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Christopher Lee, known for playing Count Dooku, Dracula and Saruman, dies at 93

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Christopher Lee, the veteran actor who starred in dozens of movies beginning in the 1940s, died this week after being hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure.

The U.K. Telegraph published a copy of his death certificate, which says Lee passed away at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London on June 7, last Sunday.  The U.K. Independent reports that his wife delayed a public announcement to inform family first.

Lee, who stood six fee five inches tall, is perhaps best-known to his younger fans for playing Saruman in Peter Jackson's Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies and Count Dooku in the Star Wars movies Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Others may know him for his portrayal of Dracula and his role in The Wicker Man, though there are hundreds of other films to choose from.

Lee's video game voice work included roles in the Kingdom Hearts series, EverQuest 2 and The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth. He served as the narrator in Deus Ex Machina 2.

Lee remained active well up until his death. Last December, he released a heavy metal Christmas carol. According to IMDB, he completed work on the unreleased movie, Angels in Notting Hill, last year.

Lee, a WWII veteran who was knighted in 2009, is survived by his wife of more than 50 years and their daughter.