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.
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.
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:
It's terribly when you lose an old friend, and Christopher Lee was one of my oldest. We first met in 1948.
— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) June 11, 2015
— Dominic Monaghan. (@DomsWildThings) June 11, 2015
The great, always criminally underrated Sir Christopher Lee has left us. A Titan of Cinema and a huge part of my youth. Farewell.
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) June 11, 2015
PM: Saddened to hear of Sir Christopher Lee's death, a titan of Golden Age of Cinema & distinguished WW2 veteran who'll be greatly missed
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) June 11, 2015
Very upset to learn that Sir Christopher Lee has passed away. An amazing gentleman who brought us so many iconic roles. He will be missed.
— Reece Shearsmith (@ReeceShearsmith) June 11, 2015
Really sad to hear about the death of Christopher Lee, one of the greatest British actors and a master of the macabre pic.twitter.com/q5UUhc7xId
— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) June 11, 2015
What a sad day for the world to lose this incredible actor and human being. Christopher Lee, photo by… https://t.co/635BmEshsn
— Bryan Adams (@bryanadams) June 11, 2015
No Christopher Lee can't die. He just doesn't seem the type. Brilliant actor. RIP
— Colin Baker (@SawbonesHex) June 11, 2015
@wossy: So sad to hear that Sir Christopher Lee has died. A great actor, a great star, a surprisingly good singer and a lovely lovely man.
— Jonathan Ross (@wossy) June 11, 2015
Scared the living daylights out of me for years. And I loved him for it.
RIP Christopher Lee pic.twitter.com/i2sKDXAMhU
— Omid Djalili (@omid9) June 11, 2015
— BAFTA (@BAFTA) June 11, 2015