Saturday, October 22, 2022




1. A belligerent or mean person; a person with an unpleasantly extreme appearance, attitudes, or behavior.
2. A person considered impressive due to courage, skill, and/or toughness.

- Wiktionary



Recognise this man? . . .

They are all roles of Christopher Lee:
The Man With the Golden Gun (James Bond)
Lord Summersile in The Wicker Man
Suraman, Lord of the Rings
Count Dooku, final 2 films of the Star Wars prequel triology.

Some facts and comments:

Born 1922, died 2015

Lee's father fought in the Boer War and First World War, and his mother was an Edwardian beauty. Lee's parents separated when he was four and divorced two years later.

His mother married Harcourt George St-Croix Rose, a banker and uncle of Ian Fleming. Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, thus became Lee's step-cousin. The character of James Bond is supposed to be part based on Lee.

At age 17, and with one year left at school, the summer term of 1939 was his last. His step-father had gone bankrupt, owing £25,000. His mother separated from Rose, and Lee had to get a job. He was sent temporarily to France to be with his sister. On his way there he stopped briefly in Paris and witnessed the execution of Eugen Weidmann (German criminal and serial killer) by guillotine – the last public execution performed in France.

When the Second World War broke out in 1939, Lee enrolled in a military academy and volunteered to fight for the Finnish Army against the Soviet Union during the Winter War. He and other British volunteers were kept away from the actual fighting, but they were issued with winter gear and were posted on guard duty a safe distance from the border. After two weeks in Finland, they returned home. In a later interview, Lee stated that he knew how to shoot but not how to ski and that he probably would not be alive if he had been allowed to go to the front line.

After his father died in 1941, realising that he had no inclination to follow his father into the Army, Lee decided to join up while he still had some choice of service, and volunteered for the Royal Air Force.

Lee was having his penultimate training session before his first solo flight, when he suffered from headaches and blurred vision. The medical officer hesitantly diagnosed a failure of his optic nerve, and he was told he would never be allowed to fly again. His appeals were unsuccessful and he was posted to Rhodesia.

Lee applied to join RAF Intelligence. His superiors praised his initiative, and he was seconded into the British South Africa Police and was posted as a warder at Salisbury Prison. He was then promoted to leading aircraftman. Leaving South Africa, he sailed from Durban to Suez.

Lee spent time with the Gurkhas of the 8th Indian Infantry Division during the Battle of Monte Cassino.

While spending some time on leave in Naples, Lee climbed Mount Vesuvius, which erupted three days later.

During the final assault on Monte Cassino, the squadron was based in San Angelo and Lee was nearly killed when one of the planes crashed on takeoff and he tripped over one of its live bombs.

After the war ended, he was admitted to Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects and was assigned the task of tracking down Nazi war criminals.

In 1947, he entered the film industry and earned a seven-year contract with Rank Organization. He got enrolled at an acting school for Rank Organization where aspiring actors were being groomed for stardom. Soon, he made his film debut in Terence Young’s Corridors of Mirrors, a gothic romance.

1952 proved to be a turning point in his career as Douglas Fairbanks Jr. started making films at the British National Studios. In the same year, he appeared in John Huston’s Moulin Rouge, which was later nominated for Oscars.

In 1959, he starred in Hammer’s The Mummy and then portrayed Rasputin in Rasputin, the Mad Monk. In the same year, he also played the role of Sir Henry Baskerville in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

In 1962, he appeared in Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace. He then played the leading role in a German film titled The Puzzle of the Red Orchid.

Lee released a heavy metal album at the age of 88; has won awards for his metal music; the single he released on his 90th birthday made him the genre’s oldest performer; he had a song in the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2013 making him — at 91 — the living oldest performer to ever chart; he released an EP at 92.

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