Writing on his Facebook page, Jackson said Lee was “in every sense, a man of the world; well versed in art, politics, literature, history and science”.
He added: “He was scholar, a singer, an extraordinary raconteur and of course, a marvellous actor … There will never be another Christopher Lee. He has a unique place in the history of cinema and in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.
“The world will be a lesser place without him in it. My deepest sympathies to Gitte and to his family and friends. Rest in peace, Chris. An icon of cinema has passed into legend.”
Lee’s Lord of the Rings co-star Elijah Wood, who played Frodo Baggins in the fantasy trilogy, wrote: “An extraordinary man and life lead [sic], Sir Christopher Lee. You were an icon, and a towering human being with stories for days. We’ll miss you.” Dominic Monaghan, who played Meriadoc Brandybuck, wrote: “So so sorry to hear that #christopherlee has passed away. He was a fascinating person. Threw a Bic pen into a tree in front of me.”
Tim Burton, who cast Lee in five films including Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, said the actor had been an “enormous inspiration”.
“He was the last of his kind – a true legend – who I’m fortunate to have called a friend,” said the American director. “He will continue to inspire me and I’m sure countless others for generations to come.”
Martin Scorsese, who cast Lee in one of his later roles in the fantasy Hugo, said he would miss a man he called “a great actor, a wonderful friend, a REAL professional”.
“I think of him every day, and I always will,” Scorsese said in a statement. “We both wished that we’d been able to work together more, but it was a joy to make Hugo together. And to just be with him, just listening to his stories, in that beautiful baritone voice, stories about his time in the war, his time working during the heyday of Hammer, on all those wonderful pictures that are now considered to be classics, on eight decades in movies...
“At a certain point they realised what a treasure they had, and they made him Sir Christopher. And that’s as it should be.”
Lee was preparing for his latest film role, a drama titled The 11th with Uma Thurman, when he died on the morning of 7 June at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
A selection of further Twitter tributes to Lee appears below.
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