AceShowbiz - Sir %cChristopher Lee% has passed away, his family announces. The veteran actor died last Sunday morning, June 7 at London's Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, where he was being treated for heart failure and respiratory problems. He just turned 93 last month on May 27.
Lee's wife, former Danish model and painter Birgit Kroencke, only broke the news on Thursday. She wanted to inform family members first before releasing the news to media so she waited a few days to go public. She had been married to the British actor since 1961.
Christopher Lee was known for playing villains like Dracula and Saruman the White in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" franchise and "The Hobbit" movie series. He also portrayed the evil Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus in "Star Wars" flicks and James Bond nemesis Francisco Scaramanga in 1974's "The Man with the Golden Gun". He additionally voiced Jabberwocky in 2010's "Alice in Wonderland".
"Such sad news to hear that Sir Christopher Lee has passed away," tweeted British film organisation BAFTA. "In 2011, Sir Christopher Lee received the BAFTA Fellowship for his outstanding career in film."