It’s been a tough couple of weeks in Hollywood in terms of losing legends of the screen, and today has made it even tougher. Christopher Plummer, the Oscar-winning star of Beginners and Sound of Music, died Friday morning at his home in Connecticut at the age of 91.
Plummer’s manager of 46 years, Lou Pitt, had this to say: “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. 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 will forever be with us.”
Lou’s words speak to the reverence that people have long had for Plummer, an icon who made his film debut in 1958 in the Sidney Lumet directed Stage Struck. Over the next six decades, Plummer would star in acclaimed films such as Malcolm X, A Beautiful Mind, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Knives Out. He has collaborated with some of the best directors in the world, working with Spike Lee, Michael Mann, Terry Gilliam, John Huston, Mike Nichols, and so many more.
Born in Toronto, the Canadian was known primarily as a character actor with a booming voice that demanded attention whenever he spoke, Plummer received his first Oscar nomination at the age of 80 for his role as Leo Tolstoy in the film The Last Station. Two years later, he won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his work in Beginners, from writer/director Mike Mills. Playing a semi-autobiographical version of Mills’ own father as he comes out of the closet later in life, Plummer seemed a perfect fit for the role, becoming the oldest person to win an acting award at the Oscars at the age of 82. When he took the stage to accept his award, he memorably lifted the Oscar up and said, “You’re only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?”
Plummer would be nominated for one more Oscar, for his very quickly shot role in Ridley Scott’s 2017 film All the Money in the World, in the role of J. Paul Getty. His final film role was in the war drama The Last Full Measure, released almost exactly one year ago.
Plummer is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elaine Taylor, and his daughter, actress Amanda Plummer.