Top 10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Sir Christopher Lee
The Top Ten
He was a classically trained singer and started rocking out in metal bands in his 80s as a metal singer.
Did he made some good stuff?
The lineage of his mother, Countess Estelle Marie (née Carandini di Sarzano), can be traced to Charlemagne, the Frankish king. Lee's maternal great-grandfather was Italian.
Charlemagne, also known as Charles the Great or Charles I, was King of the Franks. He united a large part of Europe during the early Middle Ages and laid the foundations for modern France, Germany and the Low Countries.
As a young boy, in the 1920s, his mother introduced him to Prince Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich. In 1966, Sir Christopher played their victim, Rasputin, in the movie Rasputin the Mad Monk.
That's just awesome!
Unfortunately, Lee’s advanced age and his natural ability to play villains made him an even better choice for Saruman.
But when he heard Peter Jackson would direct the films, he sent Jackson a personal letter asking to be in the movies, along with a picture of him dressed up as a wizard.
At the outbreak of the Winter War in 1939, Sir Christopher volunteered for the Finnish forces before heading back to London and joining the RAF to fight the Nazis, becoming a distinguished flight lieutenant.
In the ‘50s, Lee was engaged to Henriette von Rosen, daughter of Count Fritz von Rosen. The Count apparently didn’t like Lee, because after hiring private detectives to investigate the actor and demanding references, he also refused to allow his daughter to marry him unless Lee got the blessing of the King of Sweden. Lee got it.
Wow he's done everything.
As a 17-year-old Lee was present at the death of Eugen Weidmann in 1939.
Errol Flynn was drunk and this happened during the filming of The Dark Avengers in 1955.
He was reputedly crowned with several world records:
- most connected actor (living). He connects to virtually any actor in 2.59 steps, beating Kevin Bacon.
- most films with a swordfight by an actor (17)
- tallest actor in a leading role (6’ 5”)
- most screen credits for a living actor (reached in 2007)
- oldest videogame voice actor (for his role in the Nintendo DS game "Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days")
Sir Christopher was reputed to have spoken several languages including English, Italian, French, German and Spanish fluently, and a little Swedish, Russian, and Greek.
This one might be self-evident given his career, but Sir Christopher was fascinated by public executions and reportedly, according to his friend Norman Lloyd, knew the name of every executioner in England from the 15th century onwards.
"Jingle Hell” is a metal cover of the known Xmas song.