Dracula falls silent: Indian celebs mourn Christopher Lee’s death

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Mumbai, June 11 (IANS) The death of Hollywood’s iconic villain and master of horror genre Christopher Lee, led Indian film celebrities like Madhur Bhandarkar, Ranvir Shorey and Shekhar Kapur to reminisce the legend’s body of work, which they said made him “immortal”.

The celebrities took to micro-blogging site Twitter to express grief over Lee’s death.

Lee, best known for his role as Count Dracula in Hammer Horror films, passed away on Sunday in London after suffering respiratory and heart problems. He was 93. The news of his demise came out on Thursday, following which a pall of gloom engulfed the global entertainment industry.

Bhandarkar described Lee’s death as a huge loss to showbiz.

“The Dracula falls silent as we bid farewell to the towering #ChristopherLee. Show business has lost a remarkable legend today. RIP, Sir,” Bhandarkar posted.

Lee, whose career began in the 1940s, caught everyone’s attention with “Dracula Has Risen From The Grave”, which gave him a star status.

There was no looking back for Lee. He immortalised characters with his impeccable talent — be it as a villain of a James Bond film “The Man With the Golden Gun” or as Frankenstein’s Monster in 1957’s “The Curse of Frankenstein”.

He was introduced to a new generation of fans as a star of some of the world’s biggest franchises: Count Dooku in the “Star Wars” films, and Saruman in “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”.

Internationally known filmmaker Shekhar Kapur remembered the legend’s iconic roles as he wrote: “And we started to imagine that Saruman from Lord of the Rings was truly immortal. #RIPChristopherLee”.

Writer-filmmaker Milap Zaveri also shared: “RIP Sir Christopher Lee. Dracula to many, Saruman to me.”

Filmmaker Sajid Khan awrote: “R.I.P. Christopher lee… he will always be alive thru his various entertaining characters… especially scaramanga”.

Lee, who also etched the character of Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah in 1998 film “Jinnah”, was knighted in 2009 and received a Bafta fellowship in 2011. He never intended to retire as he had mentioned in an interview that “I hate being idle. As dear Boris (Karloff) used to say, ‘When I die I want to die with my boots on'”.

“Kahaani” director Sujoy Ghosh was also saddened by the news as he posted: “The man with the golden gun is no more.”

Sangeeth Sivan tweeted: “RIP Sir Christopher Lee! For me he was the face of FEAR ever since I saw a trailer of THE DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM HIS GRAVE when v young.”

Actors Ranvir and Vivaan Shah also expressed their condolences by writing “RIP”.

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

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