The most prolific actor in motion picture history, the on-screen legend that was Sir Christopher Lee, has passed away in hospital after a lengthy battle with heart problems.
Known and forever remembered as an icon of the silver screen, his past achievements in front of the camera cement his place in Hollywood and British film industry folklore. Some of his greatest accomplishments, however, were collected not on stage, but on the battlefield during World War II.
Little known facts about Sir Christopher Lee's service for the Army and RAF will escape many major news broadcasters and tabloids around the world today, but his distinguished career in the British military and the Special Air Service, will be recognized.
"I was attached to the SAS from time to time but we are forbidden – former, present, or future – to discuss any specific operations. Let's just say I was in Special Forces and leave it at that. People can read in to that what they like."
When pressed by an eager interviewer on his SAS past, he leaned forward and whispered: “Can you keep a secret?”“Yes!” the interviewer replied, breathless with excitement.“So can I.” replied a smiling Lee, sitting back in his chair.
"I've seen many men die right in front of me - so many in fact that I've become almost hardened to it. Having seen the worst that human beings can do to each other, the results of torture, mutilation and seeing someone blown to pieces by a bomb, you develop a kind of shell. But you had to. You had to. Otherwise we would never have won."
Tall and talented: 10 reasons why Sir Christopher Lee is a legend:
- Christopher Lee was Ian Fleming's cousin, serving alongside him during the war.
- At 6'5'' tall, Sir Christopher's imposing stature made him one of the tallest actors in the world.
- He was introduced to Prince Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, the assassins of Grigori Rasputin, whom Lee was to play many years later.
- Fluent in six languages including French and German.
- Participated in more on-screen sword fights than any actor in history
- He was a descendent of Charlemagne
- Christopher Lee released a heavy metal hardcore symphonic power metal concept album about Charlemagne when he was 88 years old.
- He volunteered to fight for Finland in the Winter War prior to WW2.
- Saw the Nazi concentration camps first-hand
- He was an opera singer.
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