Award-winning Canadian actor, Christopher Plummer, perhaps best known for playing Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died at the age of 91.
In a career that stretched over nearly seven decades and over 200 roles, he naturally performed in several Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror roles, the most famous of which was General Chang, the Shakespeare-quoting Klingon warrior in Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country.
Christopher Plummer was born December 13, 1929 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in Quebec; he died February 5, 2021 in Weston, Connecticut, USA. He was one of only twenty-four people to win the American Triple Crown of Acting: Oscar, Emmy, and Tony. Like his Star Trek co-star, William Shatner, who was his understudy in Henry V in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, he was awarded the status of Companion of the Order of Canada.
With his rich, deep voice, Plummer was popular as a voice actor and a narrator. In addition to voicing the greedy explorer Charles Muntz in Up, he voiced Dr. Jeffrey West in three H. P. Lovecraft cartoons: Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom, and Howard Lovecraft in the Kingdom of Madness. He was the Pixie King in Pixies. He was Santa Claus in Blizzard, directed by LeVar Burton. He narrated the Madeline television series, as well as several Madeline movies. He voiced Barnaby Crookedman in the animated remake of Babes in Toyland. He narrated Rumpelstiltskin, David the Gnome, and The Velveteen Rabbit.
Plummer also starred as Dr. Parnassus in the cult classic film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. He co-starred as Rev.Carlyle in the horror movie Skeletons. He played John Klaxon in Harrison Bergeron (based on the Kurt Vonnegut story). He was Dr. Heller in Already Dead. He played Dr. Goines in the award-winning Twelve Monkeys. He was Professor Catalano in the horror film Vampire in Venice. He played the ruthless Bob Blair in the science fiction thriller Dreamscape.
His most famous role was arguably that of the naval officer Captain Georg von Trapp in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, but he was also a star of the stage, well known for his Shakespearean roles: Iago to James Earl Jones’ Othello, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, starring roles in King Lear, Macbeth. Richard III, Henry V, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Philip the Bastard in King John, Leontes in A Winter’s Tale, and several others. He performed at the world-famous Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Sttratford, Ontariio, the Edinburgh Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, and on Broadway. He was nominated for a Tony Award for playing Lucifer in Archibald MacLeish’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, J. B. His performance as Cyrano de Bergerac in the musical Cyrano won him his first Tony.
He was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards and won two. His awards include seven Gemini Award nominations, seven Tony nominations and two wins. He was nominated for the Oscars three times. He won his first Oscar at the age of 82, for Beginners, which made him the oldest Oscar winner to date. When he received his third Oscar nomination, for All the Money in the World, at age 88, he was the oldest actor to be an Oscar nominee. He won the Canadian Screen Awards, Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Although he never won the coveted EGOT status, he came close. He won Oscars, Tonys, and Emmies, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Recording for Children for The Nutcracker. He has a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame, but not yet, one one the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Although he never attended college, he had seven honorary degrees from universities in the USA and Canada.
Chrstopher Plummer was married three times. From 1956 to 1960, he was married to American actress Tammy Grimes (Molly Grue in The Last Unicorn); they had one daughter actress Amanda Plummer (Wiress in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oracle Selloi in Battlestar Galactica, and Esmeralda Poofenplotz in Disney’s Phineas & Ferb). He was married to Patricia Lewis from 1962 to 1967. His third wife, English actress Elaine Taylor (SMERSH agent Peg in Casino Royale), was married to him from 1970 to 2021.
Ave atque vale, Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer, 1929 – 2021. His final movie was Heroes of the Golden Masks, which is still filming.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.