“The world has lost a consummate actor today and I have lost a cherished friend. I treasure the memories of our work together and all the humor and fun we shared through the years,” Julie Andrews on the death of Christopher Plummer.
Plummer, at 82 became the oldest Academy Award acting winner in history, for his role in “Beginners” as Hal Fields, a museum director who becomes openly gay after his wife of 44 years dies. He took home the supporting actor Oscar for his efforts.
Plummer began his career on stage and in radio in Canada in the 40s and made his Broadway debut in 1954 in The Starcross Story. In 1963 he was cast as Hamlet, co-starring Robert Shaw and Michael Caine. Taped by the BBC at Elsinore Castle in Denmark, where the play is set, It won an Emmy. During his career Plumber won two Emmy Awards.
The Canadian-born actor was a trained Shakespeare actor, also took on such roles, as Iago, Othello, Prospero, Henry V and King Lear at Lincoln Center in 2004. He frequently starred at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada.
On Broadway Plumber won two Tony Awards. The first was in 1974 for Best Actor in a Musical for playing the title role in Cyrano. His rendition of the “Thither, Thother, Thide Of The…(see video above)” is priceless. His second Tony came in 1997 for his portrayal of John Barrymore in Barrymore. On Broadway he starred in Macbeth, Othello, The Good Doctor, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Arturo Ui, The Lark and Inherit the Wind to name a few.
Best known for playing Captain von Trapp in the film “The Sound of Music,” a film he hated, Plumber has over 50 films to his credit. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “Inside Dasiy Clover,” “Somewhere In Time,” the capitulating voice of the villain in 2009′s “Up”, “The Insider,” “A Beautiful Mind” and 2009′s “The Last Station,” in which he played a deteriorating Tolstoy and was nominated for an Oscar. In 2017 Plumber replaced Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World” six weeks before the film was set to hit theaters and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
His memoir in 2012 was titled “In Spite of Myself.” The book though a bit hammy, is for anyone who loves, loves, loves theater, not to mention the New York of the 1950s and ’60s that has all but vanished.
Plummer married Tony-winning actress Tammy Grimes in 1956, and together they produce actress Amanda Plummer, in 1957. Plummer and Grimes divorced in 1960. He then married Patricia Lewis, which ended 5 years later in 1967. His third wife, was dancer Taylor, in 1970, and Plumber credited her for helping him overcome his drinking problem.
Plumber was given Canada’s highest civilian honor Companion of the Order of Canada by Queen Elizabeth II in 1968, and was inducted into the American Theatre’s Hall of Fame in 1986.
Christopher Plumber was 91.