Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, who starred as Captain von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews in the 1965 musical The Sound Of Music, died on Saturday. He was 91.
Plummer passed away peacefully at his home in Connecticut with his wife Elaine Taylor at his side, his manager Lou Pitt said in a statement, reported Reuters.
An actor honoured for his varied stage, television and film work in a career that spanned more than six decades, Plummer was best known for his role in The Sound Of Music.
“The world has lost a consummate actor today and I have lost a cherished friend,” his co-star Andrews said in a statement. “I treasure the memories of our work together and all the humor and fun we shared through the years.”
Plummer enjoyed varied roles ranging from the film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, to the voice of the villain in 2009′s Up and as a canny lawyer in Broadway’s Inherit the Wind. In 2019 he starred as a mystery novelist in Rian Johnson’s Knives Out and in the TV suspense drama series Departure.
In 2012, he became the oldest actor to win an Oscar at 82, for his supporting role in Beginners, as an elderly man who comes out as gay.
The Canadian actor also performed most of the major Shakespeare roles, including Hamlet, Iago, Othello, Prospero, Henry V and King Lear at Lincoln Center in 2004, according to AP. He was a frequent star at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada.
“I’ve become simpler and simpler with playing Shakespeare,” he had said in 2007. “I’m not as extravagant as I used to be. I don’t listen to my voice so much anymore. All the pitfalls of playing the classics – you can fall in love with yourself.”
He was given Canada’s highest civilian honour when he was invested as 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.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condoled Plummer’s death, calling him the “most iconic and beloved actors” of Canada.
“Mr Plummer was a timeless actor who entertained millions around the world and inspired many to pursue the arts,” Trudeau said in a statement. “A true gentleman and a consummate professional, his presence both on and off the stage will be thoroughly missed. On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and his many fans.”
Actor Helen Mirren, who co-starred with Plummer in his Oscar-nominated role of Tolstoy in The Last Station, said he was a “mighty force both as Man and Actor”, reported AP.
Miren added, “His art was total, theater being a constant and the most important part of the totality of his drive to engage with storytelling. He was fearless, energetic, courageous, knowledgeable, professional and a monument to what an actor can be. A Great Actor in the truest sense.”