Sad I missed opportunity to host Christopher Lee: Amitabh

Mumbai, June 12 (IANS) Indian megastar Amitabh Bachchan has mourned the death of Hollywood’s iconic villain Christopher Lee, whom he describes as a “gentle giant in reality” and a “giant of an artist”. He says he once had a chance to host the “caring” legend here, but rues that he missed it.

The 72-year-old took to his official blog to mourn the death of the Hollywood icon, who passed away at an age of 93 on Sunday in London after suffering respiratory and heart problems.

“Some years ago I was invited to be on the Jury for the Miss World Contest, in South Africa, soon after the year after our own Miss World debacle in ABCL. Sir Christopher Lee was on the panel of judges with us, and I remember the wonderful time spent with him during the contest,” Big B posted on his blog.

The Indian actor also noted that Lee, who essayed the character of Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the 1998 film “Jinnah”, presented a part of Indian history on the silver screen.

“He was great company… played a few rounds of golf with him during the off moments, a proficient golfer with a handsome handicap… a few years later I got a note from him that he was on his way to India to film… a chapter in the history of pre-independent India… he was playing Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.

“I was travelling and could not respond to him… sad that I missed his company and the opportunity to host him here in Mumbai… and today he has left this world… prayers and peace in condolence,” he added.

Lee ruled the darker realms of cinema with his villainous and evil roles in movies like “The Man With the Golden Gun”, “The Curse of Frankenstein”, “Star Wars” films, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”. He spiralled to fame with his role as Count Dracula in Hammer Horror films.

The “Paa” actor looked back at Lee’s body of work, saying he will remain alive through his “immortal” characters.

“Christopher Lee, a giant of an artist… one that immortalised Count Dracula in those horror movies… a gentle giant in reality… simple considerate and caring,” he shared.

Lee, whose career began in the 1940s, caught everyone’s attention with “Dracula Has Risen From The Grave”, which gave him a star status. The nonagenarian has one film yet to be released, the fantasy film “Angels in Notting Hill”, where he plays a godly figure who looks after the universe.

He was also set to star in the 9/11 drama “The 11th” opposite Uma Thurman, which was due to begin filming in November.

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