Christopher Plummer, one of the greatest actors of all time, has passed away at the age of 91. It happened at his home in Connecticut with his wife of 53 years, Elaine Taylor, by his side.
The expanse of Plummer’s acting work is staggering, and that’s an understatement. Though he finally won an Oscar in 2012 for the film Beginners, Plummer had been in seemingly every type of film imaginable in the 60-plus years before that — and he kept working in the decade since, too. Most of us know him best from the 1965 classic The Sound of Music; as Captain Von Trapp, he’s charming, dynamic, confident, and stern, all of which became traits Plummer was best known for on screen and off.
Along with The Sound of Music he did dozens of recognisable films such as The Man Who Would Be King, International Velvet, Return of the Pink Panther, Somewhere in Time, Dragnet — just a litany of varied, interesting films and roles. Sci-fi fans probably remember him best as General Chang, first seen in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, a Klingon with more than a touch of Shakespeare in him. He was also in the cult classic 12 Monkeys.
He’d later become a prolific voice actor too, lending his unmistakable wit to roles in An American Tail, Rock-A-Doodle, 9, Pixies and, maybe most memorably, Pixar’s Up, as the villainous Charles Muntz.
And Plummer has been as active in recent years. He was just in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out as the patriarch Harlan Thrombey. Ridley Scott famously hired Plummer to replace another actor in All the Money in the World, which led to one of his three Oscar nominations. Then there’s also Spike Lee’s Inside Man, Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind, Michael Mann’s The Insider, and Disney’s National Treasure, to name a few.
That last one is also fitting title for Plummer–though he wasn’t just a treasure in his native Canada, he was a true global treasure. And like all great artists who pass from this life, his work will keep him alive for generations to come.
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