Welcome back to our special Vincent Price, Christopher Lee double feature. In part one we focused on the life and career of Vincent Price. We now salute Count Dracula himself, Christopher Lee.
Christopher Lee was born in Belgravia, Westminster, England and made his movie debut in 1947 in the film Corridor of Mirrors. He began his extensive career with Hammer Films in 1957 playing Frankenstein’s monster in The Curse of Frankenstein. In 1958 Christopher took the role that would make him a horror icon, that of Count Dracula in Dracula (also known as Horror of Dracula).
Though Christopher did not reprise the role in the sequel Brides of Dracula he did slip the cape back on and return to his role of the count in Dracula: Prince of Darkness. He went on to star in several more Hammer films as Dracula including Dracula Has Risen From the Grave, Taste the Blood of Dracula, Scars of Dracula, Dracula AD 1972 and The Satanic Rights of Dracula. Needless to say, Christopher Lee knows Count Dracula!
In Christopher’s first undertaking as Dracula the film varies quite a bit from the novel by Bram Stoker even though it is loosely based on it. In the film Jonathan Harker travels to Dracula‘s castle in the hopes of killing the Count. When his plans are thwarted it’s up to Dr. Van Helsing to finish the job. In the end Dracula is defeated but everyone knows you just can’t keep a good vampire down and Dracula returns once again, and again, and again… You get the idea. In fact Dracula keeps returning all the way up until the 1970’s but somehow I have a hard time picturing the Prince of Darkness in bell bottoms and platform shoes, now that would be frightening!
Not only is Christopher Lee still alive and well, at the fine age of 88 he is still actively working. Some of his more recent works include playing Saruman in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Count Dooku in the new Star Wars Trilogy, Willy’s dad Dr. Wilbur Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the voice of the Jabberwock in the new Alice in Wonderland movie. In fact Christopher is currently filming the movie The Resident costarring Hilary Swank. The Resident is also the second film to be released by Hammer Films since it’s revival, the other being the remake of the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In titled Let Me In.
And so we here at Vampires.Com wish Sir Christopher Lee (did I forget to mention he was knighted in 2009?) a very happy birthday with many more to come.