Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93 after being hospitalised for respiratory problems and heart failure.
The veteran actor, best known for a variety of films from Dracula to The Wicker Man through to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, passed away on Sunday morning at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, according to sources.
The decision to release the news days after was based on his wife’s desire to inform family members first. The couple had been married for over 50 years.
As well as his career in film, Lee also released a series of heavy metal albums, including Charlemagne: The Omens of Death. He was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011.
His film career started in 1947 with a role in gothic romance Corridor of Mirrors but it wasn’t until the late 50s, when Lee worked with Hammer, that he started gaining fame. His first role with the studio was The Curse of Frankenstein and it was the first of 20 films that he made with Peter Cushing, who also became a close friend.