Christopher Lee played so many villains in his nearly 70-year acting career that his New York Times obituary referred to him, in jest of course, as “evil incarnate.”
The actor who played Saruman in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies and Count Dooku in Star Wars, died Sunday at the age of 93. His roles also included Count Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy, Rasputin, Scaramanga, Fu Manchu and a Nazi officer.
One of his many films based on Bram Stoker’s novel was The Satanic Rites of Dracula.
He was thought to have had a vast library of occult books, but during a 2011 speech at University College Dublin, he denied having more than a few such tomes. He also said he’d never been involved in the occult.
But he went further: he admonished students against occult practices, warning them that he had met “people who claimed to be Satanists, who claimed to be involved with black magic, who claimed that they not only knew a lot about it.”
“I warn all of you: never, never, never. You will not only lose your mind, you’ll lose your soul.”