Christopher Plummer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Christopher Plummer

Christopher Plummer 1964.jpg
Plummer in 1964 on the set of The Sound of Music
Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer

(1929-12-13)December 13, 1929
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedFebruary 5, 2021(2021-02-05) (aged 91)
Years active1946–2021
ChildrenAmanda Plummer
RelativesJohn Bethune
(great-great-great grandfather)
John Bethune the Younger
Joseph Abbott
John Abbott
F. B. Fetherstonhaugh
Janina Fialkowska
AwardsFull list

Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer CC (December 13, 1929 – February 5, 2021) was a Canadian actor. His career spanned seven decades, gaining recognition for his performances in film, television, and theatre. Plummer made his Broadway debut in 1954 and continued to act in leading roles on stage playing Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano (1974), Iago in Othello, as well as playing the titular roles in Hamlet at Elsinore (1964), Macbeth, King Lear, and Barrymore. Plummer also performed in stage productions J.B., No Man's Land, and Inherit the Wind.

Plummer was born in Toronto and grew up in Senneville, Quebec. After appearing on stage, he made his film debut in Sidney Lumet's Stage Struck (1958), and won great acclaim for his performance as Captain Georg von Trapp in the musical film The Sound of Music (1965) alongside Julie Andrews.[1] Plummer portrayed numerous major historical figures, including Commodus in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington in Waterloo (1970), Rudyard Kipling in The Man Who Would Be King (1975), Mike Wallace in The Insider (1999), Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station (2009), Kaiser Wilhelm II in The Exception (2016), and J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World (2017). Plummer also appeared in Spike Lee's Malcolm X (1992), Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind (2001), Terrence Malick's The New World (2005), David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Rian Johnson's Knives Out (2019), and Todd Robinson's The Last Full Measure (2019).

Plummer received various awards for his work, including an Academy Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe Award,[2] a Screen Actors Guild Award,[3] and a British Academy Film Award.[4] He is one of the few performers to have received the Triple Crown of Acting,[5] and the only Canadian. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor at the age of 82 for Beginners (2010), becoming the oldest person to win an acting award, and he received a nomination at the age of 88 for All the Money in the World, making him the oldest person to be nominated in an acting category.[6]

Early life[edit]

Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer was born on December 13, 1929, in Toronto, Ontario.[7] He was the only child of John Orme Plummer, who sold stocks and other securities,[8] and his wife Isabella Mary (née Abbott), who worked as secretary to the Dean of Sciences at McGill University, and was the granddaughter of Canadian Prime Minister Sir John Abbott.[9][10] On his father's side, Plummer's great-uncle was patent lawyer and agent F. B. Fetherstonhaugh.[8] Plummer was also a second cousin of British actor Nigel Bruce, known for portraying Doctor Watson to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes.[10]

Plummer's parents divorced shortly after his birth, and he was brought up mainly by his mother in the Abbott family home in Senneville, Quebec, on the western tip of Montreal island. He spoke English and French fluently.[11][12] As a schoolboy, he began studying to be a concert pianist, but developed a love for theatre at an early age, and began acting while he was attending the High School of Montreal.[13][14] He took up acting after watching Laurence Olivier's film Henry V (1944).[15][16] He learned the basics of acting as an apprentice with the Montreal Repertory Theatre, where fellow Montrealer William Shatner also played.[16]

Plummer never attended university, something he regretted all his life.[17] Although his mother and his father's family had ties with McGill University, he was never a McGill student.[18]

In 1946, he caught the attention of Montreal Gazette's theatre critic Herbert Whittaker with his performance as Mr Darcy in a Montreal High School production of Pride and Prejudice. Whittaker was also amateur stage director of the Montreal Repertory theatre, and he cast Plummer at age 18 as Oedipus in Jean Cocteau's La Machine infernale.[19][20][21]


Late 1940s and 1950s[edit]

Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1959

Plummer made his professional acting debut in 1948 with Ottawa's Stage Society after which he performed roles as an apprentice artist with the Montreal Repertory Theatre alongside fellow apprenticing actor William Shatner.[21] In 1952, he starred in a number of productions at the Bermudiana Theatre in the City of Hamilton, in the British colony of Bermuda where he was seen and recruited by a US producer, although he was reluctant to leave Bermuda.[22] Edward Everett Horton hired Plummer to appear as Gerard in the 1953 road show production of André Roussin's Nina,[23] a role originated on Broadway by David Niven in 1951.[24]

Plummer made his Canadian television debut in the February 1953 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation production of Othello, starring Lorne Greene as the Moor.[25] His American television debut was also in 1953 on a Studio One episode entitled "The Gathering Night", as an artist who finds success just as his eyesight begins to fail him. He also appeared throughout the 1950s on both dramatic showcase programs like The Alcoa Hour, General Electric Theater, Kraft Television Theatre, and Omnibus and episodic series. In 1956, he appeared with Jason Robards and Constance Ford in an episode entitled "A Thief There Was" of CBS's anthology series Appointment with Adventure.[26]

