Celebrity Christopher Plummer, the dynamic Canadian-born actor, Oscar and Emmy’s winner, dies at age 91 in his home. His wife, Elaine, discloses the star died as a result of a fatal blow to the head from a fall. The late actor has made many appearances in Shakespeare plays or musicals.
Christopher was as charming as he was arrogant. His habits where acknowledged in his later years as his habits waned and manner softened. This all happened years before Christopher Plummer died at the age of 91. He was replaced in 1971 by Anthony Hopkins in the lead role for “Coriolanus”. The celebrity was notoriously dismissed in a voting event called by the cast. The late actor’s behavior was too obnoxious and crude for the cast to handle.
Possibly the best known film was the musical – The sound of Music – in which he starred as naval officer Georg von Trapp.
“That sentimental stuff is the most difficult for me to play, especially because I’m trained vocally and physically for Shakespeare,” Mr. Plummer said in a People magazine interview in 1982. “To do a lousy part like von Trapp, you have to use every trick you know to fill the empty carcass of the role. That damn movie follows me around like an albatross.”
His career spanned over 70 years in which he played various roles from dull to threatening, religious or stern. He also played Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard the third and Mark Antony among other Shakespeare’s characters. Mr. Plummer also starred in a fair share of modern movies such “Skeletons” ( 1997) or “Starcrash” (1978) where he played the Emperor.
The leading female roles were tailored to match him. Glenda Jackson played Lady Macbeth and Zoe Caldwell played Cleopatra. He also starred in Sherlock Holmes and Mike Wallace, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alfred Stieglitz , etc.
Mr. Plummer’s career began in the 1950s, during the heyday of live drama, and lasted half a century. He starred as the archbishop in the popular 1983 mini-series “The Thorn Birds,” appeared regularly as an industrialist in the 1990s action-adventure series “Counterstrike,” and won Emmy Awards — in 1977 for portraying a conniving banker in the mini-series “Arthur Hailey’s The Moneychangers,” and in 1994 for narrating “Madeline,” an animated series based on the children’s books.
He plays von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” as a severe widower and father. Other notable plays include “THe Last Station”, “THe Man Who would be King”( with Sean Connery) ,Star Trek VI or Return of the Pink Panther.
In 2012, Plummer wins a belated Oscar due the role of Hal. The character was a gay person who comes out the closet after decades. The movie is “Begginers”.
“Simply stupendous,” Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote of that performance. At 82, he was the oldest person recorded to win an Academy Award in a competitive category.
“You’re only two years older than me, darling,” Mr. Plummer said, addressing the golden statuette during his acceptance speech. “Where have you been all my life?”
About 12 plus roles came even after the age of 75. Some of these names include: The girl with the dragon tattoo ( 2011) , Knives Out(2019) or The last full measure( 2019).
In 2017 he starred as J. Paul Getty, the billionaire who refuses to pay a ransom for his kidnapped grandson, in the Ridley Scott movie “All the Money in the World,” a role he stepped into at the last minute to replace Kevin Spacey, who had been accused of sexual misconduct. His formidable performance, described as “so dominating, so magnetic and monstrous” by the New York Times critic Manohla Dargis, earned him an Oscar nomination.
“I’m not a superstar — thank God,” Mr. Plummer said in an interview with The Times in 1982. “Christ, to be a superstar must be extremely tiring and limiting.
“I prefer being half-recognized on the street and getting good tables in restaurants,” he added. “Unfortunately, the really good, smashing parts do not always come my way because they go to the first tier of superstars who are bankable.”
As accurate as that self-assessment was, it pertained only to the movies. Onstage, with a fierce intelligence, exemplary control of his body and voice, and a formidable command of language, Mr. Plummer had few equals.
“As T.S. Eliot measures his life with coffee spoons, so I measure mine by the plays I’ve been in,” he wrote in his expansive 2008 memoir, “In Spite of Myself.”
A Shakespearean Foremost
Plummer made notable Broadway appearances in works by Archibald MacLeish (the Devil-like Nickels in “J.B.” in 1958), Bertolt Brecht (the Hitler-like title role in “Arturo Ui” in 1963), Peter Shaffer (the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro in “The Royal Hunt of the Sun” in 1965), Neil Simon (the Chekhov-like narrator in “The Good Doctor” in 1973) and Harold Pinter (“No Man’s Land,” opposite Jason Robards, in 1994).
Plummer’s most notable Broadway plays were in Arturo Ui or The Royal Hunt of the Sun. He played a Hitler like role in the first one and the Spanish conquistador in the latter. He also stared in No Man’s Land in 1994.
He won a Tony in the title role of “Cyrano,” a 1973 musical version of Edmond Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” and in 2007 he was nominated for a Tony for the Clarence Darrow-like role of Henry Drummond, opposite Brian Dennehy, in “Inherit the Wind,” his final Broadway appearance.
The praise was amplified by the senior Times critic of the day, Walter Kerr, who wrote, “It is quite possibly the best single Shakespearean performance to have originated on this continent in our time.
He was first and foremost a Shakespearean, one who brought volcanic intensity and sharp intellect to his preparation.
“I disagree with the theory that he is a man of indecision,” Mr. Plummer wrote about Hamlet in an essay for Playbill in 1964. “The truth is that he has made his mind up many times over, and it is only through his self-analytical precision and towering imagination that he finds himself living the deed long before he commits himself to its performance.”
His first feature-film role was as a playwright in “Stage Struck,” a 1958 drama about the New York theater world, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Henry Fonda, Susan Strasberg and Herbert Marshall.
We will remember such a great actor many decades from now. Christopher Plummer, dies at age 91 in his home.