Legendary British actor Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93 after being hospitalised for respiratory problems and heart failure, according to The Guardian.
Although the actor passed away at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on Sunday morning, the news was withheld from the press due to his wife’s desire to inform family members first.
The veteran actor, who is perhaps best known to local audiences for playing the titular role in Jamil Dehalvi’s biopic of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, enjoyed a diverse career in films ranging from Dracula to The Wicker Tree to the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
Although his role as Dracula established him as a star, it was his later roles that were some of the best in his career. He became a franchise favourite, bagging roles in Star Wars (as Count Dooku) and The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (as Saruman).
Lee was also a frequent collaborator with Tim Burton, and his films like Alice in Wonderland and Sleepy Hollow were particularly well-received.
Lee’s favourite role, however, was Jinnah. “It is certainly the most important role I have ever played, because the responsibility on my shoulders was immense,” British newspaper quotes him as saying.
Lee was knighted in 2009 for his contributions to acting, but also branched out into music in his later life.
His next film was to be The 11th, a 9/11 drama in which he was to star opposite Uma Thurman. It was due to start filming in November.