Lee in 2013.
|Born||Christopher Frank Carandini Lee
27 May 1922 
Belgravia, Westminster, London, England, UK
|Residence||Tufnell Park, London, England|
|Alma mater||Wellington College|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, author|
|Influenced||Tim Burton, George Lucas, Peter Jackson. Dan Woolford|
|Home town||London, England|
|Height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Birgit Krøncke (m. 1961)|
|Children||Christina Erika Carandini Lee|
|Relatives||Ian Fleming (step-cousin)
Harriet Walter (niece)
Marie Carandini (great-grandmother)
Robert E. Lee (distant relative)
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ, (born 27 May 1922) is an English actor and singer. Lee initially portrayed villains and became best known for his role as Count Dracula in a string of popular Hammer Horror films. Other notable roles include Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003) and The Hobbit film trilogy (2012–2014), and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (2002, 2005).
He was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009, and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011. Lee considers his most important role to be that of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah (1998), and his best role to be Lord Summerisle in the British cult classic The Wicker Man (1973), which he also considers his best film.
Always noted as an actor for his deep, strong voice, he has, more recently, also taken to using his singing ability, recording various opera and musical pieces between 1986 and 1998 and the symphonic metal album Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross in 2010 after having worked with several metal bands since 2005. The heavy metal follow-up titled Charlemagne: The Omens of Death is scheduled for a release on 27 May 2013. He was honoured with the "Spirit of Metal" award in the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden God awards ceremony.
Early life 
Lee was born in Belgravia, Westminster, London, as the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Trollope Lee, of the 60th King's Royal Rifle Corps, and his wife, Contessa Estelle Marie (née Carandini di Sarzano). Lee's mother was a famous Edwardian beauty who was painted by Sir John Lavery as well as by Oswald Birley and Olive Snell, and sculpted by Clare F. Sheridan. Lee's maternal great-grandfather was an Italian political refugee, whose wife, Lee's great-grandmother, was English-born opera singer Marie Carandini (née Burgess).
His parents separated when he was very young, and his mother took him and his sister to Switzerland. After enrolling in Miss Fisher's Academy in Wengen, he played his first villainous role as Rumpelstiltskin. The family returned to London, where Lee attended Wagner's private school. His mother then married Harcourt "Ingle" Rose, a banker and step-cousin of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels. Lee spent some time at Summer Fields School, a preparatory school in Oxford (notable for sending many alumni to Eton). Lee applied unsuccessfully for a scholarship to Eton, although the interview was to prove portentous because of the presence of the noted ghost story author M.R. James. Lee later claimed in his autobiography that James had cut a very impressive figure. Sixty years later Lee played the part of M.R. James for the BBC.
|“||James was at that time nick-named 'Black Mouse', derived in part from his faintly sinister black cape and mortar board, and part from his habit of mewing unexpectedly at recalcitrant pupils. I cannot in all honesty say that at the time I was wholly displeased in failing to secure a scholarship; in many ways it was a relief. But I do know this: few men have created such a profound impression upon me, and I partially attribute my lifelong interest in the occult to my subsequent discovery of the horror stories penned by that most intriguing and intimidating of men.||”|
Service in World War II 
Initially, Lee volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War in 1939. He and other British volunteers were kept away from actual fighting, but he was issued winter gear and was posted on guard duty a safe distance from the front lines. He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force and intelligence services during World War II, including serving as an intelligence officer with the Long Range Desert Group in Northern Africa. He trained in South Africa as a pilot, but eyesight problems forced him to drop out. He eventually ended up stationed in North Africa as a Cipher Officer for No. 260 Squadron RAF and was with it through the campaigns in Sicily and Italy. He has mentioned serving in Special Operations Executive but has always declined to go into details.
|“||I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden – former, present, or future – to discuss any specific operations. Let's just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read in to that what they like.||”|
After the war, Lee, who can speak fluent French and German, among other languages, was seconded to the Central Registry of War Criminals and Security Suspects. Here, he was tasked with helping to track down Nazi war criminals. Of his time with the organisation, Lee has said: "We were given dossiers of what they'd done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority ... We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not." Lee then retired from the RAF after the end of the war with the rank of Flight Lieutenant to take up acting.
