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LONDON — The British Academy of Film and Television Arts will honor Sir Christopher Lee with its highest accolade, the BAFTA fellowship, at a special presentation at the Orange BAFTA film awards Sunday.
Lee, who made his name starring in the Hammer Horror movies of the mid-fifties — playing Frankenstein’s monster and later Dracula — is one of the U.K.’s most prolific and enduring stars.
In a career spanning over eight decades, he has starred as Mycroft Holmes in Billy Wilder‘s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, as Lord Summerisle in cult classic The Wicker Man, as Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, and as Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
More recently he won a new generation of movie fans as Saruman in the Lord of the Ringstrilogy — and is expected to reprise the role in the upcoming Peter Jackson prequel The Hobbit. He also appeared and as Count Dooku in the Star Warsprequels and worked with Tim Burton on projects including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland and Corpse Bride.
Future projects include the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese film Hugo Cabret which sees Sir Christopher appear alongside Jude Law, Chloe Moretz and Sacha Baron Cohen.
The 88 year-old actor joins a glittering list of BAFTA fellows, including Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Julie Christie, Terry Gilliam and Anthony Hopkins.
“It’s a very unexpected but very great honor to find myself in such distinguished company to receive the fellowship,” he said.
Lee will be handed the honor at this Sunday’s awards, to be held at London’s Royal Opera House.
The ceremony will be hosted for the fifth year by Jonathan Ross and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One.
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