Christopher Lee in 2008. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, June 12 (UPI) -- Filmmaker Peter Jackson posted online an eloquently penned essay about the late actor Christopher Lee, who appeared in Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit blockbusters.
"He was 93 years old, had not been in his usual good health for some time, but his spirit remained, as always, indomitable," Jackson wrote in a Facebook message Thursday.
"Christopher spoke seven languages; he was in every sense, a man of the world; well versed in art, politics, literature, history and science. He was [a] scholar, a singer, an extraordinary raconteur and of course, a marvelous actor. One of my favorite things to do whenever I came to London would be to visit with Christopher and [his wife] Gitte where he would regale me for hours with stories about his extraordinary life. I loved to listen to them and he loved to tell them -- they were made all the more compelling because they were true -- stories from his time with the SAS, through the Second World War, to the Hammer Horror years and later, his work with Tim Burton -- of which he was enormously proud."
Jackson went on to say he felt fortunate to have collaborated with Lee on five films.
"It never ceased to be a thrill to see him on set. I remember him saying on my 40th Birthday -- he was 80 at the time -- 'You're half the man I am.' Being half the man Christopher Lee is, is more than I could ever hope for. He was a true gentleman, in an era that no longer values [gentlemen.]"
The filmmaker said he grew up on Lee's movies and was "enthralled by the great iconic roles he not only created -- but continued to own decades later," but Jackson added he also loved the man and friend Lee was in real life.
"There will never be another Christopher Lee. He has a unique place in the history of cinema and in the hearts of millions of fans around the world. The world will be a lesser place without him in it," Jackson concluded. "My deepest sympathies to Gitte and to his family and friends. Rest in peace, Chris. An icon of cinema has passed into legend."