Christopher Plummer (‘Knives Out,’ ‘Sound Of Music,’ ‘All The Money In The World’) has died at the age of 91.
An imposing theatrical presence with a well-cultivated, resonant voice that, critic John Simon once observed, “in its chamois mode, can polish mirrors,” 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.
He had a long and acclaimed career on stage, with two Tony awards. In films, he was also known for “The Insider,” “12 Monkeys,” “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” and “A Beautiful Mind,” and he contributed voices for “Up,” “An American Tale” and the “Madeline” TV series.
His first serious critical acclaim came for his rebel-with-a-cause interpretation of “Henry V” at the Stratford Festival in 1956. He triumphed as Iago opposite James Earl Jones in “Othello” on Broadway in the early ’80s, as well as in “Macbeth” opposite Glenda Jackson. Other high points included “The Royal Hunt of the Sun” and a revival of Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land” alongside Jason Robards. He won his first Tony Award in 1974 for the musical “Cyrano” and a second in 1996 for “Barrymore,” based on the life of actor John Barrymore.
One of Plummer’s most memorable roles from the decade involved only his voice. In Pixar’s tear-jerking animated pic “Up,” he played Charles Muntz, an old man on a mission to realize his late wife’s dream. He also contributed his voice to “My Dog Tulip” and “9.”
As the first decade of 2000 closed, Plummer appeared in “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” as the doc himself, but it was his role as author Leo Tolstoy in “The Last Station” that earned him an Oscar nomination for supporting actor. Plummer dipped his feet in other genres — including action — in pics like “Priest” and “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” but surprised and delighted critics as Hal, a cancer-stricken elderly man and father who had only recently come out of the closet, in 2010’s “Beginners,” for which he won an Oscar.
He was married three times, the first to actress Tammy Grimes, the second to journalist Patricia Audrey Lewis.
Plummer is survived by third wife, actress-dancer Elaine Taylor, and a daughter with Grimes, actress Amanda Plummer.