Thursday, June 11, 2015

Goodbye and Thank You Christopher Lee

I'm sure that by now many of you know that Christopher Lee has passed away. I'll probably be far from the only person to write a blog post in tribute to him, but I'm still going to share a few thoughts. This morning I was surprised to read on Twitter that he had died. Not that I could be all that surprised that a 93-year-old died, but Christopher Lee has been a fixture for my entire life and for people a lot older than me! He's one of those people it seems has always been around, confidently striding out onto the screen with an air of sophistication in one scary role or another.

He was a real inspiration who showed that a person could still be cool in their 90s. A lot of people just hang up the towel and declare themselves "old" decades and decades before they're in their 90s. But there he was, recently acting and singing in a metal band! He was cooler in his 90s than a lot of people are at any age.

What made Christopher Lee the natural vampire was the regal way in which he carried himself and that voice! Not that you heard much of it in those Hammer Dracula films, but the little bit you did hear was so deep and powerful. He seems like he should have been doing Shakespeare, almost like he was slumming it in those Dracula movies. Sometimes I think he knew that, because when I look at his eyes before he's about to bite someone he looks sort of bored and disgusted by his prey. It's like he's thinking "Centuries of these dumb girls. Oh well, a neck's a neck."
Are we having fun yet?
But he sure looked lively during those fight scenes with Peter Cushing! Like in this scene from Horror of Dracula:

It occurred to me that I'd watched Christopher Lee die as Dracula so many times in these movies and then somehow be resurrected in the sequels, that it's weird for me to think of him actually being gone. But like Dracula, he does have a sort of immortality. Christopher Lee will live on forever through the many movies he made. That's the almost magical thing about actors, that so long as they exist on film somewhere, they still live on for their audience. Most of us had never met Christopher Lee, so all we'd ever seen of him was in his movies. So when you watch him, as I plan to do tonight, his greatness will still be there for you as a movie viewer as much as it ever was.