Acting career 
Early career 
In 1947, Lee gained a seven-year contract with the Rank Organisation after discussing his interest in acting with his mother's second cousin Nicolò Carandini, the Italian Ambassador. Carandini told Lee that performance was in his blood, as his great-grandmother Marie Carandini had been a successful opera singer, a fact of which Lee was unaware. He made his film debut in Terence Young's Gothic romance Corridor of Mirrors in 1947. He was a student at the Rank "charm school".
Also in 1947, Lee made an uncredited appearance in Laurence Olivier's film version of Hamlet as a spear carrier (marking his first film with frequent co-star and close friend Peter Cushing, who played Osric). In 1951 he appeared in Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. as a Spanish Captain. He was cast when the director asked him if he could speak Spanish and fence, which he could. He recalls that his breakthrough came in 1952 when Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. began making films at the British National Studios. He said in 2006, "I was cast in various roles in 16 of them and even appeared with Buster Keaton and it proved an excellent training ground." Also in 1952 he appeared in John Huston's Oscar-nominated Moulin Rouge. Throughout the next decade, he made nearly 30 films, playing mostly stock action characters.
Lee's first film for Hammer was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), in which he played Frankenstein's monster, with Cushing as the Baron. When he arrived at a casting session for the film, "they asked me if I wanted the part, I said yes and that was that." A little later, Lee co-starred with Boris Karloff in the film Corridors of Blood (1958), but Lee's own appearance as Frankenstein's monster led to his first appearance as the Transylvanian vampire in the 1958 film Dracula (known as Horror of Dracula in the United States). In 1959, Lee played in another film called "My Uncle is a Vampire".
Lee returned to the role of Dracula in Hammer's Dracula: Prince of Darkness in 1965. Lee's performance is notable in that he has no lines, merely hissing his way through the film. Again, stories vary as to the reason for this: Lee states he refused to speak the poor dialogue he was given, but screenwriter Jimmy Sangster claims that the script did not contain any lines for the character. This film set the standard for most of the Dracula sequels in the sense that half the film's running time was spent on telling the story of Dracula's resurrection and the character's appearances were brief. Lee has gone on record to state that he was virtually "blackmailed" by Hammer into starring in the subsequent films; unable or unwilling to pay him his going rate, they would resort to reminding him of how many people he would put out of work if he did not take part.
|“||The process went like this: The telephone would ring and my agent would say, "Jimmy Carreras [President of Hammer Films] has been on the phone, they've got another Dracula for you." And I would say, "Forget it! I don't want to do another one." I'd get a call from Jimmy Carreras, in a state of hysteria. "What's all this about?!" "Jim, I don't want to do it, and I don't have to do it." "No, you have to do it!" And I said, "Why?" He replied, "Because I've already sold it to the American distributor with you playing the part. Think of all the people you know so well, that you will put out of work!" Emotional blackmail. That's the only reason I did them.||”|
His roles in the films Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), and Scars of Dracula (1970) all gave the Count very little to do, but were all commercially successful. Although Lee may not have liked what Hammer was doing with the character, worldwide audiences embraced the films, which are now considered classics of the genre. Lee starred in two further Dracula films for Hammer in the early 1970s, both of which attempted to bring the character into the modern-day era. These were not commercially successful.
Lee's other work for Hammer included The Mummy (1959). Lee portrayed Rasputin in Rasputin, the Mad Monk (Lee apparently met Rasputin's assassin Felix Yussupov when he was a child) and Sir Henry Baskerville (to Cushing's Sherlock Holmes) in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). Lee later played Holmes himself in 1962's Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, and returned to Holmes films with Billy Wilder's British-made The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), in which he plays Sherlock's smarter brother, Mycroft. Lee played a leading role in the German film The Puzzle of the Red Orchid (1962), speaking German, which he had learned during his education in Switzerland. He auditioned for a part in the 1962 film The Longest Day, but was turned down because he did not "look like a military man". Some film books incorrectly credit him with a role in the film, something he has to correct to the present day.
He was responsible for bringing the acclaimed occult author Dennis Wheatley to Hammer. The company made two films from Wheatley's novels, both starring Lee. The first, The Devil Rides Out (1967), is generally considered to be one of Hammer's crowning achievements. According to Lee, Wheatley was so pleased with it that he offered the actor the film rights to his remaining black magic novels free of charge. However, the second film, To the Devil a Daughter (1976), was fraught with production difficulties and was disowned by its author. Although financially successful, it was Hammer's last horror film and marked the end of Lee's long association with the studio that brought him fame.
