Sir Christopher Lee dies aged 93

The Lord of the Rings, James Bond, Dracula and Star Wars actor has passed away in hospital after suffering from respiratory problems

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Sir Christopher Lee has died aged 93. The British actor – famous for his roles in countless Hammer Horror films, as well as The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun – passed away on Sunday morning at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

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A spokesman from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council told RadioTimes.com: “We can confirm that Kensington and Chelsea Register Office registered the death of Sir Christopher Lee on Monday 8 June, he died on Sunday 7 June.”

Lee first rose to fame in the 1950s as a Hammer Horror star, making the role of Dracula his own, before going on to star in some of the film industry’s biggest franchises, from Count Dooku in Star Wars to his part as Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films. 

After Dracula came subsequent Hammer films The Curse of Frankenstein (in 1957) and The Hound of Baskervilles (1959), plus a role playing Lord Summerisle in 1973’s The Wicker Man.

In 1974, Lee – who was step cousins with Ian Fleming – played the titular antagonist in James Bond film The Man With The Golden Gun, before going on to star in Gremlins 2: The New Batch and Jinnah in the 1990s.

His role as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy between 2001-2003 won him recognition with a new generation of cinema goers.

Lee was knighted for his services to drama and charity in 2009 and awarded a Bafta Fellowship in 2011 and a BFT Fellowship in 2013.

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Tributes to the late actor have started coming in on Twitter, with Sir Roger Moore, Prime Minister David Cameron, Lord of the Rings star Dominic Monaghan and Jonathan Ross all paying their respects: