Christopher Lee



Full Name: Christopher Frank Carandini Lee

Birthplace: Belgravia, London, England

Birth Date: 27th May, 1922

Marital Status: He is married Birgit "Gitte" Kroencke






  • His mother's family is the oldest in Europe, and can trace their ancestry back to the first century AD

  • He founded Charlemagne Productions LTD in 1972

  • Speaks French, Italian, Spanish and German fluently, and understands enough Russian, Swedish and Greek to manage

  • Volunteered to help the Finnish forces in their fight against the Soviet Union during the Winter War of 1939. He saw no action like the rest of the British volunteers who were kept away from any actual fighting

  • Attended Summer Fields Preparatory School in Oxford

  • His mother Contessa Estelle Marie Carandini was a renowned Edwardian beauty

  • In 1947 he made his film debut as a spear carrier in Laurence Olivier's Hamlet. This film also featured Peter Cushing who would go on to become his frequent co-star in Hammer films as well as his good friend

  • Is a classically trained singer. He has recorded a variety of songs including Ghost Riders in the Sky, Mack the Knife, Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin' and also sings on the soundtrack for The Wicker Man

  • Has an older sister, Xandra

  • On 16th June 2001, as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours, he became a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his "services to drama"

  • He was angry at the deletion of Saruman's death scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) when it was released in the cinemas. The scene had been cut due to time issues but it was added back into the film for the Extended DVD release

  • His father Geoffrey Trollope Lee was a Colonel in the 60th King's Royal Rifle Corps and was decorated for his services in both the Boer War and World War I

  • Married Gitte in 1961, a Danish model and painter

  • In 1997 he was made a Commander of the Venerable Order of St. John

  • Earned a scholarship for Wellington College and studied Greek and Latin

  • He is one of director Tim Burton's favourite actors and also says that Tim Burton is one his favourite directors

  • Was a top ranking sportsman in squash, rackets and fencing while at college. He also participated in hockey, cricket, football and rugby

  • After school his job for a time was as an office boy and messenger boy in London

  • Has provided voices for video games

  • His parents separated when he was very young, and his mother took him and his sister to Switzerland

  • In 1947 he began working under contract for Rank Organization. The contract was for 7 years

  • During World War II, he served with the Royal Air Force. In South Africa he trained as a pilot but eyesight problems meant he could not continue training. He then went to North Africa and became a cipher officer, serving in Sicily and Italy. He also served as a Special Operations Executive. After the war he retired with the rank of Flight Lieutenant, and was decorated for distinguished service

  • In 2010 and at the age of 88 years, he became the oldest person to release a symphonic metal album, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross

  • Passed the entrance examination for Eton, but the fees were unaffordable

  • Is a fan of the Italian symphonic metal band Rhapsody, and has also performed on a couple of their songs

  • On 21st June 2004, he was made an honorary citizen of the Italian city of Casina, where Sarzano, the castle of his ancestors is located

  • Is the only cast or crew member from The Lord of the Rings who had actually met J.J.R Tolkien

  • Hobbies include golf, travelling, gardening and opera

  • Attended Miss. Fisher's Academy in Wengen, Switzerland

  • His mother re-married and his stepfather, Harcourt "Ingle" Rose, a banker, was a step-cousin of the James Bond author Ian Fleming

  • Released a music album in 2006, Christopher Lee: Revelation

  • His great grandmother, Marie was an opera singer

  • Has one child, Christina Erika Caranini Lee

  • On 13th June 2009, as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours, he was knighted for his "services to drama and to charity". The ceremony was performed by Prince Charles

    Notable Projects:

  • Hugo (2011)
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010)
  • The Golden Compass (2007)
  • Corpse Bride (2005)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
  • Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Sleepy Hollow (1999)
  • Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
  • The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)
  • The Wicker Man (1973)
  • The Three Musketeers (1973)
  • Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)
  • Dracula (1958)
  • The Battle of the River Plate (1956)
  • The Cockleshell Heroes (1955)
  • The Crimson Pirate (1952)
  • Scott of the Antarctic (1948)
  • Hamlet (1948)

    Current Projects:

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
  • The Hobbit: There and Back Again (2014)

    Selected Awards:

  • 2011: BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award
  • 2002: Empire Life Achievement Award
  • 1979: Saturn Life Career Award


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