Like Cushing, Lee also appeared in horror films for other companies during the 20-year period from 1957 to 1977. Other films in which Lee performed include the series of Fu Manchu films made between 1965 and 1969, in which he starred as the villain in heavy oriental make-up; I, Monster (1971), in which he played Jekyll and Hyde; The Creeping Flesh (1972); and his personal favourite, The Wicker Man (1973), in which he played Lord Summerisle. Lee was attracted to the latter role by screenwriter Anthony Shaffer and apparently gave his services for free, as the budget was so small.
|“||I had no idea that was what it was when I agreed to the role. I was told it was about the Marquis de Sade. I flew out to Spain for one day's work playing the part of a narrator. I had to wear a crimson dinner jacket. There were lots of people behind me. They all had their clothes on. There didn't seem to be anything peculiar or strange. A friend said: 'Do you know you are in a film in Old Compton Street?' In those days that was where the mackintosh brigade watched their films. 'Very funny,' I said. So I crept along there heavily disguised in dark glasses and scarf, and found the cinema and there was my name. I was furious! There was a huge row. When I had left Spain that day everyone behind me had taken their clothes off!||”|
In addition to doing films in the United Kingdom, Lee did films in mainland Europe: he appeared in two German films, Count Dracula, where he again played the vampire count, and The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism. Other films in Europe he made include Castle of the Living Dead and Horror Express.
In 1973 Lee appeared as the Compte de Rochefort in Richard Lester's Three Musketeers, and in 1974 in the Four Musketeers, Milady's Revenge which was actually shot at the same time. Although 'killed' in the latter film he reprised the role in The Return of the Musketeers in 1989.
Since the mid-1970s, Lee has eschewed horror roles almost entirely. Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond spy novels and Lee's step-cousin, had offered him the role of the titular antagonist in the first Eon-produced Bond film Dr. No. Lee enthusiastically accepted, but the producers had already chosen Joseph Wiseman for the part. In 1974, Lee finally got to play a James Bond villain when he was cast as the deadly assassin Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun.
Because of his filming schedule in Bangkok, film director Ken Russell was unable to sign Lee to play the Specialist in Tommy (1975). That role was eventually given to Jack Nicholson. In an AMC documentary on Halloween, John Carpenter states that he offered the role of Samuel Loomis to Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee before Donald Pleasence took the role. Years later, Lee met Carpenter and told him that the biggest regret of his career was not taking the role of Dr. Loomis.
Lee appeared on the cover of the 1973 Wings album Band on the Run, along with others including chat show host Michael Parkinson, film actor James Coburn, world boxing champion John Conteh and broadcaster Clement Freud.
|“||Peter and Vincent made some wonderful serious movies but are only known for horror. That was why I went to America. I couldn't see anything happening here except a continuation of what had gone before. A couple of friends, Dick Widmark and Billy Wilder, told me I had to get away from London otherwise I would always be typecast.||”|
His first American film was the disaster film Airport '77. In 1978, Lee surprised many people with his willingness to go along with a joke by appearing as guest host on NBC's Saturday Night Live. He turned down the role of Dr. Barry Rumack in the 1980 disaster spoof Airplane!.
In 1982, Lee appeared in The Return of Captain Invincible. In this film, Lee plays a fascist who plans to rid America (and afterwards, the world) of all non-whites. Lee sings on two tracks in the film ("Name Your Poison" and "Mister Midnight"), written by Richard O'Brien (who had written The Rocky Horror Picture Show seven years previously) and Richard Hartley. In 1985, he appeared alongside Reb Brown and Sybil Danning in Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch. Lee made his latest appearances to date as Sherlock Holmes in 1991's Incident at Victoria Falls and 1992's Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady.
In addition to more than a dozen feature films together for Hammer Films, Amicus Productions and other companies, Lee and Peter Cushing both appeared in Hamlet (1948) and Moulin Rouge (1952) albeit in separate scenes; and in separate instalments of the Star Wars films, Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin in the original film, Lee decades later as Count Dooku. The last project which united them in person was a documentary, Flesh and Blood: The Hammer Heritage of Horror (1994), which they jointly narrated. It was the last time they saw each other as Cushing died two months later. While they frequently played off each other as mortal enemies onscreen—Lee's Count Dracula to Cushing's Professor Van Helsing—they were close friends in real life.
