Not Dracula, not Saruman, and Christopher Lee!
There are biographies that is much more interesting and more instructive than history textbooks and wider than some countries. And if the person still went down in history of this country, it remains only to remove his hat. To study the past of Iceland is not as interesting as the life and strange surprising adventures of Christopher Lee. In his biography it is possible to study the whole XX century: events, in which he visited, legendary figures with whom he communicated, and the culture in which he worked. However, his contribution to the history of the world is as great as the height (1,95), and this is no exaggeration.
Sir Christopher is destined to leave his mark in history. To look only at its origin, the family in which he grew up. Itself as if fate from birth, took him by the hand and did everything that he personally observed all the taste of a bygone era. His father, Geoffrey Trollope, Lieutenant Colonel (in our manner of Lieutenant Colonel), 60th corps of the Royal Fusiliers very elite, among other things, unit. Father was not lazy staff and a real military officer, a hero of the brutal Anglo-Boer and First world wars. Jeffrey, by the way, was a relative of the American General Robert E. Lee, commander army of the South during the Civil war. And his mother, Contessa Estelle Maria de Carandini Sarzano, was the real Monica Bellucci – the most beautiful of the Edwardian era. The best artists of the time painted her portraits, made sculptures and devoted to poetry. But the most striking thing in her life was not beauty, not the explosive Italian temperament who are unable to uproot the English primness, and pedigree. Estelle Mary was a direct descendant of Charlemagne. This man, if you don’t know, laid the Empire, which subsequently hatched modern France and Germany, and it consisted of the modern countries of Central Europe, the Benelux countries and Northern Italy. Incidentally, the word «king» in the Russian language was formed precisely from the name Karl. Another ancestor was the legendary Frederick Barbarossa – Holy Roman Emperor. For the relationship graphs de Sarzano were allowed to use the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire.
Now I understand what it’s like growing up? All literally breathed arrogance and traditions. However, the mother of Christopher, as with any socialite, hardly knew how to earn money. But mastery of feminine wiles and wanted to live in wealth. The fact that neither the father nor venerable nobles De Sarzano, dropped everything and ran for political beliefs in England, a lot of money was not. Realizing that to catch the Colonel nothing proev his baldness, they broke up. She later married a banker, Harcourt George St-Croix rose. Then again, fate has presented interesting enough, though, and a consolidated relationship: nephew rose was Ian Fleming, author of novels about James bond. Later, when rose developed large debts, Estelle left him, but Christopher managed to maintain good relations with the entire family. They communicated well with Fleming and rose treated him as a son.
In his childhood he saw many Royal personages, including the Prince Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich, the murderers of Grigory Rasputin. Remarkably, after many years, will play the Rasputin.
As expected, received a posh education. At Eton, where he studied entirely elite, he, however, did not pass, and the stepfather didn’t have those astronomical sums to pay the tuition. But I got in a little less pretentious Wellington College, where he studied the classics, Greek and Latin. However, his main passion was the theatre. He participated in all the school performances and even then he mostly played villains. By the way, his partners at the student stage has been well-known masters of English theater and cinema, but their names will hardly tell you. For theatrical talent, forgave him everything: disgusting behavior (Or told me that he was often beaten with rods), and average, and perfect inability to play the traditional sports: football, Rugby, Boxing. But in cricket Christopher played brilliantly and beautifully fenced. Nobleman, the son of an officer! Suffered, however, because stepfather paid huge for those times money.
But it ended in 1939, when his stepfather went bankrupt, and left the College and not finish my studies. Not knowing what to do, he went to France, where his sister having fun with friends. Drove to Paris and staying in the home of the legend of British journalism, about which we in the country do not know anything, he caught the last public execution by guillotine. More on the people’s heads don’t fall apart.
The murderers had a particularly warm relationship, which is not surprising for a person that played the villains. Many years later, Or met and became friends with albert Pirpoynta, one of the most well-known official executioner in British history. Among other Perpoint hung about 200 German war criminals convicted after the Second world war. Often went to the pub, which Pinpoint opened after retirement. Also, the actor was an expert on the history of the hangman of the case, and he could remember the name all significant British state torturers from the time of the late middle Ages.
After College, became a Bank clerk, although this work did not warm his soul. Further thoughts «what to do» he was distracted by the Second world war. In 1939, he went to the Soviet-Finnish war. He and other British volunteers, had not participated in active combat, however, is not the only Russian trace in his life.
When the war began to take their most terrible traits, asked for the elite of any army – air force. He did not want as a father to wallow in a pool of blood. In the sky, it’s much easier. But the violation of the optic nerve destroyed the career of a pilot. So I had to become a military intelligence officer. He fought in North Africa and Italy and fought in the special forces, which later became the basis for British military forces.
One day he just saved his squadron. After returning from the hospital, he took part in confusion. The soldiers were concerned about the lack of news from the Eastern front and the Soviet Union in General and the lack of mail from home. The excitement grew and threatened to turn into a riot. After a short furlough at the Russo-Finnish war was considered an expert on Russia. He managed to persuade the squadron members to restore the duties, which greatly impressed their commander.
On duty and due to the personal qualities Christopher had the reputation of a man who knows everything. But unfortunately, much of what were doing still remains a state secret, and he himself, as a real officer, never spoke in detail about the war and its objectives. However, once on the set of «Lord of the rings,» he told Peter Jackson what is the sound of the man in the back was stabbed.
«I was attached to the police Department from time to time, but we were forbidden any discussion of the former, present or future operations. Let’s just say I was in special forces and that’s enough. People can read what they like».
After the war he spent over a year engaged in search and identification of Nazi war criminals. He was awarded valor medals great Britain, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. He was probably waiting for an amazing military career, but the love for art won.
«How many Nazis I killed? You can keep a secret? Me too.»
After the war, the question of «what to be» has again started to trouble not a boy, but her husband. It would seem that the service is still in the exploration, and even riot had to make it more disciplined. However, it is only the more whetted Chris. In the office nobody wanted to go back. The armed forces were sending veterans who studied the classics to teach at universities, but felt his Latin was too rusty and he doesn’t care about the strict curfew. Helped relatives. Dining with my cousin, mother, Ambassador of Italy to the UK, Chris started to brag about war wounds. Uncle, apparently, these stories tired, and he proposed to his nephew to become an actor. «What, thought Chris, – the work is interesting and not boring.» Especially in the family had been artists: his great-grandmother on my mother’s side was an Opera prima. So he turned to an old friend who decided to become a film producer. But the first years was a real shame for his career. And the reason was the following:
«I stood still for a long time – about ten years. At first I said I was too tall to be an actor. It’s a pretty stupid remark. It’s like saying that you’re too short to play the piano. I thought, «well, I’ll show you…» at First I didn’t know anything about technical work in front of the camera, but during those ten years I did what so important today – I watched, I listened, I learned. So when the time came, I was ready… not enough, to play characters who don’t say anything».
Some films not mentioned in the credits, some cut it out. In some movies even a replica is not allowed. However, in 1952 his role became increasingly prominent. Of course, the roles were minor, but his partners were the stars of the first magnitude, such as Buster Keaton.
Everything changed in 1957, Lee appeared in his first film Studio Hammer «Curse of Frankenstein» where he played Frankenstein’s Monster, and the role of Victor Frankenstein went to Peter Cushing, with whom they became close friends for life. This role in the years ahead has identified its role as negative characters. Not scoundrels, but the real villains. But always played them brilliantly. See these films, and you will notice how imbued with hatred for these characters, and this is the highest acting skills, after all, feel is not a bad game, but rather his skill.
In 1958 Christopher Lee appeared in the form of count famous in the movie «the Curse of Dracula.» Despite the abundance of brilliant works, favorite movie is «Dracula», where, in his own words, he managed to play sadness and hopelessness on the immortality of the sinister count. It is the Christopher Lee were destined for 15 years to fall on the stakes, to go under the ice, appeliatsia in the dust under the shadow of the crucifixion, again and again, rising from the ashes, to prowl in search of the crimson elixir, giving their victims immortality. In the 60s he was terribly tired to pretend to be a vampire and speak to his idiotic explanations, written by a mediocre writer. The producers asked him to appear literally on his knees, annoyed with the fact that the Studio is kept only on his charisma. Agreed on the condition that the whole film will only sizzle and not say a word. Deep down he was hoping for failure, and that more of it will not call. But it so happened that… the film became a hit.
By the way, in the late 60’s he played a very positive character – Sherlock Holmes in «the hound of the Baskervilles». Never before has Sherlock Holmes been so high. Of course, it’s not as good as Vasily Livanov, but very decent. By the way, here distinguished. Not a lot of appearances in this image (in the image of the great detective Christopher appeared 2 more times, and both in the 90s). He still is the only actor who has played Sherlock and his brother Mycroft.
