Sir Christopher Lee dies at 93

Sir Christopher Lee has died at the age of 93. The screen legend leaves behind a vast body of work, having appeared in excess of 250 films, including roles in the likes of The Wicker Man, the Lord Of The Rings saga and a whole host of Hammer Horror films.

After a brief career in the military, Lee first came to prominence in the late '50s through a string of roles in the aforementioned Hammer titles, playing such iconic characters as The Mummy, Frankenstein's monster and Dracula. He would go on to reprise the latter role in a number of sequels running through to the '70s, before making one last Hammer cameo in the studio's relaunch title, The Resident, in 2011.

Lee would reach a wider audience with villainous roles in a series of mega-blockbusters, including Bond nemesis Scaramanga, LOTR's Saruman and Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels. His illustrious and long-running career would eventually be celebrated with a knighthood in 2009, and the awarding of a BAFTA fellowship in 2011.

A man of many talents, Lee also turned his hand to heavy metal later in life, with his 2010 album Charlemagne: By The Sword And The Cross scoring a Spirit Of Metal award from Metal Hammer magazine. Last year saw him follow up that success with an album of metal covers, released to celebrate his 92nd birthday.

Roger Moore spoke of his sadness at losing one of his "oldest friends", while Elijah Wood labelled Lee "an icon… a towering human being." Mark Gatiss spoke of an actor who was "criminally underrated", while Tim Burton, another regular collaborator, described Lee as "an enormous inspiration to me… a true legend".

A towering icon of cinema, he will be sorely missed.