Today, we learned that long-time actor Sir Christopher Lee has passed away due to heart failure on June 7th 2015. He was 93. A fine age indeed, but it's a loss nonetheless.
I wasn't there during his time in the spotlight, when he portrayed Dracula in one of the most iconic roles ever put on film. I wasn't there when Chrisopher Lee was the "Master of the Macabre". I guess most of us weren't.
But I was there when Christopher Lee was Saruman the White. I was there when he fell from the light and became the right-hand of Sauron. I was there when he was Count Dooku, and when he fought Yoda one-on-one. And I was there when he reprised his role as Saruman in The Hobbit, at an age most of us can only dream to make it to. I was there when he rescued Gandalf in one last daring moment.
Christopher Lee did lots of things. He served in the Second World War, he was an amazing actor for the majority of his life, he made bitchin' metal music well up into his nineties (no, seriously), so many other things that I can't even name them all, and he even did some things in video games.
He voiced his own character in games like Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth II and in LEGO The Hobbit. He also did some original voices, and I think the one most people will recognize is this guy right here:
For me, Christopher Lee was the one who portrayed some of the greatest villains of all time. Saruman will always be one of my favorites, the one who solidified the 'evil wizard' archtype, with a depth far beyond what we still see in movies nowadays. He was a greater influence on the horror genre than I can even begin to fathom. He was also someone who showed me the meaning of determination. When you refuse to retire well up until you're 93, you have some determination alright. It's something I look up to greatly.
A legend has passed on.
But the journey doesn't end here. And I hope that, like his fellow wizard, he will have his "white shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise".