These days, the 88-year-old Brit is best known for his roles of Saruman in “The Lord of the Rings” and Count Dooku in the “Star Wars” prequels, but it was only 50 years ago that he was the king of horror films. But why I really love returning to his page is because the list of his film goes on and on and on.
In total, Lee has appeared in 268 films since his first role in 1948. With so many movies under his belt, my question for the BAFTA committee is not why they chose to honor Lee with the prestigious Academy Fellowship award at the awards ceremony this Sunday (February 13), but really, what took them so long? I outline the reasons why I think he deserved this role a long, long time ago after the jump.
He is the “Guinness Book of World Records” record holder for most film acting roles ever
Seriously, 268 roles in 63 years?! That averages at 4 to 5 film roles a year. For more than six decades. They should have just given him an award for most industrious Brit ever and called it a day.
He filmed “The Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars” at the same time
It’s hard enough having a major role in one franchise, but Lee managed to juggle two of the most popular nerd franchises of all time while in his 80s without losing sleep over it. In fact, to keep himself extra busy, he also did some video game voices and filmed “Greyfriars Bobby” in his off time.
He was an action star in his early 80s
Let’s ignore the fact for a moment that he starred in two major film trilogies at the same time because, I mean, come on, Ian McKellan did it to, am I right? Well, pretending like that wasn’t a big deal at all, it is extra impressive that Lee was able to do his own stunts in some pretty intense fight scenes while in his early 80s. The dude fought Yoda, okay?
He was a big part of the Hammer Horror films
But the BAFTAs aren’t giving out awards only for awesome nerd roles or a serious commitment to the craft; they’re giving out awards for contributions to British cinema. Which again makes me wonder why this took so long. Lee was one of the major actors for Hammer Horror, a film production company started in the UK in 1934 that pumped out the best B-rated horror films from the mid-1950s to the 1970s. Lee was one of the major reasons Hammer dominated the horror film market, and should be recognized for that.
The queen knighted him before the BAFTAs honored him
And the British Association of Film and Television Arts definitely should have recognized him already if the queen of England knighted him in 2009. I mean, should the queen really beat you to something like this? Didn’t think so.
Do you think Christopher Lee should have been recognized for his contribution to British cinema before now? Give us your thoughts in the comments section and on Twitter!