People will remember Christopher Lee for a number of performances. For the Baby Boomers this will consist mainly of his appearances in Hammer horror films and especially his defining turn as Count Dracula. However, it was our generation that arguably brought him his greatest success.
While his turn as Count Dracula was memorable, his performances in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, the Star Wars prequels, and just about every Tim Burton film of the new millennium that introduced the actor to a new generation that was more than happy to embrace him. There are few arenas of nerd-dom as fervent and expansive as those of Tolkien and Star Wars. The knighted actor not only performed with standard-bearing excellence in these roles, he also brought weight and gravitas to characters, especially Count Dooku, that could have come off as cartoonish, and provided these fantastic tales with sincere, motivated, flawed humanity. Granted, that low voice could make a chewing gum commercial sound like the most important news item in history, but it was his sincerity and commitment to the characters, to imbuing them with his presence, that made these characters so memorable.
The fact that Mr. Lee’s geek renaissance didn’t even begin until he was nearly 80 is quite impressive, and the utilization of his talents by borderline Gen-Xer and gothic auteur Tim Burton speaks as a sort of unofficial stamp of approval by the nerd community. If a nerd like Tim Burton wants to use him in every movie, and both Peter Jackson and George Lucas want to use him as cornerstones of their storytelling (misguided though some of those films may have been), that is instant geek street cred from three of the greatest storytellers (and nerds) from the last 50 years.
The world can remember Mr. Lee for whatever they choose. But for us nerds, it will be his work with these three storytellers, these co-founders of our nerd-dom, that will remind us of The Geek Grandfather, the wonderfully talented Christopher Lee. Rest in peace, sir, and thank you for being one of us.
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Todd doesn’t like anything and doesn’t care what you think about it.
SPRATTE IS A SPAZ AND LIKES EVERYTHING BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS AWESOOOOME! Spratte also REALLLLY likes coffee. And Mountain Dew. And he mourns for the generations that will never fully understand the experience of watching Saturday morning cartoons.
Aaron has a degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Northern Colorado and likes to spend his free time writing the occasional sad bastard play. Because, like Whedon and Moffet, your tears give him strength.
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