Christopher Plummer was a hardworking actor who found a way to add his unique flair to every character he portrayed, whether it was a Shakespearean hero or an animated villain. His death in February of 2021 rocked the entertainment world.
Christopher is best known for his role as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, but he preferred more serious character acting. He shone in every role, allowing him to mass a full trophy case of awards and a multi-million-dollar fortune.
Like and subscribe to never miss out on our breaking celebrity news content. Keep watching as we honor Christopher Plummer’s decades-long career and attempt to summarise it by highlighting some of his most major roles.
Christopher Plummer’s Life
Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer was born in Toronto, Canada on December 13th, 1929.
He grew up in Montreal and attended the Jennings Private School. He was proud of his Canadian heritage throughout his life.
Christopher Plummer reportedly received his first acting credit in 1953. He continued to act from that point until close to the end of his life. Despite this dedication, he still found time for love.
Christopher was married 3 times. The first was to actress Tammy Gimmes. Together, they had his only daughter, Amanda Plummer, who also went on to become an actress.
Christopher’s second marriage was to journalist Patricia Audrey Lewis.
His third marriage was to the British actress and dancer Elaine Taylor. She helped him overcome a slump brought on by drinking problems in the late 1960s. They were married for over 50 years.
Christopher Plummer’s Death
Old age and failing health are two of the only things that could ever stop an actor as dedicated and beloved as Christopher Plummer. He passed away in his home in Connecticut on February 5th, 2021, at the age of 91.
Christopher is survived by his wife Elaine and daughter Amanda. They, along with his many fans, will keep his memory alive for decades to come.
Like and subscribe for more on all your favorite celebrities, whether they’re still living or were taken too soon. Keep watching to learn how Christopher Plummer truly felt about one of his most influential roles.
The Sound of Music
Christopher Plummer worked throughout the 1950s to grow his acting career, but his “big break” came when The Sound of Music was released in 1965. It quickly became a massive success and grew into one of the highest-grossing films of the time. It now stands as a venerated classic.
Although Christopher’s singing parts were dubbed in, he was still a major reason for the Sound of Music’s success. His unique portrayal of Captain Von Trapp gave the character more depth and a stronger emotional impact on the audience.
Christopher Plummer noted that he must play the character as a strict, severe father for the majority of the film because “then, and only then, can the sentimental scenes, when they come, be played to their fullest without embarrassment.” Screenwriter Ernest Lehman agreed, saying “he forced me to write his scenes well.”
Despite his commitment to the character, Christopher Plummer was not a fan of his most famous role. He called the project “The Sound of Mucus” on set and in public. He was disappointed that it became the most famous thing he ever did and quickly grew tired of talking about it with the press and fans.
The plot and songs of The Sound of Music were too saccharine and simple for Christopher Plummer’s tastes. He wanted to take on deeper, more serious roles, and they eventually came.
Christopher’s Proficiency With Shakespeare
Christopher Plummer played an astonishing number of roles throughout his lifetime but returned to Shakespeare again and again.
He made his stage debut in 1948 in a production of Cymbeline at the Canadian Repertory Theatre in Ottawa. He performed in a production of Othello the same year.
In 1956, he played in Henry V at the Stratford Festival. This made him the first Canadian actor chosen to star in a production by Tyrone Guthrie, a director notorious for only choosing experienced British actors.
In 1957, Christopher played Hamlet in British television production and Sir Andrew Augucheek in Twelfth Night. He played Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, in 1958. In 1960, he played Romeo in Romeo and Juliet.
In 1973, Christopher Plummer tried his hand at creating his own production. He directed and acted in a night of Shakespearean love themes entitled Lovers and Madmen.
In 1982, Christopher Plummer returned to Broadway to perform in a production of Othello. Walter Plummer, a critic for the New York Times, described his performance as Iago as “quite possibly the best single Shakespearean performance to have originated on this continent in our time.”
Christopher Plummer joined a touring production of Macbeth In 1988. He used this extensive experience with the works of Shakespeare to improve his future performances.
Other Stage Appearances
Christopher Plummer’s Broadway debut came in 1954. He played alongside Katherine Cornell in The Starcross Story. He found several other stage parts during that same year, including a spot alongside Judith Anderson in a production of Medea in Paris, a role as the Earl of Warwick in a New York production of “The Lark,” and a part in the play “J.B.”
