Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, born in Belgravia, London, entered the film industry in
1947 and was for a time under contract to the Rank Organisation. He has appeared in
numerous theatre and operatic concert performances, television, and has recorded radio
world-wide. Lee has filmed in English, Russian, Italian, French, German, and Spanish.
He has appeared in over 250 films and television productions, among which the best known are
A Tale of Two Cities, Dracula, The Wicker Man, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The
Three and The Four Musketeers, The Man with the Golden Gun, 1941, Airport 77, Gremlins II,
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Jinnah and the BBC's production of "Gormenghast."
In 2001, Lee starred in two of the biggest films of the year, Star Wars - Episode 2:
Attack of the Clones and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
He will next be seen in the highly-anticipated Star Wars: Episode 3.
The directors for whom he has worked include John Huston, Raoul Walsh, Joseph Losey, George Marshall, Orson Welles, Nicholas Ray, Michael Powell, Edward Molinaro, Jerome Savary, Billy Wilder, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, John Landis, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson, and George Lucas. He has also appeared as host of "Saturday Night Live" in 1978, the third highest-rated show of the series.
Lee is the only actor who has portrayed Sherlock Holmes and his brother Mycroft, and he executed both King Charles, the First of England and King Louis the Sixteenth of France. He is an accomplished screen sword fighter, and an honorary member of three stuntmen's unions.
Lee is listed in the Guiness Book of Movie Facts & Feats as being the international star with the most screen credits, numbering nearly 300 film and television productions, and was recently awarded the London Film Critics Dilys Powell 94 award for his work as an actor and for his services to the film industry. He has also received honors from France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Belguim and Spain for his contributions to world cinema. He is a Commander of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, the world's oldest order, and was also made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in the Queen's birthday honors in June 2001 for his services to drama. He has also recorded opera and popular songs on CD, including the most recent, "The King and I."