From IMDB: Christopher Lee was born in 1922 in London, England, where he and his older sister Xandra were raised by Estelle Marie and Geoffrey Trollope, a professional soldier, until their divorce in 1926. Later, while Lee was still a child, his mother married (and later divorced) Harcourt George St.-Croix.
Lee worked as an office clerk in a couple of London shipping companies until 1941 when he enlisted in the RAF during World War II. Following his release from military service, Lee joined the Rank Organisation in 1947, training as an actor in their “Charm School” and playing a number of bit parts in such films as Corridor of Mirrors (1948). He made a brief appearance in Laurence Olivier‘s Hamlet (1948), in which his future partner-in-horror Peter Cushing also appeared. Both actors also appeared later in Moulin Rouge (1952) but did not meet until their horror films together.
Lee had numerous parts in film and television throughout the 1950s but didn’t achieve stardom until his association with Hammer Film Productions, which started with The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), Horror of Dracula (1958), The Mummy (1959), and The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), all co-starring Peter Cushing. By the mid-1970s, Lee was tiring of his horror image and tried to widen his appeal by participating in several mainstream films, such as The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), The Three Musketeers: The Queen’s Diamonds (1973), The Four Musketeers: Milady’s Revenge (1974), and the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974). The success of these films prompted him in the late 1970s to move to Hollywood, where he remained a busy actor. Lee’s career was revitalized in the early 2000s by his appearances in two blockbuster film franchises: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) (as Saruman the White) and Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) (as Count Dooku). In 2001, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the film and television industries.
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