In 1998, Lee starred in the role of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of modern Pakistan, in the film Jinnah. While talking about his favourite role in film at a press conference at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, he declared that his role in Jinnah was by far his best performance.
He has had many television roles, including that of Flay in the BBC television miniseries, based on Mervyn Peake's novels, Gormenghast (2000), and Stefan Wyszyński in the CBS film John Paul the Second (2005). He played Lucas de Beaumanoir, the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, in the BBC/A&E co-production of Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe (1997). He played a role in the made-for-TV series La Révolution française (1989) in part 2, "Les Années Terribles", as the executioner, Sanson, who beheaded Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Robespierre and others. In 1967 he starred in an episode of The Avengers entitled "Never, Never Say Die."
Lee played Saruman in the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. In the commentary, he states he had a decades-long dream to play Gandalf but that he was now too old and his physical limitations prevented his being considered. The role of Saruman, by contrast, required no horseback riding and much less fighting. Lee had met J.R.R. Tolkien once (making him the only person in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy to have done so) and makes a habit of reading the novels at least once a year. In addition, he performed for the album The Lord of the Rings: Songs and Poems by J.R.R. Tolkien in 2003. Lee's appearance in the final film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, was cut from the theatrical release, but the scene was reinstated in the extended edition.
The Lord of the Rings marked the beginning of a major career revival that continued in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), in which he played the villainous Count Dooku. His autobiography states that he did much of the swordplay himself, though a double was required for the more vigorous footwork.
Lee is one of the favourite actors of Tim Burton and has become a regular in many of Burton's films, having now worked for the director five times since 1999. He had a small role as the Burgomaster in the film Sleepy Hollow. In 2005, Lee then went on to voice the character of Pastor Galswells in Corpse Bride co-directed by Burton and Mike Johnson and play a small role in the Burton's reimagining of the Roald Dahl tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as Willy Wonka's strict dentist father Dr. Wilbur Wonka.
In 2007, Lee collaborated with Burton on Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, playing the spirit of Sweeney Todd's victims called the Gentleman Ghost alongside Anthony Head, with both singing "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd", its reprises and the Epilogue. These songs were recorded, but eventually cut since Burton felt that the songs were too theatrical for the film. Lee's appearance was completely cut from the film, but Head still has an uncredited one-line cameo. In 2008, he was offered the role of King Balor in Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army but had to turn it down due to prior commitments.
In late November 2009, Lee narrated the Science Fiction Festival in Trieste, Italy. Also in 2009, Lee starred in Stephen Poliakoff's British period drama Glorious 39 with Julie Christie, Bill Nighy, Romola Garai and David Tennant, Academy Award-nominated director Danis Tanović's war film Triage with Colin Farrell and Paz Vega, and Duncan Ward's comedy Boogie Woogie alongside Amanda Seyfried, Gillian Anderson, Stellan Skarsgård and Joanna Lumley.
2010 onwards 
In 2010, Lee marked his fourth collaboration with Tim Burton by voicing the Jabberwocky in Burton's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic book Alice in Wonderland alongside Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. While he only had two lines, Burton said that he felt Lee to be a good match for the iconic character because he is "an iconic guy".
In 2011, he appeared in a Hammer film for the first time in thirty-five years, the last being 1976's To the Devil a Daughter. The film was called The Resident and he appeared alongside Hilary Swank and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Whilst filming scenes for the film in New Mexico in early 2009, Lee injured his back when he tripped over power cables on set. He had to undergo surgery and as a result was unable to play the role of Sir Lachlan Morrison in The Wicker Tree, the sequel to The Wicker Man. Very disappointed, director Robin Hardy recast the role but Lee was determined to appear in the film, so Hardy wrote a small scene specially for him. Lee appears as the unnamed "Old Gentleman" who acts as Lachlan's mentor in a flashback. Hardy has stated that fans of The Wicker Man will recognise this character as Lord Summerisle, but Lee himself has contradicted this, stating that they are two unrelated characters. Also in 2011, Lee appeared in the critically acclaimed Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese.