Plummer made his Broadway debut in January 1953 in The Starcross Story, a show that closed on opening night after a plagiarism lawsuit shut down the production.[27] His next Broadway appearance, Home is the Hero, lasted 30 performances from September to October 1954. He appeared in support of Broadway legend Katharine Cornell and film legend Tyrone Power in The Dark Is Light Enough, which lasted 69 performances from February to April 1955. The play toured several cities, with Plummer serving as Power's understudy.[10] Later that same year, he appeared in his first Broadway hit, opposite Julie Harris (who won a Tony Award) in Jean Anouilh's The Lark. After appearing in Night of the Auk, which was not a success, Plummer appeared in Elia Kazan's successful Broadway production of Archibald MacLeish's Pulitzer Prize-winning play J.B.; Plummer was nominated for his first Tony as Best Actor in Play. (J.B. also won Tonys as Best Play and for Kazan's direction.) He appeared as Jason opposite Dame Judith Anderson in Robinson Jeffers' adaptation of Medea at the Theatre Sara Bernhardt in Paris in 1955. The American National Theatre and Academy production, directed by Guthrie McClintic, was part of Le Festival International. Also in 1955, he played Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Ferdinand in The Tempest at the American Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, Connecticut). He returned to the American Shakespeare Festival in 1981 to play the title role in Henry V.[28]

Plummer made his debut at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 1956, playing the title role in Henry V, which subsequently was performed that year at the Edinburgh Festival. He played the title role in Hamlet and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night at Stratford in 1957. The following year, he played Leontes in The Winter's Tale, Bardolph in Henry IV, Part 1, and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing.[28]

Plummer's film career began in 1958 when Sidney Lumet cast him as a young writer in Stage Struck. That same year, Plummer played the lead in Nicholas Ray's film Wind Across the Everglades.[29] Also in 1958, he appeared in the live television drama Little Moon of Alban with Julie Harris, for which he received his first Emmy Award nomination.[30] He also appeared with Harris in the 1958 television adaptation of Johnny Belinda[31] and played Torvald Helmer to Harris' Nora in a 1959 television version of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House.[29]


Plummer starred in the television adaptations of Philip Barry's The Philadelphia Story (1959),[32] George Bernard Shaw's Captain Brassbound's Conversion (1960), Jean Anouilh's Time Remembered (playing the role of Prince Albert originated by Richard Burton on Broadway),[33] and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1962).[34] In 1964, his performance of the Gloomy Dane in the BBC production Hamlet at Elsinore garnered him his second Emmy nomination.[35]

At the Stratford Festival in 1960, he played Philip the Bastard in King John and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. In 1962 at Stratford, he played the title roles in both Cyrano de Bergerac and Macbeth, returning in 1967 to play Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra.[28][36]

In April 1961, he appeared as Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing with the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He also appeared with the RSC in May 1961 in the lead role of Richard III. He made his London debut on June 11, 1961, playing King Henry II in Jean Anouilh's Becket with the RSC at the Aldwych Theatre, directed by Peter Hall. The production later transferred to the Globe for a December 1961 to April 1962 run.[28] For his performance, Plummer won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor.[37]

In 1963, he was the subject of a short National Film Board of Canada documentary, 30 Minutes, Mister Plummer, directed by Anne Claire Poirier.[38] Plummer did not appear on the film screen for six years after 1958 until he played the Roman emperor Commodus in Anthony Mann's epic The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964).[29] He played Hamlet in a four-hundred centenary television production Hamlet at Elsinore, produced by Danish and British BBC TV (1964), taped at Elsinore Castle.[39]

His next film, the Oscar-winning The Sound of Music, made cinematic history, becoming the all-time top-grossing film, eclipsing Gone with the Wind.[40]

He was in Inside Daisy Clover (1965), then played World War Two agent Eddie Chapman in Triple Cross (1966), and had a supporting role as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in The Night of the Generals (1967). Plummer was cast to replace Rex Harrison for the film adaptation of Doctor Dolittle. This decision was later reversed, but Plummer was nonetheless paid $87,500 for signing the contract. At the same time, Plummer was performing in the stage play The Royal Hunt of the Sun and his whole Dolittle participation was so brief that Plummer never missed a performance.[41]

Plummer had the title role in Oedipus the King (1968) and The High Commissioner (1968), playing an Australian in the latter. Plummer was one of many stars in Battle of Britain (1969), and the lead in a musical, Lock Up Your Daughters (1969).[32]

