about that travesty starring Nicolas Cage. Back in the 1970s, the original film The Wicker Man came out, and it was actually an outstanding movie. Lee starred as Lord Summerisle, an articulate and charismatic man with a knack for charming both viewers and other characters with his verbal talents. But deep beneath that yellow turtleneck was an unstable pagan cult-leader. It was here that Lee demonstrated his range of acting, being able to go from the calm and collected smooth-talker in one scene, to a loud, thunderous extremist in the next.
5. Count Dooku – Star Wars
Say what you will about the Star Wars prequels, but you can’t say that Christopher Lee’s Count Dooku wasn’t awesome. It’s hard to compare to the villains who came before him. Lucasfilms had to match the likes of Darth Vader, the Emperor, and Darth Maul. How do you top that trio? By casting Christopher Lee, that’s how! Remember that these movies only came out within the last two decades, so Lee was well into his elder years by the time of filming. Despite all that, he was still out there throwing everything into the role. His performance was more convincing than that of Hayden Christensen, am I right? Also, he was the guy responsible for severing Anakin Skywalker’s hand, and he was able to hold his own in a battle against three of the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy. No, that wasn’t Count Dooku doing the fighting; that was Christopher Lee.
4. Francisco Scaramanga – The Man With the Golden Gun
Before Nintendo 64’s Goldeneye, there was only one person who wielded the golden gun – Christopher Lee. In the ninth installment of the original James Bond film series, Lee played Francisco Scaramanga aka The Man with the Golden Gun (Want to take a guess how he got his name? I’ll give you a hint – it’s not because he has a third nipple). Out of all the villains that have appeared in this extensive list of spy films, Lee’s Scaramanga has been recognized as the one with the best characterization. His performance perfectly captures the essence of the Scaramanga we see in the original Ian Fleming novel. Lee’s dry wit and calm method of intimidation counter perfectly against Roger Moore‘s smooth-talking playboy spy. You almost root for the bad guy to win in this film! It’s also worth mentioning that Lee is the real-life step-cousin of Fleming, and they regularly golfed together! So who else would you cast as such a notable Bond villain? Some Joe-Shmoe off the street, or the guy who hangs out with the author of the Bond series?