On 11 January 2011, Lee announced on his website that he would be reprising the role of Saruman for the prequel film The Hobbit. Lee had originally said he would have liked to have shown Saruman's corruption by Sauron, but would not be comfortable flying to New Zealand at his age. Lee went on to say that if a film were made, he would love to voice Smaug, as it would mean he could record his part in England and not have to travel. A July 2011 behind-the-scenes featurette showed Jackson at the Pinewood Studios in London and Lee in make-up and costume as Saruman, so it would seem that production has been adjusted to accommodate Lee's travel concerns and allow him to participate in the film. Lee has stated that he worked on his role for the films over the course of four days and that he is portraying Saruman as a kind and noble wizard, before his subsequent fall into darkness, which audiences have seen in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
Voice work 
Lee is fluent in English, Italian, French, Spanish and German, and moderately proficient in Swedish, Russian and Greek. He was the original voice of Thor in the German dubs in the Danish 1986 animated film Valhalla, and of King Haggard in both the English and German dubs of the 1982 animated adaptation of The Last Unicorn.
Lee provided the off-camera voice of "U. N. Owen", the mysterious host who brings disparate characters together in Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians (1965). The film was produced by Harry Alan Towers, for whom Lee had worked repeatedly in the 1960s. Even though he is not credited on the film, the voice is unmistakable. He also provided all the voices for the English dub of Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953).
He contributed his voice as Death in the animated versions of Terry Pratchett's Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters and reprised the role in the Sky1 live action adaptation The Colour of Magic, taking over the role from the late Ian Richardson.
Lee provided the voice for the role of Ansem the Wise/DiZ in the video games Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days but veteran voice actor Corey Burton took over for Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, and Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance. He was the voice of Lucan D'Lere in the trailers for EverQuest II.
Lee reprised his role as Saruman in the video game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth along with the other actors of the films. He also narrated and sang for the Danish musical group The Tolkien Ensemble, taking the role of Treebeard, King Théoden and others in the readings or singing of their respective poems or songs. In 2007, he voiced the transcript of The Children of Húrin, by J.R.R. Tolkien for the audiobook version of the novel.
In 2005, Lee provided the voice of the Pastor Galswells in The Corpse Bride co-directed by Tim Burton and Mike Johnson. He served as the narrator on The Nightmare Before Christmas's poem written by Tim Burton as well. Lee reprised his role as Count Dooku in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars 2008 animated film but Corey Burton took his place for the character in the TV series. In 2010, he collaborated again with Tim Burton, this time by voicing the Jabberwocky in Burton's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic book Alice in Wonderland.
Lee has been signed by Falcon Picture Group to host the syndicated radio series "Mystery Theatre", a nightly two-hour program featuring classic radio mystery shows. The programme is distributed by Syndication Networks Corporation with a launch date of 2 March 2009.
Music career 
With his classically-trained bass voice, Lee sings on the The Wicker Man soundtrack, performing Paul Giovanni's psych folk composition, "The Tinker of Rye". He sings the closing credits song of the 1994 horror film Funny Man. His most notable musical work on film, however, appears in the superhero comedy/rock musical The Return of Captain Invincible (1983) in which Lee performs a song and dance number called "Name Your Poison", written by Richard O'Brien. Lee appears on Peter Knight and Bob Johnson's (from Steeleye Span) 1970s concept album The King of Elfland's Daughter. In the 1980s, during the height of Italo Disco, he provided vocals to Kathy Joe Daylor's song "Little Witch".
He first came in touch with metal music by singing a duet with Fabio Lione, the lead vocalist of the Italian symphonic power metal band Rhapsody of Fire, on the single "The Magic of the Wizard's Dream" from the Symphony of Enchanted Lands II album. Later he appeared as a narrator on the band's four albums Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret, Triumph or Agony, The Frozen Tears of Angels and From Chaos to Eternity as well as on the EP The Cold Embrace of Fear – A Dark Romantic Symphony, portraying the Wizard King. He also worked with Manowar while they were recording a new version of their first album, Battle Hymns. The original voice was done by Orson Welles. The new album, Battle Hymns MMXI, was released on 26 November 2010.