Plummer appeared less frequently on Broadway in the 1960s as he moved from New York to London. He appeared in the title role in a 1963 production of Bertolt Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,[28] which did not succeed, but he had a great success in Peter Shaffer's The Royal Hunt of the Sun, playing conquistador Francisco Pizarro to David Carradine's Atahuallpa. Both performances were "stunning," as Plummer did wonders "of extraordinary beauty and deep pain" in playing his complex character.[42] In the 1969 film adaptation of The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Plummer plays the Inca Emperor Atahualpa to Robert Shaw's Pizarro.[43]

The Sound of Music[edit]

Plummer remains widely known for his portrayal of Captain Von Trapp due to the box office success and continued popularity of The Sound of Music (1965), which he once described as "so awful and sentimental and gooey".[44] He found all aspects of making the film unpleasant, except working with Andrews, and he avoided using its name, instead calling it "that movie", "S&M", or "The Sound of Mucus".[45] He declined to attend the 40th Anniversary cast reunion,[46] but he did provide commentary on the 2005 DVD release.[47] He relented for the 45th anniversary and appeared with the full cast on The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 28, 2010.[48]

In 2009, Plummer said that he was "a bit bored with the character" of Captain von Trapp. "Although we worked hard enough to make him interesting, it was a bit like flogging a dead horse. And the subject matter is not mine. I mean, it can't appeal to every person in the world."[1] However, he admitted that the film itself was well made and was proud to be associated with a film with such mass appeal. "But it was a very well-made movie, and it's a family movie and we haven't seen a family movie, I don't think, on that scale for ages."[49] In one interview he said that he had "terrific memories" of making the movie.[50]


From June 1971 to January 1972, he appeared at the National Theatre, acting in repertory for the season. The plays he appeared in were Jean Giraudoux's Amphitryon 38 directed by Laurence Olivier;[51] Georg Büchner's Danton's Death (director Jonathan Miller); Adrian Mitchell's Tyger; Luigi Pirandello's The Rules of the Game; and Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night at the New Theatre in London. From May to June 1973, he appeared on Broadway as the title character in Cyrano, a musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Anthony Burgess and Michael J. Lewis. For that performance, Plummer won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance. Later that year, he played Anton Chekhov in Neil Simon's adaptation of several Chekhov short stories, The Good Doctor.[52] Another notable play in which he appeared was the 1974 adaptation of Arthur Miller's After the Fall, in which he played Quentin (a part originated on Broadway by Jason Robards[53]) opposite Faye Dunaway's Maggie.[54]

On screen, Plummer portrayed the Duke of Wellington in Waterloo (1970). The Pyx (1973) was his first Canadian film. He also appeared in The Man Who Would Be King (1975) (playing Rudyard Kipling) alongside Michael Caine and Sean Connery. He also appeared in the comedy The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), alongside Peter Sellers and The Silent Partner (1978) opposite Elliott Gould . He appeared in Aces High (1976), Starcrash (1978), International Velvet (1978), and Murder by Decree (1979) (playing Sherlock Holmes). Plummer appeared in Lovers and Madmen at the Opera House at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 1973 and in Love and Master Will at the same venue in 1975.[55] Love and Master Will consisted of selections from the works of William Shakespeare on the subject of love, arranged by Plummer. His co-stars were Zoe Caldwell, Bibi Andersson, and Leonard Nimoy. Plummer played "Edgar" in E. L. Doctorow's Drinks before Dinner with the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Public/Newman Theatre in New York City in 1978. He appeared as Herod Antipas in the television miniseries Jesus of Nazareth (1977) alongside the ensemble cast which included Laurence Olivier, James Earl Jones, and James Mason.[56]


In the 1980s, he appeared on Broadway in two Shakespearean tragedies, Othello, playing Iago to James Earl Jones' Moor,[57] and the title role in Macbeth with Glenda Jackson playing his lady.[58] His Iago brought him another Tony nomination.[59]

Plummer appeared as Gregory Peck's character's enemy in the true based made for television movie The Scarlet and the Black[60] in 1983, and also that year in the five-time Emmy Award-winning television series The Thorn Birds (1983) alongside Barbara Stanwyck, and Jean Simmons. In film Plummer appeared in the romantic drama Somewhere in Time (1980), the drama Eyewitness (1981), the comedy Dragnet (1987), and Shadow Dancing (1988). Plummer also did some voice work, such as his role of Henri the pigeon in An American Tail (1986) and the villainous Grand Duke of Owls in Rock-a-Doodle (1991), both directed by Don Bluth.[citation needed]


