British actor Sir Christopher Lee passed away over the weekend at the age of 93. Lee was an award-winning actor who touched viewers around the world with his performances in movies like The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings. He was also a heavy metal fanatic, even releasing his own album in 2010.
In 2009 Christopher Lee was knighted in the United Kingdom for his work as an actor and a philanthropist.
Lee will forever be a part of our film lexicon. In memory of him, here are 18 wisdom packed quotes to remember his life by. Godspeed, Mr. Lee.
1. “We don’t always get the kind of work we want, but we always have a choice of whether to do it with good grace or not.”
2. “Every actor has to make terrible films from time to time, but the trick is never to be terrible in them.”
3. “I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers.”
4. “There was a gap of seven years between the first and second Dracula movies. In the second one as everybody knows, I didn’t speak, because I said I couldn’t say the lines.”
5. “My favourite country is Finland because once you get to a certain point, you can drive for hours without seeing a single person. I love peace and quiet – something I don’t get very often.”
6. “I don’t want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again.”
7. “I lived for 10 years in Los Angeles, and the one element that surpasses everything else – that you are very conscious of – is fear. You can smell it.”
8. “The secret to a long marriage in the film industry? Marry someone wonderful, as I did. And always have her come along on location.”
9. “The thing I have always tried to do is surprise people: to present them with something they didn’t expect.”
10. “Acting as a profession came to me by chance: in 1946, after the war, I was having lunch with my cousin, who was the Italian ambassador, and he asked, ‘What are you going to do now you’re out of uniform?’ I said, ‘I’m pretty inventive, and I can imitate people,’ and he said, ‘Have you thought about being an actor?’”
11. “What’s really important for me is, as an old man, I’m known by my own generation and the next generation know me, too.”
12. “Films are now made by accountants. They pick a pretty young female or male face out of the air and give them a part – not because they think that person is right for it or is ready for it, but because they think that person will make them money.”
13. “You can learn Elvish, if you want. It’s a language like Italian and English. You can learn to read it, you can learn to write it, and you can learn to speak it.”
14. “When the Second World War finished, I was 23, and already I had seen enough horror to last me a lifetime. I’d seen dreadful, dreadful things, without saying a word. So seeing horror depicted on film doesn’t affect me much.”
15. “People should not pass judgment until they have seen the film.”
16. “I’ve always acknowledged my debt to Hammer. I’ve always said I’m very grateful to them. They gave me this great opportunity, made me a well known face all over the world for which I am profoundly grateful.”
17. “Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life. I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.”
18. “To be a legend, you’ve either got to be dead or excessively old!”
You are most certainly a legend Mr. Lee. May you rest in peace.