British actor Christopher Lee dies aged 93: Here are 5 best moments of this screen legend

From fake fangs in Dracula to a pale white complexion as Saruman in The Lord Of The Rings, Sir Christopher Lee died on Sunday (June 7) at aged 93 after being hospitalised for respiratory problems.

His wife, Birgit Kroencke, held back the public announcement until all family members and friends were informed.

The couple - married for over 50 years - have one daughter, Christina.

Mr David Cameron, British Prime Minister, took to Twitter to pay his tribute describing Lee as "a titan of the Golden Age of Cinema & distinguished WW2 veteran who will be greatly missed".

For over six decades, the British actor played a variety of iconic and dark characters like Count Dracula and Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man.

He is best remembered by young fans as Saruman the White in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Here are five best moments in Lee's greatest roles.

1. The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

Lee, who played The Creature in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), said: "The Creature is a very pitiful character. He didn't ask to be made: he's a victim. More so than the people he kills."

2. Dracula (1958)

Lee is said to be the finest Dracula movie goers have seen.

In an interview, Lee said: "Hammer was an important part of my life, and generally speaking, we all had a lot of fun.

"But it wasn't all fun. The lady I had to carry in the title role for The Mummy had passed out, so she couldn't hold on to me, and it put a huge strain on my back."

3. The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Starring as Francisco Scaramanga - The Man with the Golden Gun - Lee said: "Guy Hamilton phoned me up and asked me to lunch.

"He said, 'I'm doing a Bond movie, I'm directing it and we'd like you to play Scaramanga… here's the script.

"Scaramanga is actually a real name - there was a boy at Eton whom Ian Fleming didn't like at all, so he used his name."

4. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001 - 2003)

Lee starred as Saruman in The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring.

In an interview, he said: "The Lord of the Rings books are the greatest literary achievement in my lifetime.

"Like so many other people, I couldn't wait for the second, and then the third book. Nothing like it had ever been written."

5. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Reports said Lee was initially offered the role of Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.

But he turned it down and the role went to his good friend, Peter Cushing.

Lee, who played Count Dooku, was used for close shots while a body double was used for the long shots.

He said: "Almost all the fights were close shots...and not easy, to put it mildly."

Sources: The Guardian, Telegraph UK, The Mirror UK, The Verge

kchitra@sph.com.sg