He appeared with Jason Robards in the 1994 revival of Harold Pinter's No Man's Land and had great success in 1997 in Barrymore, which he also toured with after a successful Broadway run. His turn as John Barrymore brought him his second Tony Award (this time as Best Actor in Play) and a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actor in a Play. From 1993 to 1995, he narrated the animated television series Madeline, for which he received an Emmy Award, as well as the animated television series The World of David the Gnome.[61]

Plummer continued acting in films including the science fiction film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), which was a welcome opportunity for Plummer since he was a fan of the Star Trek franchise which also allowed him to perform with his former understudy and long-time friend, William Shatner.[62] He also appeared in Spike Lee's biographical drama Malcolm X (1992), Mike Nichol's horror drama Wolf (1994), Taylor Hackford's psychological drama Dolores Claiborne (1995), and Terry Gilliam's science fiction drama 12 Monkeys (1995). One of Plummer's most critically acclaimed roles was that of television journalist Mike Wallace in Michael Mann's biographical film The Insider (1999), for which he was honoured with several critics' awards for Best Supporting Actor, though a corresponding Academy Award nomination did not materialize.[63]


Plummer at the premiere for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, 2009

In 2000, Plummer starred as Sir David Maxwell Fyfe in the Primetime Emmy Award-winning Nuremberg (2000) also featuring Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox, and Max Von Sydow, and the Emmy-winning The Moneychangers (for which he won his first Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series).[30] That same year he co-starred in American Tragedy as F. Lee Bailey (for which he received a Golden Globe Award nomination),[2] and appeared in Four Minute Mile, Miracle Planet, and a documentary by Ric Burns about Eugene O'Neill. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his performance in Our Fathers and reunited with Julie Andrews for a television production of On Golden Pond.[30] He was the narrator for The Gospel of John.

Plummer reprised his role from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in the video game Star Trek: Klingon Academy. In 2004, Plummer appeared as a presenter in the CPAC documentary series The Prime Ministers. He appears in the third episode, "John Abbott"[citation needed] (as Plummer is Abbott's great-grandson).[64]

In 2002, he appeared in a lauded production of King Lear, directed by Jonathan Miller.[65] The production successfully transferred to New York City's Lincoln Center in 2004.[66] He was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his 2004 King Lear and for a Tony playing Henry Drummond in the 2007 revival of Inherit the Wind.[67] He returned to the stage at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in August 2008 in a critically acclaimed performance as Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff;[68] this production was videotaped and shown in high-definition in Canadian cinemas on January 31, 2009 (with an encore presentation on February 23, 2009) and broadcast on April 4, 2009 on Bravo! in Canada.[69]

Plummer's other turns from this period include his roles as Dr. Rosen in Ron Howard's Academy Award-winning A Beautiful Mind (2001), Uncle Ralph to the title character in the 2002 film adaptation of Charles Dickens novel Nicholas Nickleby, Arthur Case in Spike Lee's film Inside Man (2006), and the philosopher Aristotle in Alexander, alongside Colin Farrell. In 2004, Plummer briefly played John Adams Gates in the Disney adventure film National Treasure. He also appeared in Stephen Gaghan's drama Syriana (2005), the romantic comedy Must Love Dogs (2005), Terrence Malick's historical drama The New World (2005), and the romantic drama The Lake House (2006).[32] In 2009, Plummer gave a voice performance for Pixar's animated film Up where he played the antagonistic character Charles Muntz.[70] That same year he also lent his voice in Tim Burton-produced action/science fiction film 9 playing elder leader 1.[71]


Plummer in 2007

In January 2010, Plummer received his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of author Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station (2009).[72] Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an interview that aired on March 7, 2010,[73] Plummer added, tongue-in-cheek, "Well, I said it's about time! I mean, I'm 80 years old, for God's sake. Have mercy." On Oscar night, March 7, 2010, however, he lost to Christoph Waltz.[74]

In 2009 and 2010, Plummer starred in two stage to screen adaptations of the Stratford Festival productions of George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra and William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Both plays were directed for the stage by Des McAnuff and produced by Barry Avrich. The Tempest won Plummer a Canadian Screen award for Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program.[75]

In 2011, he appeared in the feature-length documentary The Captains. The film, written and directed by William Shatner, sees Shatner interview Plummer at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Theatre where they talk about their young careers, long lasting friendship, and Plummer's role as Chang in Star Trek VI. The film references that Shatner, two years Plummer's junior, was the other's understudy in a production of Henry V at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. When Plummer had fallen ill, Shatner took the stage, earning his first big break.[76]

That same year, Plummer appeared in David Fincher's English-language film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's book The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, and Stellan Skarsgård. The film was a critical and commercial success. Earlier that year, Plummer received his second nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Mike Mills' independent comedy drama film Beginners (2011) starring Ewan McGregor, and Mélanie Laurent. Plummer was announced as the winner at the 84th Academy Awards. Plummer's win made him, at age 82, the oldest actor to win an Academy Award. When he accepted the award, he quipped "You're only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?".[77]