Christopher’s London debut came in 1961. He played the role of Henry II in Becket.
In 1968, Christopher played in a production of Oedipus the King and a film version entitled The Royal Hunt of the Sun.
In 1994, Christopher Plummer joined a revival of No Man’s Land. He earned a part in Barrymore in 1996 and another in the musical Cyrano in 1974.
Film and Television Roles
Christopher Plummer made his film debut in 1958. He played in Sidney Lumet’s film Star Struck.
In 1975, Christopher played Rudyard Kipling in “The Man Who Would Be King” by John Huston. It cemented him as a serious actor and made major Hollywood names pay attention. This included Bharat Nalluri, a director who saw the film at the age of 12 and later cast Christopher as Ebenezer Scrooge in his film The Man Who Invented Christmas.
In the 1990s, Star Trek had become a major franchise that brought fans in through its name alone. Christopher Plummer earned a small spot in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country as an evil alien known as a Klingon. He brought a faint Shakespearean air to the character that made it more meaningful.
Christopher Plummer Other Film
In 1999, Christopher played Mike Wallace in Michael Mann’s The Insider. The man he portrayed was still alive at the time but thrilled when he found out who was chosen to portray him, stating, “I can’t think of anybody better than Chris Plummer.”
In 2002, he played Uncle Ralph in an adaptation of Charles Dicken’s novel Nicholas Nickelby. He remained unafraid to explore the character’s dark side, a choice that was just as positive for the film as it had been for The Sound of Music.
In 2010, Christopher brought life to a variety of roles. He starred in the Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, played Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station, and tried action films like Priest and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He also got to take on another of the serious roles he craved as the elderly, homosexual, cancer-stricken father Hal in the film The Beginners.
In 2015, Christopher played a suffering manager alongside Al Pacino as an aging rock star in Dan Fogleman’s film Danny Collins.
Christopher had an extraordinary ability to quickly learn lines and step in when needed. He replaced Kevin Spacey in the role of Paul Getty in All the Money in the World, reshooting all the necessary scenes only a month before the film’s December 2017 release.
Christopher Plummer was the type of actor to work as long as possible. His final roles came In 2019. They included the Rian Johnson mystery film Knives Out and the Canadian television series Departure.
A few of Christopher Plummer’s other film roles include 12 Monkeys and A Beautiful Mind. Notable television roles include Four Minutes, Our Fathers on Showtime, and FDR in the HBO telepic Winchell. He also appeared in a string of live television shows such as Kraft Television Theatre, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Producer’s Showcase, Appointment With Adventure, and Omnibus.
Critic John Simon once said that Christopher Plummer’s voice, “in its chamois mode, can polish mirrors.” This made him the perfect fit for narration and bringing life to animated characters.
One of Christopher’s most famous voice roles was Charles Muntz in the Disney film Up. He also contributed voices to other films, including An American Tale, My Dog Tulip, and 9.
Christopher also narrated the series, Madeline. He brought a gentle power to the beloved children’s special.
Christopher Plummer earned 48 awards and 66 nominations throughout his lifetime.
He was a prolific stage actor and earned recognition for it. This included two Tony awards, the first for his role in Cyrano in 1974 and the second for Barrymore in 1996.
The Sound of Music alone was nominated for 10 Oscars. It won 5, including the one for Best Picture.
Christopher’s first Emmy nomination was for his role as Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station. His Emmy wins included the miniseries The Moneychangers and his narration on Madeline.
In 2012, Christopher won an Oscar for his work on The Beginners. This gave him the distinction of being the oldest actor to ever win one.
Christopher Plummer earned his first check for an acting role at the age of 17 and his most recent payday for a voice role in the upcoming Heroes of the Golden Mask.
Christopher Plummer acted until he couldn’t anymore, and his career lasted for more than 60 years. The most recent information available states that he amassed a fortune worth approximately $20 million.
Christopher Plummer turned an almost uncountable number of characters into relatable humans. His skill and incredible voice lit up our stages and screens for over 60 years, a gift we should all be grateful for.
Like and subscribe for more tributes to the greatest stars of our time. Let us known in the comments if The Sound of Music is your favorite Christopher Plummer role or if you prefer something else from his never-ending list of credits.