In 2006, he bridged two disparate genres of music by performing a heavy metal variation of the Toreador Song from the opera Carmen with the band Inner Terrestrials. The song was featured on his album Revelation in 2007. The same year, he produced a music video for his cover version of the song "My Way".
His first complete metal album was Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, which was critically acclaimed and awarded with the "Spirit of Metal" award from the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods ceremony. It was released on 15 March 2010. In June 2012, he released a music video for the song "The Bloody Verdict of Verden".
On his 90th Birthday (27 May 2012) he announced the release of his new single "Let Legend Mark Me as the King" from his upcoming album Charlemagne: The Omens of Death, signifying his move onto "full on" heavy metal. That makes him the oldest performer in the history of the genre. The music was arranged by Richie Faulkner from the band Judas Priest and features World Guitar Idol Champion, Hedras Ramos.
In December 2012 he released an EP of heavy metal covers of Christmas songs called A Heavy Metal Christmas.
In 1997, he was appointed a Commander of the Venerable Order of Saint John. On 16 June 2001, as part of that year's Queen's Birthday Honours, Lee was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire "for services to Drama". He was made a Knight Bachelor "For services to Drama and to Charity" on 13 June as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2009. He was knighted by Prince Charles, but because of his age he was excused the usual requirement to kneel and received the knighthood whilst standing. Lee was named 2005's 'most marketable star in the world' in a USA Today newspaper poll, after three of the films he appeared in grossed US$640 million. In 2011, Lee was awarded the BAFTA Academy Fellowship by Tim Burton.
In 2011, accompanied by his wife Birgit and on the 164th anniversary of the birth of Bram Stoker, Lee was honoured with a tribute by University College Dublin, and described his honorary life membership of the UCD Law Society as "in some ways as special as the Oscars". He was awarded the Bram Stoker Gold Medal by the Trinity College Philosophical Society, of which Stoker was President, and a copy of Collected Ghost Stories of MR James by Trinity College's School of English. The government of France made him a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 2011.
Personal life 
The Carandinis, Lee's maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Cinemareview cites: "Cardinal Consalvi was Papal Secretary of State at the time of Napoleon and is buried at the Pantheon in Rome next to the painter Raphael. His painting, by Lawrence, hangs in Windsor Castle".
He has been married to former Danish model Birgit "Gitte" Lee since 1961. They have a daughter named Christina Erika Carandini Lee, who married Juan Francisco Aneiros Rodriguez in July 2001. Lee is also the uncle of the British actress Dame Harriet Walter. Both Christopher Lee and his daughter Christina provided spoken vocals in Rhapsody of Fire's album From Chaos to Eternity.
Contrary to popular belief, Lee does not have a vast library of occult books. When giving a speech at the University College Dublin on 8 November 2011 he said: "Somebody wrote I have 20,000 books. I'd have to live in a bath! I have maybe four or five."
Known for his imposing height, Lee currently stands 6 ft 4 in tall, having lost an inch in height. Lee and his wife Birgit have been listed as among the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013.
- Christopher Lee's Treasury of Terror, edited by Russ Jones, illustrated by Mort Drucker & others, Pyramid Books, 1966
- Christopher Lee's New Chamber of Horrors, Souvenir Press, 1974
- Christopher Lee's Archives of Terror, Warner Books, Volume I, 1975; Volume 2, 1976
- Tall, Dark and Gruesome (autobiography), W.H. Allen, 1977 and 1999
- The Hammer Story: The Authorised History of Hammer Films, by Marcus Hearn and Alan Barnes, Titan Books, 1997 and 2007 - Foreword by Christopher Lee
- Christopher Lee: The Authorised Screen History by Jonathan Rigby, Reynolds & Hearn, 2001 and 2003
- The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare by Chris Smith, HarperCollins, 2003 - Foreword by Christopher Lee
- Lord of Misrule (autobiography, a revised and expanded edition of Tall, Dark and Gruesome), Orion Publishing Group Ltd., 2004
- Dans les griffes de la Hammer by Nicolas Stanzick, Le Bord de l'eau Editions, Paris, 2010.
- Sir Christopher Lee by Laurent Aknin, Nouveau Monde Éditions, Paris, 2011.