Also in 2011, he provided the voice of Arngeir, speaker for the Greybeards, in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.[78]

Plummer returned to the Stratford Festival in the summer of 2010 in The Tempest as the lead character, Prospero (also videotaped and shown in high-def in cinemas), and again in the summer of 2012 in the one-man show, A Word or Two, an autobiographical exploration of his love of literature. In 2014, Plummer presented A Word or Two again, at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.[79] In 2015 he starred in the Atom Egoyan directed thriller Remember starring alongside Martin Landau and Bruno Ganz.[80]

Plummer played another Charles Dickens character, Ebenezer Scrooge of A Christmas Carol in The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017).

In November 2017, Plummer, who was director Ridley Scott's original choice to play J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World,[81] was cast to replace Kevin Spacey in the then-already completed film. The move came amid numerous sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations made towards Spacey. All scenes that had included Spacey were re-shot with Plummer. Co-stars Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams were part of the necessary filming.[82] The decision was made not long before the scheduled release date of December 22. TriStar Pictures intended to meet that release date in spite of the tight re-shooting and editing schedule; it was eventually pushed back to December 25.[83][84] For his role, Plummer earned Golden Globe,[2] BAFTA,[4] and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor.[85]

At the age of 89, he appeared in a leading role in Departure, a 2019 Canadian-British TV series by Global for NBC Universal about the disappearance of a trans-Atlantic flight.[86] He starred as murder mystery writer Harlan Thrombey in Rian Johnson's ensemble mystery film Knives Out alongside Ana de Armas, Daniel Craig, and Chris Evans.[87]


At age 90, Plummer was set to return to Departure for season 2. Due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and Canadian travel lockdown, he would film his parts from his home in Connecticut, instead of venturing to Toronto, in 2020 and 2021.[88] He completed his filming for the second season shortly before his death.[89] In 2021, at age 91, Plummer was set to play the lead for a film adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear, to be filmed in the summer, in Newfoundland, under director Des McAnuff. He died before filming commenced.[90]

Other works[edit]

Plummer also wrote for the stage, television, and concert-hall. He and Sir Neville Marriner rearranged Shakespeare's Henry V with Sir William Walton's music as a concert piece.[91] They recorded the work with Marriner's chamber orchestra the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. He performed it and other works with the New York Philharmonic and symphony orchestras of London, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minneapolis, Toronto, Vancouver, and Halifax.[91] With Marriner he made his Carnegie Hall debut in his own arrangements of Mendelssohn's incidental music to A Midsummer Night's Dream.[91]

Personal life[edit]

Plummer married three times. His first wife was the actress Tammy Grimes, whom he married in 1956.[92] Their marriage lasted four years, and they had a daughter together, the actress Amanda Plummer (born 1957).[93]

Plummer was next married to journalist Patricia Lewis from May 4, 1962, until their divorce in 1967. Three years after his second divorce, Plummer married actress Elaine Taylor on October 2, 1970. Plummer and Elaine lived together in Weston, Connecticut.[94][95] Plummer had no children by either his second or third marriages.[93]

Plummer's memoir, In Spite of Myself, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in November 2008.[10] Plummer was a patron of Theatre Museum Canada.[96] He was a member of the Players Club in New York City.[97]


On February 5, 2021, Plummer died at his home in Weston, Connecticut, aged 91. According to his wife, Elaine Taylor, he died from a blow to the head resulting from a fall.[98][99][100] His family released a statement announcing that Plummer had died peacefully with Taylor at his side.[101]

Following the announcement of his death, his The Sound of Music costar Julie Andrews paid tribute to Plummer:

The world has lost a consummate actor today and I have lost a cherished friend. I treasure the memories of our work together and all the humor and fun we shared through the years.

Others who paid tribute to Plummer included Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Katherine Langford, Rian Johnson, Chris Evans, and Don Johnson (who all collaborated with him on Knives Out), as well as William Shatner, Anne Hathaway, Elijah Wood, Vera Farmiga, Ed Asner, Ridley Scott, Simon Pegg, Antonio Banderas, Leonard Maltin, Daniel Dae Kim, George Takei, Russell Crowe, Bruce Greenwood and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.[101][102][103][104] Lou Pitt, his longtime friend and manager of 46 years, said;

Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self-deprecating humor and the music of words. He was a national treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots. Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come. He will forever be with us.[105]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Accolade Title Results Ref.
2010 Academy Awards Best Supporting Actor The Last Station Nominated [100]
2012 Beginners Won [85]
2018 All the Money in the World Nominated
1959 Tony Awards Best Actor in a Play J.B. Nominated [59]
1974 Best Actor in a Musical Cyrano Won
1982 Best Actor in a Play Othello Nominated
1994 No Man's Land Nominated
1997 Barrymore Won
2004 King Lear Nominated
2007 Inherit the Wind Nominated
1959 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Actor – Limited Series or a Movie Little Moon of Alban Nominated [30]
1966 Hamlet at Elsinore Nominated
1977 Arthur Hailey's the Moneychangers Won
1983 Outstanding Supporting Actor – Limited Series or Movie The Thorn Birds Nominated
1994 Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Madeline Won
2005 Outstanding Supporting Actor – Limited Series or Movie Our Fathers Nominated
2011 Outstanding Voice-Over Performance Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood Nominated
1986 Grammy Award Best Recording for Children E.T.A. Hoffmann/Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker Nominated [106]

In 2016, Plummer received the Canadian Screen Award for Lifetime Achievement.[a][107]


Canadian Honours System

Order of Canada (CC) ribbon bar.svgQEII Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png
Canada125 ribbon.pngQEII Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.pngQEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png

Ribbon Description Notes
Order of Canada (CC) ribbon bar.svg Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.)
  • Awarded on: December 20, 1968
  • Invested on: September 25, 1970
  • For his contribution to the performing arts at home and abroad.[108]
QEII Silver Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal for Canada
  • 1977
  • This medal has been awarded to all people being awarded with a Companionship within the Order of Canada.[109]
Canada125 ribbon.png 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal
  • 1993
  • This medal has been awarded to all people being awarded with a Companionship within the Order of Canada.[109]
QEII Golden Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for Canada
  • 2002
  • This medal has been awarded to all people being awarded with a Companionship within the Order of Canada.[109][110]
  • Canadian version
QEII Diamond Jubilee Medal ribbon.png Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for Canada
  • 2012
  • This medal has been awarded to all people being awarded with a Companionship within the Order of Canada.[109][111]
  • Canadian version

In 1968, he was invested as Companion of the Order of Canada, at the time among Canada's highest civilian honours. In 2001, he received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement, Canada's highest honour in the performing arts.[112] He was made an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at New York's Juilliard School and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, Ryerson University, McGill University, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Ottawa, and most recently the University of Guelph. Plummer was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1986 and into Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto in 1998.[113] He was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Actor's Branch from 2007.[114]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Received in 2016 awards ceremony, held in 2017


