Christopher Plummer is a Canadian actor who was born on December 13 in the year 1929. His real name is Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer CC. He has the title of CC in his name as he has received the companion of the order of Canada (CC) in 1968.
Plummer is famous for his numerous portrayal of major historical figures. He is one of the most rewarded Veterans in the field of Hollywood grabbing an Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, two Tony Award, a Golden Globe, A British Academy Film Award, and a SAG Award.
He is also among the bunch of very few performers to have received People Crown of Acting. At Christopher Plummer’s age of 88, he is the oldest Academy winner and an Academy Award Nominee. He won the “Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Beginners” (2010). And also nominated for “All The Money In The World” (2017) at age 88.
Arthus Christopher Orme Plummer CC was born to mother, Isobella Mary (Abbott) and Father John Orme Plummer. His parents divorced shortly after he’s born. So, he was brought up in the Abbot family in Senneville, Quebec.
He became bilingual very quickly learning French and English. Most importantly, Plummer is the great-grandson of Canada’s third Prime Minister, John Abbot. And also the great-great-great-grandson of Angelica clergyman John Bethune.
Christopher began acting when he was living in Pine Avenue, Montreal and was attending Montreal High School. Plummer was playing as Mr. Darcy in the production of Pride and Prejudice at Montreal High School. Later, after watching his brilliance, Herbert Whittaker cast Plummer as Oedipus in Jean Cocteau’s “La Machine Infernale”. At that time, Plummer was just 18.
Christopher decided to pursue a career in acting aster watching Laurence Oliver in “Henry V”. He later trained as a stage actor and even headlined for Britain’s National Theatre. He made his official film debut in 1958 in the film “Stage Struck”.
Christopher was also the second cousin of Nigel Bruce, the British actor famous for portraying Dr. Watson to Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes, Sir Michael Bruce who was the brother of Nigel Bruce was also his cousin, Michael was a Baronet and Journalist. Taking about heritages Plummer was of Scottish, English and Anglo-Irish ancestry. He was studying to be a concert pianist when he developed a love in theatre.
Majorly renowned for his portrayal of the dashing Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music” (1965). Christopher Plummer some movies list of his portrayal of well-known historical people are, Arthur Wellesly on “1st Duke of Wellington in Waterloo” (1970), Rudyard Kipling in “The Man Who Would Be King” (1975), in “The Insider” (1999) as Mike Wallice. In 2009 he appeared as Loe Tolstoy in “The Last Stadium”, as the German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm the second in “The Exception” (2016) and also as J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World” on 2017.
Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer.
Christopher Plummer is 5′ 10½” (1.79 m).
Christopher Plummer Career
The career of Christopher Plummer has been divided into three parts:
- Theatre career
- Movie career
- And a TV career
Most noteworthy, he has contributed all three sectors greatly.
Christopher Plummer started his theatre career working with Ottawa’s Stage society appearing in over 100 different acts. Plummer made his Broadway debut in January of 1953. He appeared on the play “The Starcross Story” but unfortunately, this play closed on the opening night. His second play “Home is Hero” played from September to October 1954 which lasted for 30 performance.
In 1955 he appeared on “The Dark is Light” alongside Broadway legend Katharine Cornell and film legend Tyrone Power as a supporting actor. This play had 69 performances and lasted from February to August. He toured many cities for this play which helped him in his future career. His first Broadway hit appeared on the same year opposite Julie Harris on “The Lark”. Finally, Harris won Tony award for best actor on a play for his performance in the play.
Plummer’s other play “Night of the Auk” was not successful and he played on Elia Kazan’s successful Broadway production of Archibald MacLeish’s Plotzer’s “J.B” which was a prize-winning play. There, Plummer nominated for his first-ever Tony award as Best Actor in Play. However, he didn’t win the award but later win his Tony award for his performance on another Kazan production.
Since Plummer moved from New York City to London, he began appearing in Broadways less frequently. He finally returned to Broadway with a title role in Bertolt Brecht’s “The resistible rise of Arturo Ui”. Peter Shaffer’s “The Royal Hunt of the Sun” brought very great success for him, Plummer who had played Conquistador Francis Pizzaro to David Carradine’s Tony Award Nominated Athapulla, consequently in 1969 Plummer landed the lead role in the movie adaptation of the movie.
From May to June 1973, Plummer again appeared in Broadway as the title character Cyrano in “Cyrano de Bergerac”; a musical adaptation of Edmund Rosland’s 1987 play by Anthony Burgees and Michael J. Lewis. Christopher Plummer landed a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance and more importantly won the first Tony Award for his first Tony Award for Best Actor. He also appeared as Annan Chekhov in Neil Simon’s adaptation of several Chekhov’s short stories, “The good doctor”.
In the 1980s he appeared in two Shakespearean tragedies, namely Othello where he played as Logo alongside James Earl Jones character of Moor, He also appeared as Macbeth in the play “Macbeth”, where actress Glenda Jackson as his lady, His performance as Macbeth earned his another Tony Nomination. He later played as Jason Robard in the 1994 revive of Harold Pinter’s “No Man’s Land” and also his performance as John Barrymore in the 1997 play “Barrymore” was a great success, he got the chance to tour many places again with the play.
He won his second Tony Award but this time for The best actor In the play he also won the Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actor in Play. His performance in 2004s “King Lear” and his portrayal of Henry Drummond in 220 revivals “Inherit the World” earned him with two Tony nominations.
