Christopher Plummer's obituary (2023)

Doomed or doomed to be remembered as Captain von Trapp in the 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein film The Sound of Music.christoph plummer, who died aged 91, was a great actor and leading man on stage, in film and in the alpine meadows for more than six decades.

With an imposing physique, broad forehead, shapely features and magnificent voice, he has performed nearly all of Shakespeare's major roles, mostly in his native Canada at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario. But he also had brief stints with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theater in Britain as he pursued a film career he never looked back on after a promising debut in Sidney Lumet's stage comedy.took the stage(1958), together withHenry FondaYSusanne Strassberg.

It outlasted other Hellraisers likepedro finkYRicardo Burton– once contracted hepatitis from partying too hardTyrone's power– to become the ideal actor for top-notch star roles. In 2009 alone, they ranged from a dying but still husky and flirtatious Leo Tolstoy in Michael Hoffman's The Last Season, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, to the hilarious eponymous showman in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, by Terry bookThe latest film and the voice of explorer Charles Muntz in the computer-animated masterpiece Up.Beginner(2010) won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for playing Hal, a retired museum curator, who tells his son, cartoonist Oliver (Ewan McGregor), about his terminal cancer and his relationship with a young lover.

As head of the von Trapp family in one of the most popular films of all time, he displayed a steely authority mixed with subservience and a romantic longing that few actors could display with such charm, though Plummer himself never liked the film. He declined to attend the 40th anniversary meeting, but softened for the 45th, recognizing the film's appeal as he said.was never really your "cup of tea". He called it "The Sound of Slime" or "S&M".

Plummer came from a wealthy railroad family, the only child of John Plummer, secretary to the dean of science at McGill University, and his wife Isabella (née Abbott). His maternal great-grandfather was the third Prime Minister of Canada,Sr. John Abbott. His parents divorced and he was raised in his mother's family home in Senneville, outside Montreal, Quebec. He grew up bilingual and seemed poised for a career in music.

But his plans to become a concert pianist were thwarted by his discovery of the theater, and he joined Canadian Rep in Ottawa in 1950, playing dozens of roles before joining the Bermuda Repertory Company in 1952. His New York debut came in 1954 as George Phillips in The Starcross Story, and was poised for stardom in the next Broadway season, when Kenneth Tynan hailed him as the Earl of Warwick in Jean Anouilh's The Lark, translated by Lillian Hellman: "You are hailing a great budding actor , reserved and saturnine and as promising as the Olivier of 20 years ago.”

Christopher Plummer's obituary (1)

Over the next five years, he became the biggest name at the Summer Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, casting a storm course in the unrivaled great roles on both sides of the Atlantic: Mark Antony in Julius Caesar and Ferdinand in The Tempest , followed by a Henry V, who came to the Edinburgh Festival in 1956 ("a performance in the charismatic style", said critic and festival historian Iain Crawford); then, over the next three years, Hamlet, Aguecheek in Twelfth Night, Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing, Leontes in The Winter's Tale, the Bastard in King John, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet.

Pedro's roomwas in the process of forming the first full RSC set and invited Plummer to join the company in 1961 as BenedickGeraldine McEwande Beatrice in Much Ado, Richard III e King Henry in Anouilh's Becket, ao ladoEric Portero, who played Buckingham and the religious martyr. Becket at the Aldwych, Plummer won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor. Your Ricardo (withedith evansas Queen Margaret), directed byGuillermo Gaskill, critic Caryl Brahms found it "completely and thoughtfully conceived and effortlessly executed ... stunningly good ... a biting humor visible even in moments of self-torment, and a delightfully confident play of humor".

Christopher Plummer's obituary (2)

Plummer, as your drinking partnerAlberto Finney, was known for idealizing his protagonists.carmian carr(the eldest daughter, Liesl, of the von Trapp family) later happily admitted thatshe learned to drinkof time together during filming.

In 1956 she married the actorTammy Grimesand had a daughter, Amanda,who also became an actor. That marriage ended in divorce in 1960, and Plummer began a wild affair with British entertainment journalist Patricia Lewis.

They lived in an apartment in Mayfair, frequented clubs, but were involved in a terrible car accident outside Buckingham Place one night after leaving Peter Cook's Club in Soho. Plummer was unharmed, but Lewis was in a coma for months. They were married in 1962 and divorced five years later.

The RSC club only existed for a while: Plummer had stepped into the gap at that point.Peter O'TooleHe broke a contract to play Lawrence of Arabia and would not return to the London stage for a decade. Back in Stratford, Ontario, he starred in Bergerac's Macbeth and Cyrano and cemented his Broadway reputation with critically acclaimed performances such as Brecht's Arturo Ui in 1963 and Pizarro in Peter Shaffer's The Royal Hunt of the Sun in 1965 (filmed by In 1969, it was Ataualpa). , the last Inca emperor).

