Prolific actor Christopher Lee dies

LONDON: Accomplished and prolific British actor Christopher Lee, who played the role of Quaid-i-Azam in the film `Jinnah`, has died at age 93.

Bringing dramatic gravitas and aristocratic bearing to screen villains from Dracula to the wicked wizard Saruman in `The Lord of the Rings` trilogy, Mr Lee appeared in more than 250 movies. But for Pakistanis, he will forever be remembered as the actor who played the role of Pakistan`s founder.

Mr Lee made a name for himself as the vampire Count Dracula in a slew of gory and gothic British horror thrillers churned out in the 1950s and 1960s.

He railed against typecasting and the sheer number and range of his roles from Sherlock Holmes to Mohammad Ali Jinnah secured his place in film history.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London on Thursday issued a statement confirming that he died on June 7.

Christopher Frank Carandini Lee was born in London on May 27, 1922. He attended Wellington College, an elite boarding school, and joined the Royal Air Force during World War IL After the war, the 6-foot-4 Lee signed a contract with Britain`s Rank studio, and spent the next decade playing minor roles in a series of formulaic pictures.

He launched his horror career in 1957, starring as the monster in `The Curse of Frankenstein`. In 1958, he made his first appearance as the famous vampire in `Dracula`, opposite Peter Cushing`s Van Helsing.

The accomplished actor became Sir Christopher Lee when he was knighted in October 2009.

Mr Lee also appeared in several films by Tim Burton, including `Sleepy Hollow` and `Charlie and the Chocolate Factory`, and was proud of his role as Pakistan`s founder in `Jinnah`.-Agencies

Published in Dawn