Award winning veteran actor Christopher Plummer died February 5, 2021 in his Connecticut home at the age of 91. His wife Elaine was at his side at the time of his death.
Plummer’s 50 plus year career includes appearances in over 200 productions and numerous awards including earning an Academy Award at the age of 82; making him the oldest actor to ever receive the award.
Despite his hundreds of appearances on and off the screen. He will forever be best known for his role as Captain von Trapp in the 1965 film production of “The Sound of Music”. He starred opposite Julie Andrews in the film.
Feeling the character of von Trapp was one dimensional, Plummer said, “It was almost impossible. It was just agony to try to make that guy not a cardboard figure.”
In his mid 80’s, with just six weeks before “All the Money in the World” was set to open in theatres, Plummer was chosen to replace Kevin Spacey in the role of L. Paul Getty. Plummer noted that he had to learn his lines very quickly.
“Star Trek” fans know Plummer as the Klingon Chang in “Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country”.
Plummer once noted that he enjoyed playing evil characters because, “the devil is more interesting than God”.
An acting workaholic Plummer noted, “too many people in the world are unhappy with their lot. And then they retire and they become vegetables. I think retirement in any profession is death, so I’m determined to keep crackin’”. In fact, he was in the process of filming “Heroes of the Golden Masks” as the voice of Rizzo.
He made his acting debut on the screen as Othello in 1953 on the television series “Encounter”. His other notable roles include “The Sound of Music”, “Return of the Pink Panther”, Herod Antipas in “Jesus of Nazareth”, “Somewhere in Time”, Archbiship Vittorio Contini-Verchese in “The Thorn Birds”, “Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country”, Alexander Addington in the television series “Counterstrike”, numerous appearances in the “Madeline” franchise, “On Golden Pond”, “Nicholas Nickleby”, as John Adams Gates in “National Treasure”, “Beginners”, “Barrymore”, and “Knives Out”.
As himself, Plummer first appeared on television in an episode of “The Ed Sullivan Show”. His other apearances include awards shows, documentaries, talk shows, and television specials.
Along with his over 200 film and television roles, Plummer appeared both on the Broadway and Shakespearian stage. At one time or another in his career he has played Hamlet, Iago, Othello, Prospero, Henry V, and King Lear.
Plummer made his Broadway debut in 1954 as George Phillips in “The Starcross Story”. From there, he went on to appear in “Home is the Hero”, “The Dark is Light Enough”, “The Lark”, “Night of the Auk”, “J.B.”, “Arturo Ui”, “The Royal Hunt of the Sun”, “Cyrano”, The Good Doctor”, “Othello”, “Macbeth”, “No Man’s Land”, “Barrymore”, “King Lear”, and “Inherit the Wind”.
Missing the distinction as an EGOT winner with a Grammy nomination; Plummer has won Academy, Emmy, and Tony Awards. He has also been awarded the BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, SAG Awards, Companion of the Order of Canada and is a member of the American Theatre’s Hall of Fame.
Born Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer December 13, 1929 in Toronto, Ontario; Plummer is the great-grandson of former Canadian Prime Minister Sir John Abbott. His parents divorced shortly after young Arthur was born and he grew up in Quebec. He began his acting career on the stage in the 1940’s while still in his teens. Trained as a classical pianist, he chose acting instead.
Plummer is survived by his third wife Elaine and daughter Amanda.
feature photo credit: By gdcgraphics, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5199198