Christopher Plummer's obituary (3)

Trials of Antony and Cleopatra at StratfordZoe Caldwellwere delayed during the filming of Philip Saville's Oedipus the King (1968), which wrapped in Greece with Lilli Palmer and Orson Welles, but Caldwell recalled a performance he considered the cornerstone of his career: "Because Christopher was so brave and intrepid and he did it at the same time, on stage, we built a relationship of absolute freedom to love, to play, to fight. We were royalty, we were carnal, we were leaders, we were slaves and anything was possible."

By the time Plummer returned to London to join the National in 1971, he had directed several Hollywood films, including Anthony Mann's blockbuster.The Fall of the Roman Empire(1964), but there was no glamour: cast in the title role of Brecht's version of Coriolanus, he fell out on the first day of rehearsals with two East German conductors brought in by the Berliner Ensemble and was replaced by Anthony Hopkins.

She was as unhappy as Jupiter in Laurence Olivier's failed production of Giraudoux's Amphitryon 38 in 1971, again opposite McEwan, but failed to ignite the spark that once found her with the RSC. In the National's New Theater (now Noël Coward) season, he was more successful in Jonathan Miller's production of Buchner's Danton's Death, translated by John Wells, but his days as an ensemble member in the UK andTer, They are sold out.

Christopher Plummer's obituary (4)

Back on Broadway in 1973, he won his first Tony Award in the musical Cyrano, withBook and Lyrics by Anthony Burgess. Although New York Times critic Clive Barnes wished the song would disappear, he applauded the "kinetic grace" of Plummer's performance, which made Cyrano "more poetic hero than boisterous buffoon with a heart as big as his nose". . .

Some of his most interesting films followed in that decade: he was a suave and funny straight man to Peter Sellers in Blake Edwards' The Return of the Pink Panther; a stunning Rudyard Kipling in John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King (both 1975), appearing alongside his good friends in Kipling's storySean Conneryand Michael Caine; and a believer insidejack oro's Aces High (1976), a transposition of RC Sherriff's first World War II trench drama, Journey's End to the skys.

His stage appearances became less frequent in the 1980s, when he played the warm, satanic Cardinal in the TV miniseries The Thorn Birds (1983), but he played Iago and Macbeth on Broadway (1982 and 1988) and appeared in the elegiac novel by Harold Pinter. man's-land in 1994. Terry Gilliam's sci-fi thriller 12 Monkeys (1995) seemed to propel him into a new phase of adjusting to a new career in Hollywood, and he made one of his most influential appearances as the TV reporter real microphone wallace. in The Insider (1999), by Michael Mann, alongside Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.

He starred again with Crowe in Ron Howard's spellbinding A Beautiful Mind (2001) and won new fans as Ralph Nickleby in Douglas McGrath's riveting film Starring Nicholas Nickleby (2002) and Spike Lee's heist film Inside Man (2006). . He cursed the day thatrejected Gandalfin The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Ian McKellen intervened), but stuck with the suit, playing family patriarch and industrial tycoon Henrik Vanger in the Hollywood version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Christopher Plummer's obituary (5)

Plummer won his second Broadway Tony in 1997 with a landmark performance by legendary actor John Barrymore in his one-man show Barrymore (a film that followed in 2011) and returned in 2004 in Jonathan Miller's revival of King Lear in Stratford, Ontario . On Broadway, he reprized Henry Drummond in 2007's old Darwinian warhorse Inherit the Wind and bid farewell to his beloved Stratford, Ontario in 2008 with Caesar in George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra and an acclaimed 80-year-old Prospero with long hair. Storm in 2010.

He received another Oscar nomination for his performance as J. Paul Getty in Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World (2017); had replaced Kevin Spaceyin light of allegations of sexual misconduct. He played the dying father of the Vietnam War hero in Todd Robinson's The Last Full Measure (2019).William H Pitsenbarger, as former colleagues of his dead son, including William Hurt, Samuel L Jackson andpedro fonda(in his last film) - Campaign for a posthumous Medal of Honor and his voice will appear on Sean Patrick O'ReillyHeroes of the Golden Masks, scheduled for the end of this year.

Like many big stars, he was sometimes noted for being moody or "difficult", although the longevity and scope of his career suggest creative use of his energetic excesses. He had long since given up on raucous parties, although he enjoyed talking about it with reporters and in his lively autobiography, Despite Myself (2008).

For many years he was separated from his daughter, but they reconciled and he lived happily in a country house in Weston, Connecticut, with his third wife, British dancer and actress Elaine Taylor, whom he married in 1970. She and Amanda gave him they survive.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Last Updated: 03/06/2023

Views: 5903

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (64 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Saturnina Altenwerth DVM

Birthday: 1992-08-21

Address: Apt. 237 662 Haag Mills, East Verenaport, MO 57071-5493

Phone: +331850833384

Job: District Real-Estate Architect

Hobby: Skateboarding, Taxidermy, Air sports, Painting, Knife making, Letterboxing, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Saturnina Altenwerth DVM, I am a witty, perfect, combative, beautiful, determined, fancy, determined person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.