Papergreat: RIP, Sir Christopher Lee, champion of literature

He was Dracula and Dooku. He was Saruman and Scaramanga.

But actor Christopher Lee, whose death Sunday at age 93 was announced today, was much more than just fangs, blood and bad guys.

Please dont describe me in your article as a horror legend," he asked a reporter for The Telegraph in 2011.

So, setting aside the cinematic creatures of the night, here are some bookish things you might not have known about Christopher Lee:

1. He was fully or partially fluent in English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Russian, Greek, and Mandarin Chinese.1

2. Lee once met educator and ghost-story author M.R. James (1862-1936). The Book of Ghost Stories, an early 1980s volume dedicated to James' works, includes a short tribute to James, penned by Lee. An excerpt:

4. Lee once met J.R.R. Tolkien and was a serious fan and scholar of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It has been reported that he "was such a mammoth Tolkien fan that he re-read the fantasy books every year without fail." In a 2010 interview with Lawrence French of Cinefantastique, Lee said:

6. Lee shared the same birthday (May 27) and a friendship with Vincent Price, another horror icon who had so many interests beyond vampires and ghouls. Price published books about cooking and antiques, and Lee had a music career that spanned opera and heavy metal, with some history of Charlemagne woven in.

Read more here:
Papergreat: RIP, Sir Christopher Lee, champion of literature

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