Another legendary villainous role was the role of Francisco Scaramanga in the next episode of James Bond «the man with the Golden gun». It is already in 1974, and had to resist Roger Moore. Although in 1962 Fleming himself offered the relative to play the villain in «Dr. No». It was agreed, but the producers already picked the actor, and very good. Everyone knew that to refuse only because of kinship and friendship between Fleming and unethical. So I had to settle for the role of the killer with the Golden gun, which our hero said the following:
«In Fleming’s novel he’s just a West Indian thug, but the film is charming, elegant, funny and deadly… I played it like it was the dark side of the bond».
However, many of his roles went down in history. In the film adaptation of «the Three Musketeers» it is the Comte de Rochefort appeared with a bandage over his eye. Since then, in all English adaptations of the one-eyed Rochefort consistently. Although in the novel of Dumas with his vision, everything was in order.
Lee had an excellent command of English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. He could also speak some Greek, Swedish and Russian. He was often invited to play in Europe, where he had to duplicate their role. By the way, he starred in a joint Soviet-Swedish-British film «Mio, my Mio». But if you carefully watched «Police Academy 7: mission to Moscow», we could ask the head of Soviet militia of our hero. However, with Russia and unites his performance as Rasputin in «Rasputin: the mad monk», for which received the highest praise from the daughter of Rasputin that said «crazy eyes, like a father.» And as he sang in Russian. After all, he had a stunning deep voice and even sang the famous final monologue Godunov from Mussorgsky’s Opera «Boris Godunov». Unfortunately, the original video was not found, but trust me, the voice here for sure.
As we remember, sir Christopher desperately wanted to take because of growth. That didn’t stop him, and over the years he was in the Guinness Book of records as the world’s tallest leading actor. Western also owns the record for the number of screen roles (259 appearances in movies and television, believing that is not out of the picture) and the record number of appearances in movies with scenes of fencing (17). He is well fenced, even a lightsaber. So his appearance in the last two episodes of «Star wars» did not surprise anyone. Count Dooku was a real villain. But the main role for which it knows the current generation, was played already in the XXI century. Of course, this is Saruman in «the Lord of the rings» and «Hobbit.» These films just could not do without him, it was such a big fan of «the Hobbit» and «Lord of the Rings» that he for decades at least once a year I reread all the works of Tolkien. He even knew the fictional Elvish language. One day he stumbled upon a classic fantasy in the pub and found myself such a loyal fan that Tolkien gave him blessing to play Gandalf if those books will ever be transferred on the screen. When in the mid-1990s, the actor learned that Peter Jackson is working on a film version of «the Lord», starred in the British television series «the New adventures of Robin hood» only in order to demonstrate the new Zealander as he looks on the screen in the form of a wizard. Unfortunately, by the time the shootings were already too old for the image of Gandalf, so Jackson ordered him to a less physically challenging role of Saruman.
Or worried during filming, both for his own child. He knew that the film was just a masterpiece, but 4 Oscars in 11 nominations seemed to him very little.
«Incredibly, neither the painting itself nor the Director has not received prizes. I think it’s a shame Academy, because our film was several orders of magnitude better all the other ribbons, nominated for the award. If the second film of the Saga will be overlooked by academics, it is just dishonest and disgraceful».
But the third film won 11 statuettes, although it did not participate. There were rumors that he got into a fight with Jackson because of the fact that he cut out the death scene of Saruman from the third part, leaving her alone in the Director’s version. But through the years they reconciled, and in «the hobbit» in front of us sat the good old Saruman. Well, except maybe to play someone besides? More precisely, could…
We talked about his outstanding vocal abilities. The first part of the Lord of the rings when Saruman is catching up with cloud sky, you can hear the powerful baritone of an actor. In England widely known cinematic songs about how we love songs from the movies by Andrei Mironov. One of the most famous is the soundtrack to the film «the Wicker man». He was often invited only for the song. But we love not for musicals, but for the love of metal. Who would have thought that white-haired old man, brought up on classical music, released a few metal albums! It seemed that these people only have to sit in a rocking chair, wrapped in a plaid blanket, and to remember how good and fun life was in the 50’s. Apparently, the role of the fiend brought him to this genre. But he was good in the fathers of the founders of heavy metal.
