Christopher Plummer, a patrician-Canadian who appeared as widower captain von Trapp alongside Julie Andrews in the 1965 blockbuster musical « The Sound Of Music » and who was the oldest actor to win an Oscar in 2012, is old died of 91 years, Deadline reported Hollywood on Friday said Friday.
Plummer died peacefully at his Connecticut home with his wife Elaine Taylor by his side, the publication said.
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Honors came quickly from Hollywood and Broadway. Joseph Gordon-Levitt called him « one of the greats » and George Takei wrote « Rest in Eternal Music, Captain von Trapp ». Dave Foley, a compatriot Canadian, wrote, « When I turn 91, I may have time to fully appreciate the great work of Christopher Plummer. »
Plummer, an accomplished Shakespearean actor who, for his varied stage, television and film work in a career spanning more than six decades was honored best for his role in « The Sound Of Music », which at the time « Gone with the Wind » eclipsed « (1939) as the highest earner Movie of all time.
Plummer blossomed into a number of meaty roles after the age of 70 – a period in life most actors just fade away. At the age of 82 he received a long-awaited Oscar for his supporting role in « Beginners » as an older man who comes out of the closet as gay after the death of his wife.
« You are only two years older than me, darling », Plummer, born in 1929, purred at the Academy Awards in February 2012 at his golden statuette, which was first awarded for films from 1927 and 1928. « Where have you been all my life? »
Plummer was the oldest actor to win a competitive Oscar – replacing Jessica Tandy and George Burns, who were both 80 when they won theirs.
Plummer has appeared in more than 100 films and was nominated for an Oscar in 2009 for his portrayal of Russian author Leo Tolstoy in « The Last Station ». He has won two Tony Awards for Broadway work, two Emmy Awards for TV work, and has appeared for some of the world’s top theater companies.
For many fans, however, his career has been driven by his performance as a strict widower in The Sound Of Music « – a role that he described as a » cardboard figure, humorless and one-dimensional « . In his autobiography « Despite Me » from 2008, Plummer refers to the film with the mischievous acronym « S&M ».
It took him four decades to change his view of the film and make it a « great film » that made him proud.
The healthy, sentimental film by director Robert Wise follows the chants of the von Trapp family and their escape from the Nazis in 1938. Plummer’s character falls in love with Andrews and portrays a woman who has been hired was to take care of his seven children. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1965. « I originally accepted Robert Wise’s offer just because I wanted to find out what it was like to be in a musical comedy, » Plummer wrote in his book. “I had a secret plan one day to turn Cyrano de Bergerac into a Broadway musical. « S&M » would therefore be a perfect training to prepare for such an event. «
He said he had never sung in my life – » not even in the shower « – before taking on a role in which he sang the song » Edelweiss « . He made his own » vulgar series « for responsible for the desire to act in a big, zippy Hollywood extravaganza.
« And yes, all right, I’ll admit it, I was also a spoiled, arrogant, young bastard spoiled by too many great theater roles » , he wrote. « Though it may seem ridiculous, I still had the old-fashioned stage actor’s snobbery about filmmaking. »
Plummer’s late career renaissance began with director Michael Mann’s « The Insider » (1999) in which he portrayed CBS News interviewer Mike Wallace alongside Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.
This was followed by triumphs with director Ron Howard’s Oscar-winning « A Beautiful Mind » (2001), director Spike Lee’s « Inside Man » (2006), « Up » and « The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus » (both 2009 ) and « Barrymore » and « The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo » (both 2011).
Plummer was born on December 13, 1929 in Toronto into a privileged railroad family. He was the great-grandson of Sir John Abbott, the third Prime Minister of Canada.
Plummer began his career on stage and radio in Canada in the 1940s and made his Broadway debut in 1954 on The Starcross Story. While he was still relatively unknown, he was cast in a 1963 performance with Robert Shaw and Michael Caine as Hamlet. It was recorded by the BBC at Elsinore Castle in Denmark, where the play is set, and released in 1964. It won an Emmy.
Plummer confessed to a lively, bustling lifestyle in the 1960s. He said his third wife, British actress Elaine Taylor, after they married in 1970, forced him to quit the carousel that ate up some of his colleagues and friends like Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole.
« Yes, me I’ve stopped, « he told the Telegraph in 2010. « Square son of a bitch that I was, coward that I was! » No, Elaine said, « If you don’t stop this stupid over-drowning, I’ll be out of here. » And thank god. In a way, she saved my life. “
Plummer’s early 1965 films included Inside Daisy Clover, starring Natalie Wood and Robert Redford, released the same year as The Sound Of Music, and The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) starring Sophia Loren and Alec Guinness and « Triple » Cross « (1966).
His more colorful roles included as a Klingon with an eye patch in » Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Land « (1991) and as an urban jewel thief in » Return of the Pink Panther. » « (1975). He said he kicked himself for rejecting the Gandalf role in the popular trilogy « The Lord of the Rings ».
One of his last major roles was as another patriarch in the dark comedy « Knives Out. » From 2019.
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His TV roles in 1983 included the miniseries « The Thorn Birds ».
Plummer lived in Connecticut with Elaine. He was the father of Tony Award winning actress Amanda Plummer.
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