Christopher LeeBritish Horror Icon
The classiest of all horror heroes.
A prolific British actor with more than 250 film and TV roles to his credit, Christopher Lee is one of horror's greatest icons, a distinction that he probably has a bit of a problem with, given the depths of his dramatic talent. A handsome-yet-imposing Englishman with a resonant voice, Lee became a star in the 1950s as one of the lead actors for Hammer Studios, along with his close friend and frequent costar, Peter Cushing. Most renowned for his many turns as Dracula, Lee proved that he could be more than a ghoulish villain in excellent productions such as The Devil Rides Out, where he actually played the protagonist, and The Wicker Man, an acclaimed thriller that found him portraying a charismatic cult leader. While the ‘80s weren't terribly kind to Lee (The Return of Captain Invincible, anyone?), the late ‘90s found him working with admirers such as Tim Burton and Peter Jackson, the latter casting him as the treacherous Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. (He also appeared in two of George Lucas's Star Wars prequels as the unfortunately named Count Dooku.) In 2009, Lee's considerable contributions to cinema were acknowledged when he was knighted by the Queen of England.