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Plummer, Christopher (1929-)


Main image of Plummer, Christopher (1929-)

To his chagrin, Christopher Plummer is probably still best known as Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music (US, d. Robert Wise, 1965), in spite of the dozens of international film and TV appearances since.

Despite his handsome appearance, he seems to have aspired less to film stardom than to a gratifying career as an actor. On TV he was a memorably intense and intelligent Hamlet (Hamlet at Elsinore, BBC, tx. 19/4/1964) and he has notched up an imposing list of telemovies and series, with the junk factor inevitable among such prolificacy. His British films have included such artistic endeavours as Oedipus the King (d. Philip Saville, 1967) and (as Atahuallpa, not repeating his stage role of Pizarro) The Royal Hunt of the Sun (d. Irving Lerner, 1967), along with more commercial projects such as The Return of the Pink Panther (d. Blake Edwards, 1974) and Murder by Decree (UK/Canada, d. Bob Clark, 1978), as Sherlock Holmes.

In an enormously busy theatrical career (debut 1952), he has frequently acted at Stratford Ontario, as well as on Broadway and the West End, and now over 70 the work continues unabated, a recent role like that of TV anchorman Mike Wallace in The Insider (US, d. Michael Mann, 1999) reminding one of how compelling he can be. His first wife was Tammy Grimes (1956-60; their daughter, Amanda Plummer (b.New York, 1957), has appeared in a few British films, including Butterfly Kiss (d. Michael Winterbottom 1995) and his third is Elaine Taylor.

Brian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of British Film

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Thumbnail image of Hamlet at Elsinore (1964)Hamlet at Elsinore (1964)

The Shakespeare play staged at the real Elsinore castle

Thumbnail image of Jesus of Nazareth (1977)Jesus of Nazareth (1977)

Robert Powell plays Jesus Christ in Franco Zeffirelli's famous miniseries

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