ENTERTAINMENT
05/02/2021 18:25 GMT | Updated 06/02/2021 08:20 GMT

Christopher Plummer Dead: Sound Of Music Star Dies Aged 91

The Canadian was the oldest actor to win an Oscar – and is best known for playing Captain von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews.

Oscar-winning actor Christopher Plummer has died at the age of 91, Deadline reported on Friday.

Plummer, who starred as widower Captain von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews in the blockbuster 1965 musical The Sound Of Music, passed away peacefully at his home in Connecticut with his wife Elaine Taylor at his side, the publication said.

The Canadian had a varied career across film, television and theatre, starring in productions on Broadway and with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Plummer flourished in a succession of meaty roles after the age of 70. He claimed a long-awaited Academy Award at age 82 for his supporting performance in Beginners as an elderly man who comes out of the closet as gay after his wife’s death.

In 2017, it was announced the actor would replace Kevin Spacey in All The Money In The World after allegations of sexual misconduct emerged against the actor.

The following year he was nominated for an Oscar for his role, after being enlisted at the 11th hour, as frugal billionaire J Paul Getty in Sir Ridley Scott’s film.

One of his last major roles was as another patriarch, in the dark comedy Knives Out in 2019.

But for many fans his career was defined by his performance as a stern widower in The Sound Of Music – a role he called “a cardboard figure, humorless and one-dimensional”, In his 2008 autobiography In Spite Of Myself, Plummer refers to the movie with the mischievous acronym “S&M”.

Silver Screen Collection via Getty Images
Christopher Plummer as Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music

It took him four decades to change his view of the film and embrace it as a “terrific movie” that made him proud.

Director Robert Wise’s wholesome, sentimental film follows the singing von Trapp family and their 1938 escape from the Nazis. Plummer’s character falls in love with Andrews, portraying a woman hired to care for his seven children. The movie won the Academy Award as best picture of 1965.

“Originally I had accepted Robert Wise’s offer simply because I wanted to find out what it was like to be in a musical comedy,” Plummer wrote in his book. “I had a secret plan to one day turn ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ into a Broadway musical. ‘S&M’ would therefore be a perfect workout in preparation for such an event.”

He said he had never sung before in my life – “not even in the shower” – before taking a role that included crooning the song Edelweiss. He blamed his own “vulgar streak” for the desire to star in a big, splashy Hollywood extravaganza.

“And yes, all right, I’ll admit it, I was also a pampered, arrogant, young bastard, spoiled by too many great theatre roles,” he wrote. “Ludicrous though it may seem, I still harboured the old-fashioned stage actor’s snobbism toward moviemaking.”

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