Christoper Lee (1922-2015)

RIP to the most badass of actors. You’ll be missed.

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

When Christopher Lee Hunted Nazis


Over the course of his half-century career, he played Count Dracula nine times. He starred as a villain in a Bond film (“The Man With the Golden Gun”). Younger audiences may remember him as Saruman from “Lord of the Rings.” (Or, Count Dooku from “Star Wars Episode II: The Clone Wars,” but we don’t talk about that.)

But beyond his acting prowess, it turns out Christopher Lee was a pretty amazing human, period. According to family lore , he was a descendent of Charlemagne on his father’s side, and of the infamous Borgias on his mother’s side. He sang on multiple heavy metal albums in his 80s and 90s. He served in the Special Operations Executive during World War II (also called Winston Churchill’s “Secret Army”).

Oh, and he also hunted Nazis.

According to The Telegraph , Lee spent time after the war working for the Central Registry of War Crimes, tasked with finding and prosecuting Nazis. This work took him concentrations camps all over Europe, including Dachau. “We were given dossiers of what they’d done and told to find them, interrogate them as much as we could and hand them over to the appropriate authority,” he told The Times in 2009. “We saw these concentration camps. Some had been cleaned up. Some had not.”

This experience reportedly helped him to craft his role as the treacherous Saruman the White in Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

In a behind-the-scenes interview on the “Lord of the Rings” set, Jackson revealed how he learned about Lee’s past during a particularly bloody scene.

“When Wormtongue rises up and comes up behind Saruman to stab him, of course it was my job as director to talk to Christopher Lee and to explain to him what I wanted, so I started to go into this long explanation about what sort of sound he should make when he got stabbed,” he explained.

Lee: “I seem to recall that I did say to Peter, ‘Have you any idea what kind of noise happens when somebody’s stabbed in the back? Because I do.”

Jackson: “He proceeded to talk about some sort of very clandestine part of World War II. He seemed to have expert knowledge of exactly the sort of noise that they make and so I just sort of didn’t push the subject any further.”

RIP to the most badass of actors. You’ll be missed.



  1. spirittoo said,

    June 13, 2015 at 20:23

    RIP Christopher Lee … you will be missed here, but now you are with your friends. Peter Crushing and Lee together again.

  2. Jim said,

    June 14, 2015 at 00:21

    Hey man, in honour of this amazing man, I will now find and aquire the album Charlemagne. Forever wishing it was possible to pay closer attention to the true role models in this life.

  3. remoteviewed said,

    June 14, 2015 at 00:59

    An amazing Extraordinary Gentleman.

    You’ll be missed.

  4. Zimbabalouie said,

    June 14, 2015 at 02:25

    Very nice tribute, Steve.

  5. Neil said,

    June 14, 2015 at 08:55

    Just out of interest Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Vincent Price shared the same birthday, 27th May……..well almost. Peter Cushing was born on the 26th.

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