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For Plimmer's extensive filmography

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Here he is as Captain Von Trapp

The role that made him famous

Here he is with Julie Andrews at the 50th Anniversary of The Sound of Music

Christopher Plummer 

1929-2021 at 91 years old.

            Star of stage and screen from the success of The Sound of Music to the powerful performances and Oscar recognition of his later years. He was a Canadian actor whose career has spanned seven decades. With an imposing physique, a broad brow, sculpted features and a magnificent voice, he played almost all the leading Shakespearean roles – mostly in his native Canada, at the Stratford, Ontario, Shakespeare festival. But he also had brief spells with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre in Britain, while maintaining a film career.

            As head of the von Trapp family in one of the most popular movies of all time, he exhibited a steely authority melting into compliance, and romantic desire, that very few actors could bring off so charmingly, though Plummer himself never liked the film. He dubbed it “The Sound of Mucus” or “S&M”.He refused to participate in the 40th anniversary get-together, but softened for the 45th, acknowledging the film’s appeal while saying it was never really his “cup of tea”. He liked his co-star though, and always spoke kindly of her, although he once said that working with a woman so relentlessly upbeat was like being “hit over the head daily with a Hallmark greeting card.”

            His plan to become a concert pianist was ended by his discovery of the theatre, and he joined the Canadian Rep in Ottawa in 1950, playing dozens of roles before joining the Bermuda Repertory Company in 1952. His New York debut followed in 1954, as George Phillips in The Starcross Story, and he was ripe for stardom in the next Broadway season, when Kenneth Tynan hailed him as the Earl of Warwick in Jean Anouilh’s The Lark: “One salutes a great actor in embryo, reserved and saturnine, and as powerful in promise as the Olivier of 20 years ago.”

            Some of his most interesting films came in the 1970s: He was a suave and witty straight man to Peter Sellers in Blake Edwards’s The Return of the Pink Panther; a touchingly impressive Rudyard Kipling in The Man Who Would Be King (both 1975), appearing in the Kipling yarn alongside his good friends Sean Connery and Michael Caine; and a stalwart in Aces High (1976), a transposition to the skies in the first world war drama in the trenches, Journey’s End.

            In later years, he appeared in Ron Howard’s absorbing A Beautiful Mind (2001), and went on to win new admirers as Ralph Nickleby Nicholas Nickleby (2002) and in Spike Lee’s heist movie Inside Man (2006). He cursed the day he turned down Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (Ian McKellen stepped in) – but remained in demand, playing the head of the family and industrial mogul Henrik Vanger in the Hollywood version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011).   Plummer never retired. He appeared as J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World in 2017, was in Knives Out in 2019, and was filming a voice-over in Heroes of the Golden Masks when he passed away.

Watch Time Conway's "The Dentist." 

(Click on the pic to the left for the skit)