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February 6, 2021

20 Portraits of a Young and Handsome Christopher Plummer in the 1950s and 1960s

Regarded as one of the most brilliant Canadian actors of his generation, Oscar-winner Christopher Plummer died Friday on February 5, 2021 at his home in Connecticut. He was 91. Elaine Taylor, his wife and true best friend for 53 years, was by his side.

Lou Pitt, his longtime friend and manager of 46 years, said: “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.”

Plummer was best known for playing Captain von Trapp in the Oscar-winning musical The Sound of Music. He also won an Oscar in 2012 for his supporting turn in the film Beginners, becoming the oldest actor ever to win the Academy Award for supporting actor.

Born Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer on December 13, 1929, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Plummer grew up in Montreal as an only child and his mother exposed him to the arts at an early age, taking him to see many plays and performances. Plummer first studied the piano before devoting himself to acting. As he told Playbill, “I thought seriously of becoming a concert pianist.” Plummer changed his mind after deciding that playing the piano professionally “was very lonely and very hard work.”

Classically trained as a stage actor, Plummer was discovered by English producer and director Eva Le Gallienne. She gave him his first New York stage role in 1954’s The Starcross Story with Mary Astor. While that show consisted of only one performance, Plummer soon landed more stage work, later headlining for Britain’s National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

After a number of TV roles, Plummer made his film debut in 1958’s Stage Struck, directed by Sidney Lumet. The following year, he picked up his first Tony Award nomination for the play J.B. and an Emmy Award nomination for his work on the television show Hallmark Hall of Fame with the episode “Little Moon of Alban.” His career began to take off with roles on stage and screen.


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