: I will play no more monsters. Dracula is different; he is such an exciting person.
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, was an English actor, singer and author. With a career spanning nearly seven decades, Lee was well known for portraying villains and became best known for his role as Count Dracula in a sequence of Hammer Horror films, a typecasting he always lamented.
His other film roles include Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun, Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequel trilogy, and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and the Hobbit film trilogy.
Lee was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009, received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011, and received the BFI Fellowship in 2013. Lee considered his best performance to be that of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah, and his best film to be the British cult film The Wicker Man.
He frequently appeared opposite his friend Peter Cushing in many horror films, and late in his career had roles in six Tim Burton films.
Prior to his acting career, Lee served in the Royal Air Force, where he was attached to the No. 260 Squadron RAF as an intelligence officer and later the Special Operations Executive. Following his World War II service he retired from the RAF in 1946 with the rank of flight lieutenant.