A Dose of Awesome: Christopher Lee!

It’s been quite a while since we took a look into our Awesome Box of Awesome Things, so let’s talk about one of the most awesome people in existence: Christopher Lee!

Aw, just some old guy? What’s so awesome about some old guy? Well, mister, lemme tell ya, you better put on yer noseplugs, ’cause you’re about to get drowned in awesome.

If you want the straight facts on Lee, you can check his Wikipedia page, or for a bit more levity, there’s his TVTropes page… but even with dry ol’ Wikipedia, you just can’t hide what an amazing life the man has had. He’s just shy of 90 years old, he’s almost six-and-a-half feet tall, he’s got a voice that is really just one of the most amazing things I’ve ever gotten to hear. And he’s played a spectacular number of roles on the big screen. How many? Well, he holds the world record — 275 roles!

He was Count Dracula in the Hammer horror films of the 1950s and ’60s — and he’s still considered the best actor to have every performed that role. He played Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, and plenty of other roles in other Hammer films. He was Francisco Scaramanga in “The Man with the Golden Gun.” He played Lord Summerisle in the original “Wicker Man.” He played Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes. He played Saruman in the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. He played Count Dooku in the “Star Wars” prequels. He was even the voice of Death in two British adaptations of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.

Oh, but there’s more to him than just acting. He met M.R. James, the greatest ghost story writer in history, while applying for a scholarship at Eton. He was the only member of the cast of “Lord of the Rings” to have actually met J.R.R. Tolkien and re-reads the entire trilogy every year.

He served in the Royal Air Force during World War II — and he was a member of a secret espionage unit called the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. There is a very good chance that he actually killed Nazis, which is more awesome than anything you’ve done, isn’t it? One of the men who served with him in the war was his step-cousin Ian Fleming, creator of the James Bond novels!

He’s an expert fencer. He did his own swordplay in the “Star Wars” movies and his own stunt driving in “The Man with the Golden Gun.” He received his knighthood on Halloween. He’s an operatic bass-baritone. And he released a couple of heavy metal albums. Both of them were named after Charlemagne. Why Charlemagne? Because Christopher Lee is a direct descendant of the most badass of the French kings.

I don’t know what else to say. Christopher Lee is so awesome, it hurts.

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