For many movie watchers today, when actors of films from decades back are brought up, it becomes easier to recall them by one singular role in a very memorable film. For certain classic movie stars there can be many different definitive roles they can be remember for, between individuals. Audrey Hepburn springs to mind; she can be that Princess in “Roman Holiday” or the Cockney flower vendor-turned-RP-speaker in “My Fair Lady.” For Canadian actor Christopher Plummer however, he will always be Captain Von Trapp in 1965’s “The Sound of Music,” even though he would figure in many more films until this 21st Century. Sadly, time has claimed him at last.
People.com tells us that actor Christopher Plummer passed away last Friday, February 5 at the ripe old age of 91. His lifelong friend and managed, Lou Pitt issued a statement over the weekend announcing his death, which followed after complications for injuries suffered in a recent fall. Nevertheless, his final moments at his home in Weston, Connecticut were peaceful, especially with his third wife Elaine Taylor at his side. Pitt described Plummer as “a man who loved and respected his profession… a national treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots.”
Beginning his acting career on stage before moving to the silver screen and television, Plummer already had many spotlight roles on different genres even before being cast as Captain Georg Von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews’ Fraulein Maria in “The Sound of Music.” Sci-fi fans would remember him best as Chang in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” where he starred alongside fellow Canadian and friend William Shatner.
He would also gain a presence in voice work for animation, first in Don Bluth’s 1986 classic “An American Tail,” and then as the narrator for the French-American-Canadian co-produced animated series “Madeline” (1993-95).
Even in his later years Christopher Plummer featured in standout acting performances. At age 82 he won Best Supporting Actor in the 84th Academy Awards for the 2010 film “Beginners,” making him the oldest actor to win an acting award. He would beat his own record for the oldest acting award nominee (Best Supporting Actor, again) in 2018, for “All the Money in the World.”
Many of his costars in film over the decades expressed condolences for Plummer’s passing, but none could be as poignant as of Julie Andrews, who said, “The world has lost a consummate actor today and I have lost a cherished friend. I treasure the memories of our work together and all the humor and fun we shared through the years. My heart and condolences go out to his lovely wife Elaine, and his daughter Amanda.”
Image courtesy of Vanity Fair