  1. ^ a b Abel, Judy (January 31, 2010). "At 80, Plummer has arrived at his 'Station'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Christopher Plummer". Golden Globes. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  3. ^ "Christopher Plummer nabs SAG Award for 'Beginners'". CTVNews. January 30, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Film in 2012". BAFTA Awards. Supporting Actor. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  5. ^ Zak, Dan (February 27, 2017). "Only 22 people had ever accomplished this feat. Now, Viola Davis joins the club". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 1, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Oscar Elders: 3 Octogenarians Make Academy Award History". NPR. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  7. ^ "Christopher Plummer | Biography, Movies, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Fletcher, Bernie (May 19, 2015). "A famous son, a forgotten father". Beach Metro Community News.
  9. ^ "A Man for All Stages: The Life and Times of Christopher Plummer". Life and Times. November 12, 2002. Archived from the original on February 28, 2020. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d Plummer, Christopher (October 6, 2009). In Spite of Myself. Knopf Canada. ISBN 978-0-307-39680-8.
  11. ^ Witchel, Alex (November 19, 2008). "Christopher Plummer's legendary life, wonderfully retold". The New York Times. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  12. ^ Hartigan, Patti (January 19, 1997). "Starring as the Star-Crossed Actor Who was Also a Rake and Rebel, Christopher Plummer does Barrymore by the Book". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
  13. ^ "Montrealer Christopher Plummer triumphs at Academy Awards". CTV News. February 27, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  14. ^ "Back to his school days". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia News. June 3, 2006. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  15. ^ "Stars gather to Honour Olivier's Career". Boca Raton News. Associated Press. April 28, 1983. p. 4B. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Christopher Plummer | The Canadian Encyclopedia". Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  17. ^ "Renowned actor Christopher Plummer receives honorary degree (Includes first-hand account)". June 9, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  18. ^ "McGill gives honorary degrees to Plummer, Huston". CBC News. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  19. ^ Fulford, Robert (2006). "Helping Canada overcome stage fright". National Post. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013.
  20. ^ Ayton, Diana (Summer 2006). "The Festive Season". McGill News. McGill University. Archived from the original on August 27, 2011.
  21. ^ a b Charlebois, Gaetan; Nothof, Anne (June 28, 2012). "Plummer, Christopher". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. Athabasca University. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  22. ^ Star Christopher Plummer’s Bermuda theatre days, by Gareth Finighan. The Royal Gazette, City of Hamilton, Pembroke, Bermuda. 6 February, 2021
  23. ^ "Dolores Claiborne Movie Notes: Christopher Plummer (Inspector John Mackey)". Castle Rock Entertainment. Archived from the original on July 11, 2002. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  24. ^ "Nina". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
  25. ^ "Othello". British Universities Film & Video Council. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  27. ^ The Theatre: New Play in Manhattan, Jan. 25, 1954. Time. January 25, 1954.
  28. ^ a b c d e "Actor Christopher Plummer On Stage". The Sound of Music Guide. Archived from the original on September 9, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  29. ^ a b c "Christopher Plummer". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  30. ^ a b c d "Christopher Plummer". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  31. ^ "Johnny Belinda (1958) – Overview". TCM. Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on September 29, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  32. ^ a b c "Christopher Plummer". BFI. British Film Institute. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  33. ^ "Time Remembered". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  34. ^ "Cyrano de Bergerac". TCM.
  35. ^ "Hamlet at Elsinore: 'To be, or not to be...'". BBC. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  36. ^ "Christopher Plummer acting credits". Stratford Festival Archives. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  37. ^ "9 Cast and Crew: Christopher Plummer". Focus Features. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  38. ^ Anne Claire Poirier, director. 30 Minutes, Mister Plummer. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  39. ^ "Hamlet at Elsinore". BBC. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  40. ^ Goldsmith, Patrick (January 30, 2010). "Is this a box-office record with an * ?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  41. ^ Harris, Mark (February 14, 2008). Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood. The Penguin Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-1-59420-152-3.
  42. ^ Caldwell Titcomb (1965). "The Royal Hunt of the Sun." The Harvard Crimson. November 9, 1965. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
  43. ^ The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969), Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved February 7, 2021
  44. ^ Schillaci, Sophie (December 1, 2011). "Christopher Plummer Recalls 'Awful,' 'Gooey' Sound of Music Role". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  45. ^ Abel, Judy (January 31, 2010). "At 80, Plummer has arrived at his 'Station'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  46. ^ "Sound of Music Reunion". Sound Of Music Interactive. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  47. ^ "The Sound of Music: 40th Anniversary Edition". The DVD Journal. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  48. ^ "For the First Time in 45 Years: The Sound of Music Cast Reunites". Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  49. ^ Fischer, Paul (December 29, 2009). "Christopher Plummer for "The Last Station". Dark Horizons. Archived from the original on August 9, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  50. ^ Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  51. ^ Royal National Theatre (1989). Olivier at Work: The National Years. Theatre Communications. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-85459-037-4.
  52. ^ Annicone, Tony (March 10, 2011). "Theatre Mirror Reviews: "The Good Doctor"". Theater Mirror. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  53. ^ "After the Fall". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  54. ^ "After the Fall (1974)". BFI. British Film Institute. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  55. ^ "Plummer, Christopher 1929–". 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  56. ^ "Jesus of Nazareth (1977)". Decent Films.