By the way, fell in love with heavy metal, once this trend has started to gain popularity. In the 2000s, he began not only to listen to metal, but also to participate in a CD recording as a guest vocalist and narrator. In particular, he collaborated with the group «Rhapsody of Fire» and «Manowar». His metal career culminated in two conceptual albums in the genre «symphonic metal»: «Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross» and «Charlemagne: The Omens of Death». They were released in 2010 and 2013. Plots of songs of both discs was inspired by the wars of Charles the Great, ancestor.
In 2012, Lee released a mini-album with metal cover versions of Christmas songs called «A Heavy Metal Christmas». The second album called «A Heavy Metal Christmas Too», was released in December 2013. With the song «Jingle Hell» was ranked 22nd on the Billboard Hot 100, thus becoming the oldest artist ever hit the charts on life; age at the time was 91 years and 6 months. After the consecration in the mass media, the song climbed to 18th place.
Then I got bored of symphonic metal, and he switched to environmentally friendly heavy metal free of impurities. The album «Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross» not only been recognized by critics, and received an award from Metal Hammer. And all this was done not out of respect. Ominous and powerful voice only adds to the richness of the album.
In may 2014, to celebrate her ninety-second birthday, Or released a mini-album with cover versions of «Metal Knight». In addition to Kaoru «My Way» it contains «The Toreador March», inspired by the Opera «Carmen» and «The Impossible Dream» and «I Don Quixote» don Katowickiego of the musical «man of La Mancha». The last song was recorded, because he thought don Quixote metalizowany character ever known. Of course, not in terms of armor.
«It is carefree, happy and fun… At my age the most important thing for me is to stay active and do what I really like. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here, so every day is a holiday and I want to share it with my fans».
The last entry was the role of the narrator in the song «the Last Vampire», performed by the supergroup of johnny Depp, Joe Perry and Alice Cooper.
From this composition can be seen, what distinguishes the great voice from the good.
In addition, in 2006 she released a solo album Christopher Lee called «Revelation», which sold platinum copies. There was no metal, just the songs respectable respectable man.
What else is necessary for happiness? Recognition on the music and kinoepopee and numerous awards. In 1997 he was awarded the Order of St. John is the oldest order of all. Later received the Order of the British Empire For his services to dramatic art.» The actor was also knighted-the bachelors «For service to drama and charity». And the main award – the order of chivalry. Lee was knighted by Prince Charles, but due to the age of sir Christopher was allowed to get the title standing, not kneeling. Maybe the Prince was just embarrassing to ask Saruman to bow the knee.
Speaking of great people, always interesting to learn about their personal lives. Or there is an interesting story. In the 1950s Christopher was engaged to Henriette von Rosen, the daughter of a European aristocrat count Fritz von Rosen. The father of the bride was so happy with this Union, which hired private detectives to catch the actor in anything indecent or illegal. When to do this have failed, count von Rosen demanded that future marriage was blessed by the king of Sweden! Or did not stop – he was familiar with the king because he was called for the shooting of his films, and he received the blessing of the monarch. However, to Henriette von Rosen, he is still not married. Lee admitted that he has no right to ask a girl from an aristocratic family, so she shared with him acting unreliable financial life.
In the end, he in 1961, married Danish actress-episodic Birgit Krenke, with whom he lived for more than 50 years. That’s the kind of happiness which a daughter, Christine, with whom he participated in the recording of the album «Rhapsody of Fire».
In life were all very friendly and incredibly intelligent man. How else, nobility of blood takes its toll.
There were rumors that Christopher is fond of occult literature, however, speaking at the Dublin College or University, he explained to the students:
«Somebody wrote I have 20,000 books. I live in the bathroom! I have maybe four or five. I warn you all: never, never, never. You will not only lose your mind but also his soul.»
At the same time he claimed that he never such nonsense is not interested.
It seemed that Christopher will live forever, however, on 11 Jun 2015 at the age of 93 years he was gone. He probably went to Valhalla or Valinor – it’s too big and magical to just die. However, his whole life is an example of how, despite everything, need to live life to the fullest, never give up and love life. Perhaps surprising love of life helped him become a superstar for the second time, when he was well over 80. And learn a language, even Elvish. The example clearly shows how they can be used. The main difference between Christopher Lee’s ability to be relevant at all times, even when you’re almost 100 years. To be in demand for so many years, how many could not survive the Soviet Union, it is a rare talent.