- Monsters in the Movies: 100 Years of Cinematic Nightmares, by John Landis, DK Publishing, 2011 - Interview with Christopher Lee
- Le Seigneur du désordre (autobiography, a French version of Lord of Misrule), Christopher Lee, Camion Blanc (Coll. "Camion Noir"), 2013.
- Christopher Lee Sings Devils, Rogues & Other Villains (1998)
- Revelation (2006)
- Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross (2010)
- Charlemagne: The Omens of Death (2013)
- A Heavy Metal Christmas (2012)
- Let Legend Mark Me as the King (2012)
- The Ultimate Sacrifice (2012)
Guest appearances 
- The Wicker Man soundtrack (1973)
- Hammer Presents "Dracula" With Christopher Lee (EMI NTS 186 UK/Capitol ST-11340 USA, 1974)
- The Soldier's Tale by Stravinsky, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Lionel Friend (Nimbus, 1986)
- Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, with the English String Orchestra conducted by Yehudi Menuhin (Nimbus, 1989)
- Annie Get Your Gun (1995)
- The Rocky Horror Show (1995)
- The King and I (1998)
- Musicality of Lerner and Loewe (2002)
- Lord of the Rings: Songs and Poems by J. R. R. Tolkien (2003)
- Symphony of Enchanted Lands II – The Dark Secret (2004)
- Triumph or Agony (2006)
- Edgar Allan Poe Projekt - Visionen (2006), recites the poem "The Raven" and sings the song "Elenore"
- The Frozen Tears of Angels (2010)
- The Cold Embrace of Fear – A Dark Romantic Symphony (2010)
- Battle Hymns MMXI (2010)
- From Chaos to Eternity (2011)
- "Biography – Christopher Lee – Official Website". Christopherleeweb.com. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
- "Biography for Christopher Lee". imdb.
- "Christopher Lee Height |". Bio27.com. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Christopher Lee Height – compare yourself to him!". Filmbug. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
- "Christopher Lee: a giant among actors". The Times. 20 November 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- "Hammer Horror star Lee knighted". BBC. Retrieved 7 May 2012
- "Christopher Lee to receive Bafta Fellowship". BBC. Retrieved 7 May 2012
- Christopher Lee talks about his favourite role, in press conference at Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival 21 March 2002 (YouTube video)
- Farrell, John (28 May 2012). "Christopher Lee Celebrates 90th Birthday By Recording Heavy Metal". Forbes. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
- "Christopher Lee Biography (1922–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- "Merchant of menace". The Daily Telegraph (London). 19 May 2002. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
- Christopher Lee playing M.R. James for the BBC in 2000, YouTube video
- "Christopher Lee biography". Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- Lord of the Rings DVD, audio commentary
- "Sir Christopher Lee interview". The Telegraph. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
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- "A prolific star of the Elstree screen". Boreham Wood & Elstree Times. 16 February 2006. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
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- Hardy, Robin. "RM-051.mp3 (audio/mpeg Object)". Rue Morgue Radio. Retrieved 12 April 2012. "Well, it is very ambiguous. We don't really know who he is. He's an antecedent, of some kind, of Lachlan's. Lachlan remembers him, when he was a boy. There's a boy painting a bridge, and it may have been Lachlan as a young person. He's remembering this grandfather figure, or this great-grandfather figure – whatever – who the people who are fans of The Wicker Man and the wicker [inaudible], if you like, will of course immediately recognise as Summerisle. But we don't give him a name or anthing. I think in the credits he's just called the old man."
- Lee, Christopher (27 December 2011). "Christopher Lee 2011 Christmas Message Part 1". Retrieved 11 April 2012. "The first one that I can think of is The Wicker Tree, in which I make a very brief appearance. I must emphasise this is not a sequel to The Wicker Man. In no way. And I do not play an older Summerisle, or his son, or whatever."
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Christopher Lee|
- Official website
- Christopher Lee at the Internet Movie Database
- Christopher Lee at the TCM Movie Database
- Christopher Lee at the British Film Institute's Screenonline
- Christopher Lee at AllRovi
- 2006 article from The Spectator
- Christopher Lee on the making of legends and Jinnah
- Bizarre Magazine interview
- Concerning his role in The Lord of the Rings movies
- Guardian Unlimited Profile
- Starwars.com interview in which he mentions work with SOE
- Christopher Lee interview 2007
- Christopher Lee at FEARnet