  57. ^ The Broadway League. "Othello – Broadway Play – 1982 Revival". IBDB. Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  58. ^ The Broadway League. "Macbeth – Broadway Play – 1988 Revival". IBDB. Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  59. ^ a b "Christopher Plummer – Broadway Cast & Staff". IBDB. Internet Broadway Database. Awards. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  61. ^ Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (2003). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946–present. Ballantine Books. p. 1444. ISBN 0-345-45542-8.
  62. ^ Parker, Ryan (February 5, 2021). "Christopher Plummer Was a Diehard Trekkie Before Being Cast in 'Undiscovered Country'". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  63. ^ Kristopher Tapley (April 8, 2012). "Mike Wallace's great moment of pause was immortalized forever by Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer in 'The Insider'". HitFix. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
  64. ^ "Christopher Plummer, C.C."
  65. ^ Brantley, Ben (September 12, 2002). "Every Inch a King, Every Moment a Revelation". The New York Times. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  66. ^ Brantley, Ben (March 5, 2004). "A Fiery Fall Into the Abyss, Unknowing And Unknown". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  67. ^ "Christopher Plummer". Playbill. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  68. ^ "Caesar and Cleopatra". Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Archived from the original on August 10, 2008. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  69. ^ "Caesar and Cleopatra". Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  70. ^ "Up – Cast". Pixar.
  71. ^ "Strong cast lines up for animated '9'". The Film Asylum.
  72. ^ Oldenburg, Ann (February 2, 2010). "Christopher Plummer, 80, revels in first Oscar nomination". USA Today. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
  73. ^ "Christopher Plummer interview". CBC News. March 8, 2010.
  74. ^ Dobuzinskis, Alex (March 7, 2010). "Christoph Waltz wins Oscar for "Basterds"". Reuters. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  75. ^ "Christopher Plummer". Popular Timelines.
  76. ^ "Exclusive Clips from William Shatner's The Captains". July 18, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  77. ^ "Christopher Plummer winning Best Supporting Actor". YouTube. February 26, 2012. Retrieved August 3, 2012.
  78. ^ "These Are the Distinguished Voices of Skyrim". Kotaku. September 27, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  79. ^ McNulty, Charles (January 23, 2014). "Review: Christopher Plummer, a man of letters, says 'A Word or Two'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  80. ^ "Remember Review". The Guardian.
  81. ^ Galuppo, Mia; McClintock, Pamela; Giardina, Carolyn (November 9, 2017). "Christopher Plummer to Replace Kevin Spacey in 'All the Money in the World'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  82. ^ Howell, Peter (November 9, 2017). "If any actor can quickly replace Kevin Spacey, it's Christopher Plummer: Howell". Toronto Star.
  83. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (November 9, 2017). "Shocker: Kevin Spacey Dropped From 'All The Money In The World;' J Paul Getty Role Recast With Christopher Plummer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  84. ^ Mandell, Andrea (November 9, 2017). "Kevin Spacey to be cut out of 'All the Money in the World' following assault allegations". CNBC.
  85. ^ a b "Search Results". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  86. ^ "Free full episodes of Departure on Cast photos, gossip and news from Departure". Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  87. ^ "Knives Out – Official Movie Site – In Theaters November 27, 2019". Knives Out – Official Movie Site – In Theaters November 27, 2019. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  88. ^ Victoria Ahearn (October 9, 2020). "Christopher Plummer set to film season 2 of 'Departure' from his home due to pandemic". Toronto: City News. The Canadian Press.
  89. ^ "Christopher Plummer Finished Filming For Departure Season 2 Before His Death". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  90. ^ "Des McAnuff on the 'King Lear' film Christopher Plummer was 'very passionate about'". Yahoo News. The Canadian Press. February 6, 2021.
  91. ^ a b c Pheifer, Pat (October 2, 2016). "Sir Neville Marriner, former music director of Minnesota Orchestra, dies at 92". Star Tribune. Minneapolis. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  92. ^ Rainho, Manny (August 2015). "This Month in Movie History". Classic Images (482): 24–26.
  93. ^ a b "Christopher Plummer Biography". The Biography Channel.
  94. ^ Daly, Steve (November 11, 2005). "Captain, Our Captain". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 25, 2012.
  95. ^ "Weston's Christopher Plummer Reshoots Kevin Spacey's Role In Getty Movie". Weston Daily Voice. November 12, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
  96. ^ "About the Theatre Museum Canada". Theatre Museum Canada. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  97. ^ "The Players". National Theatre Conference.
  98. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 5, 2021). "Christopher Plummer Passes Away At 91; 'Sound Of Music,' 'All The Money In The World' Star A True Hollywood Legend". Deadline. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  99. ^ "Christopher Plummer, 'Sound of Music' star and oldest actor to win an Oscar, dead at 91". CBC News. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  100. ^ a b Weber, Bruce (February 5, 2021). "Christopher Plummer, Actor From Shakespeare to 'The Sound of Music,' Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2021.
  101. ^ a b "Christopher Plummer: Star of The Sound of Music dies at 91". BBC. February 5, 2021.
  102. ^ "Christopher Plummer: Hollywood pays tribute to 'one of the greats'". BBC. February 6, 2021. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  103. ^ "Christopher Plummer Dead at 91: Julie Andrews and More React". Entertainment Tonight.
  104. ^ "Hollywood Pays Tribute to Christopher Plummer: "A Giant of Stage and Screen"". Hollywood Reporter.
  105. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr. (February 5, 2021). "Christopher Plummer Dies: Oscar Winner & 'Sound Of Music,' 'All The Money In The World' Star A True Hollywood Legend". Deadline. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  106. ^ "Grammy Award Nominees snd winners 1986". Awards and Shows. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  107. ^ "Christopher Plummer set for Canadian Screen Awards honour". CBC News. January 10, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  108. ^ "Mr. Christopher Plummer". The Governor General of Canada.
  109. ^ a b c d "Commemorative Medals of The Queen's Reign in Canada".
  110. ^ "Mr. Christopher Plummer". The Governor General of Canada.
  111. ^ "Christopher Plummer". The Governor General of Canada.
  112. ^ "Christopher Plummer biography". Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  113. ^ "Christopher Plummer". Canada's Walk of Fame. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  114. ^ "AMPAS lays out red carpet for 115 potential members". The Hollywood Reporter. June 19, 2007.

External links[edit]