Sir Christopher Lee, the legendary British actor best known for his villainous roles, died on Sunday. He was 93.

Christopher Lee Dies

Lee died at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital after being treated for respiratory and heart problems, Lee’s wife Birgit Lee told The Guardian. Birgit, who had been married to the actor for more than 50 years, had waited to announce the sad news until she could inform their family members.

Lee’s major breakout in acting came during the 1950s, when he starred as Dracula in a number of Hammer Horror films. In 1974, Lee played a Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun, and the year prior he’d starred in horror film The Wicker Man.

In the 90s, Lee played the founder of Pakistan in the biopic Jinnah, but returned to his horror roots in Tim Burton‘s Sleepy Hollow. Working on the film began a long working relationship between Lee and Burton, who went on to cast the British actor alongside Johnny Depp in Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.

Lee is perhaps best known for his his role as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit films, as well as Count Dooku in Star Wars prequels Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Lee’s other notable credits include The Golden Compass and Hugo.

“Making films has never just been a job to me, it is my life,” Lee said in a 2013 interview. “I have some interests outside of acting – I sing and I’ve written books, for instance – but acting is what keeps me going, it’s what I do, it gives life purpose.”

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