When planning our Roundtables, we try to mix things up and not have two similar types or topics too close together. Ordinarily, then, we wouldn’t have Roundtables focused on an individual back-to-back. However, when the news broke in June of this year of the passing of Christopher Lee, there was immediate agreement that the next Roundtable should be a tribute.

Descended from the Emperor Charlemagne, and a veteran of WWII, Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ was a linguist, an opera singer, a heavy metal rocker, a folk singer, and a voice artist. His acting career lasted sixty-eight years, from a bit part in 1947’s Corridor Of Mirrors and an appearance as a literal spear-carrier in Olivier’s production of Hamlet, to a most appropriate final role, playing “the boss of the universe”, in the not-yet-released Angels In Notting Hill.

In between there were, of course, some ups and downs…

Chris Lee himself may have had something of a love-hate relationship with his genre films, but there’s no disputing the man’s legacy. He was Dracula…and Frankenstein’s Creature, and the Mummy. He was Rasputin. He was the Duc de Richleau. He was Scaramanga. He was Lord Summerisle. He was Sherlock Holmes and Mycroft Holmes. He was Saruman. And yes…he was mod Dracula…and Jess Franco’s Fu Manchu…and he had the silliest character name in all the George Lucas universe…and he wore those damn sunglasses…

It was, in other words, a full, rich tapestry. Please join us throughout August as we celebrate it in all its diversity.

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Liz Kingsley is the insane genius behind And You Call Yourself a Scientist!


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