Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson pays tribute to “extraordinary” Christopher Lee

"An icon of cinema has passed into legend," says the director, who worked with the late star on The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies

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Director Peter Jackson has paid tribute to the late Christopher Lee. Jackson, who counted Lee among his friends after working with the actor multiple times, has taken to Facebook to share his sadness at the news of Lee’s passing. 

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British actor Lee – famous for his roles in countless Hammer Horror films, as well as Star Wars and Bond movie The Man With the Golden Gun – passed away on Sunday morning aged 93.

Jackson and Lee worked together on five of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, in which Lee played wizard Saruman.

“It never ceased to be a thrill to see him on set,” Jackson wrote. “I remember him saying on my 40th Birthday (he was 80 at the time), “You’re half the man I am”.  Being half the man Christopher Lee is, is more than I could ever hope for. He was a true gentleman, in an era that no longer values gentleman.”

“I grew up loving Christopher Lee movies. For most of my life I was enthralled by the great iconic roles he not only created – but continued to own decades later,” Jackson continued. “There will never be another Christopher Lee. He has a unique place in the history of cinema and in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.”

“The world will be a lesser place without him in it,” the 53-year-old filmmaker concluded. “An icon of cinema has passed into legend.”

Read the full tribute here:

It is with tremendous sadness that I learnt of the passing of Sir Christopher Lee. He was 93 years old, had not been in his usual good health for some time, but his spirit remained, as always, indomitable.

Christopher spoke seven languages; he was in every sense, a man of the world; well versed in art, politics, literature, history and science. He was scholar, a singer, an extraordinary raconteur and of course, a marvelous actor. One of my favourite things to do whenever I came to London would be to visit with Christopher and Gitte where he would regale me for hours with stories about his extraordinary life. I loved to listen to them and he loved to tell them – they were made all the more compelling because they were true – stories from his time with the SAS, through the Second World War, to the Hammer Horror years and later, his work with Tim Burton – of which he was enormously proud.

I was lucky enough to work with Chris on five films all told and it never ceased to be a thrill to see him on set. I remember him saying on my 40th Birthday (he was 80 at the time), “You’re half the man I am”.  Being half the man Christopher Lee is, is more than I could ever hope for. He was a true gentleman, in an era that no longer values gentleman.

I grew up loving Christopher Lee movies. For most of my life I was enthralled by the great iconic roles he not only created – but continued to own decades later. But somewhere along the way Christopher Lee suddenly, and magically, dissolved away and he became my friend, Chris.  And I loved Chris even more.

There will never be another Christopher Lee. He has a unique place in the history of cinema and in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.

The world will be a lesser place without him in it.

My deepest sympathies to Gitte and to his family and friends.

Rest in peace, Chris.

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