Christopher Lee Fast Facts
POSTED: Monday, January 21, 2013 - 3:55pm
UPDATED: Monday, January 21, 2013 - 4:33pm
(CNN) -- Here's an in-depth look at British actor Christopher Lee's life.
Personal: Birth date: May 27, 1922
Birthplace: London, England
Birth name: Christopher Frank Carandini Lee
Father: Geoffrey Lee, a professional soldier
Mother: Contessa Estelle Marie Carandini di Sarzano
Marriage: Birgit "Gitte" Kroencke Lee (March 17, 1961 - present)
Children: Christina Ericka, November 23, 1963
Military Service: Royal Air Force and Special Forces, 1941-1946, Flight Lieutenant
Other Facts: Speaks four languages: French, Italian, Spanish, and German.
Worked with British Intelligence in World War II.
Only member of the cast of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy who met author J.R.R. Tolkien.
Is a distant relative, by mother's second marriage, to Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond.
Timeline: 1939-1941 - Works as an office clerk until joining the RAF during World War II.
1947 - Joins the Rank Organization acting school, often called "The Charm School," a British program that groomed new acting talent.
1948 - First movie "Corridor of Mirrors" is released.
1957 - Begins working with Hammer Film Productions, the start of his horror film career. "The Curse of Frankenstein" is released that same year.
1958 - "Horror of Dracula" is released, the first time Lee portrays Count Dracula.
1965 - The first of Dr. Fu Manchu movies, "The Face of Fu Manchu," is released.
1974 - Appears as James Bond's nemesis in "The Man with the Golden Gun".
1977 - His autobiography, "Tall, Dark and Gruesome," is published.
2001 - In recognition of his contributions to film, he receives the Commander of the Order of the British Empire award.
2002 - Stars in two of the year's top grossing movies, "Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones" and "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers."
2003 - His autobiography is re-released with a new title, "Lord of Misrule: The Autobiography of Christopher Lee."
2009 - Is made a Knight of the British Empire.
February 2011 - Receives the Academy Fellowship, the highest honor, at the Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA).
2012 - Reprises his role as Saruman from "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy in the two-part film "The Hobbit."