Sir Christopher Lee, the celebrated actor and star of Dracula and The Wicker Man, has died aged 93 after being hospitalized with respiratory problems and heart failure. The veteran actor enjoyed a staggering career in film though also released a series of heavy metal albums including Charlemagne: The Omens of Death.

Christopher LeeChristopher Lee had a long and distinguished career

Back in 2012, Lee became the oldest living performer to enter the Billboard charts with his metal Christmas carol called "Jingle Hell" and he returned last year with a reinvention of 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' called 'Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing.'

The veteran actor passed away on Sunday morning at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, though his wife wanted to inform family members before the press. The couple had been married for over 50 years.

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Lee's movie career began in 1947 with Corridor of Mirrors, though he would become world famous for his Hammer movies. His first role with the studio was The Curse of Frankenstein before he delivered his most famous performance, as Dracula. 

In the 70s, he continued to gain fame with a role in the unnerving horror The Wicker Man - a film which he considered to be his best - and went on to play a Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974. He famously turned down roles in Halloween and Airplane!

In later life he would enjoy a multi-film collaboration with Tim Burton and appeared in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings franchise. He recently completed work on the comedy-fantasy Angels in Notting Hill.

Lee, who was knighted in 2009, is survived by his wife Birgit and their daughter, Christina.

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