Veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, whose decades-long career featured an indelible star turn in The Sound of Music and an Oscar win late in life, died on Friday, his manager announced. He was 91.
Plummer died at his home in Connecticut with his wife, Elaine Taylor, at his side, his longtime friend and manager Lou Pitt said.
“Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self-deprecating humor and the music of words,” Pitt said in a statement.
“He was a national treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots. Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come,” he said.
Plummer starred as the aristocratic widower Captain Georg von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, the beloved 1965 cinematic tale of a musical family and their mischievous governess in Austria on the eve of World War II.
Despite its enormous worldwide success, Plummer publicly despised the film, calling his role “gooey” in the Hollywood Reporter in 2011, but he later softened, telling the same publication in 2015 that the production was “the last bastion of peace and innocence in a very cynical time.”
Andrews called Plummer a “consummate actor,” adding in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter: “I treasure the memories of our work together and all the humor and fun we shared through the years.”
Born on Dec. 13, 1929, in Toronto, Plummer made his professional theater debut in Ottawa in The Rivals in 1950. He took to Broadway in 1954 with Starcross Story and broke into film in 1958 with Stage Struck, before crossing the Atlantic in the early 1960s to work in London theater.
Plummer was dynamic on stage, earning praise as one of the premier Shakespearean actors to come out of North America in the 20th century.
Plummer was one of the most recognizable and admired character actors in Hollywood, with more than 100 films under his belt and dozens of television roles.
His first Academy Award nomination came in 2010 for The Last Station, for his portrayal of Russian author Leo Tolstoy.
He finally took home the golden statuette two years later, becoming — at the age of 82 — the oldest actor to win an Oscar, for his supporting role in Beginners as a man who openly embraces his homosexuality only after his wife dies.
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