Self-described with typical good humor as "tall, dark and gruesome," Christopher Lee was a remarkably prolific leading man and character actor whose six decades-long film career made him among the world's most popular and recognizable performers. He languished in bit roles for almost a decade before achieving instant fame as an elegant and sexually charged Count Dracula in "Horror of Dracula" (1958) for England's legendary Hammer Studios. Its success led to almost two decades of fright fare, during which he brought elegance and devilish charm to some of the most memorable figures in horror, including the Frankenstein Monster, the Mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Fu Manchu. In the 1970s, he grew weary of the typecasting and successfully distanced himself from the genre with roles in Richard Lester's "Three Musketeers" (1973), "Airport '77" (1977), "1941" (1979) and even a deftly comic appearance on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ). He remained exceptionally active into the 1980s and 1990s in American and international productions and television, and enjoyed a spectacular third act with significant parts in Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow" (1998), Episodes II and III of the "Star Wars" saga, and Peter Jackson's epic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy (2001-03). An icon to several generations of fans and filmmakers, Lee's acting career continued into his ninth decade. His death from heart failure at the age of 93 on June 7, 2015, provoked outpourings of warm remembrances from generations of fans and fellow actors.