As for his performances in Stratford Festival, He debuts the festival in Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 1956, as King Henry V, he performed the same play later in Edinburg Festival. He also landed roles in Hamlet, played Sir Andrew Aguecheek in the Twelfth Night, played Leontes in “The Winter’s Tale”, Bardolph in “Henry IV, Part I”, and Benedict in “Mucho Ado About Nothing” (1960), he was Philip the Bastard in “King John”, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, In 1912 he was playing title roles in Macbeth and Cyrano de Bergerac and in 1967 as Mark Anthony in “Anthony and Cleopatra”.
He returned to Stratford Festival in 2002 at Jonathan Miller’s directed “King Lear”, the production later shifted to New York to City’s Lincoln Center in 2004. In 2008, Plummer returned to the festival again as Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw’s “Caesar and Cleopatra”. However, they videotaped the play and shown in HD in Canadian Cinemas and on Bravo! Canada. Christopher Plummer’s other notable plays are “Richard II”.
He won Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for portraying King Henry II in Jean Anouilh’s “Becket” with the RSC at the Aldwych Theatre. Peter Hall directed the film. He also played roles in “Amphitryon 38” “Danton’s Death” “The Rule of Game” “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” and 1953 street adaptation “Nina”
Featuring in 150 feature films, television movies, and miniseries credits, where he took upon the roles of the lead actor or a distinguished supporting actor, Christopher Plummer has won 1 oscar with 45 other awards win and a stunning 62 nominations. Being still very active in the film career it can be said that the stats are likely to change again. In 1958, Nicholas Ray gave him a small role in his film “Wind across the Everglade”. He also appeared as co-starring Julie Harris in the US television reproduction of Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House”. It was not until six years later that Plummer would return to Hollywood having a major role in Hollywood Blockbuster “The Fall of Roman Empire” (1952).
His big break for Hollywood and film success came with 1965 Oscar-winning classic “Sound of Music”. The movie broke the box office overtaking “Gone With the Wind”. He performed as Captain Baron Von Trapp in “Sound of Music” (1965) he was a widower who fell in love with a young Nun who he hires to take care of his seven children.
However, This movie paved his path for future success and a long and prosperous career which is still active to date. He didn’t like the role but it seems that Christopher Plummer and Sound of Words are on good terms now. As he wrote in his 2008 memoir In Spite of Myself, he had been “a pampered, arrogant young bastard, spoiled by too many great theatre roles” and “still harbored the old-fashioned stage actor’s snobbism toward moviemaking.”
In 2009, Plummer said of the film and his role that he was “…a bit bored with the character. Although we worked hard enough to make him interesting, it was a bit like flogging a dead horse. And the subject matter is not mine. I mean, it can’t appeal to every person in the world”. “The world has seen [The Sound of Music] so many times. And there’s a whole new generation every year—poor kids—that have to sit through it [laughs]. But it was a very well-made movie, and it’s a family movie and we haven’t seen a family movie, I don’t think, on that scale for ages. I don’t mind that. It just happened to be not my particular cup of tea”.
After his performance at “Sound of Music” he further played parts at “Inside Daisy Clover” (1965) alongside Robert Redford and Natalie Wood, In 1966 he appeared as World War second agent, Eddie Chapman, in the movie “Triple Cross”. He again appeared in another World War second theme movie “Night of Generals” in 1967 as the supporting role of Nazi Germany member, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Rommel supposed to replace Rex Harrison for a film adaptation of Doctor Doolittle. Though the plan got canceled and the decision reversed but Plummer still got the $87,500 for signing the contract.
He later performed as Duke Warrington in” Waterloo” in 1970. Before the film, he had already played the title role in “Oedipus the King” in 1968. Also, as an Australian in ‘The High Commissioner” in 1968.
He was also among the star-studded cast of “Battle of Britain” in 1969. He played “Athwalpa” in “The Royal Hunt of the Sun” in 1969. Appearing in the lead role in the Musical “Lock up your Doctor” in 1969 as the author Rudyard Kipling. Other movies he had taken apart are; “Return of Pink Panther” in 1975. “Ace High” om 1976, “The silent panther” in 1978, International velvet in 1978 and as the famous detective Sherlock Holmes in 1979 in “Murder by Decree”, “Somewhere in time” in 1980 and “Eyewitness” , “Star Trek VI: Undiscovered Country” in 1991 among the time he had nearly disappeared appearing in small roles here and there, he appeared on “The New World” on 2005 and The Lake House in 2006 and Remember on 2015.
His critically acclaimed performance as Journalist Mike Wallace in Michael Manny’s Biographic film, “The Insider” in 1991 and won many critical awards for best support but couldn’t be nominated for Academy Award. His performance on “A Beautiful Mind” an Oscar-winning biopic as Dr. Rosen in 2005 and as Arthur Case in “Inside Man” in 2006, all are critically acclaimed as well.
He was finally nominated for Academy Award for the best supporting actor in 2010. for the first time for his portrayal of Leo Tolstoy, a Journalist who got him an Oscar nomination. In an interview in Canada stated that ”Well, I said it’s about time! I mean, I’m 80 years old, for God’s sake, “Have mercy”. But he sadly lost the award but all was well as he won the award in 2011 for “Beginners”, where he portrayed the story of an old man coming out after the death of his wife. In the speech, he said “You’re only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life”
He became the oldest actor to ever win the award at 82. Also, nominated for his performance as J. Paul Getty in “All the money in the world” after reshooting in place of Kelvin spacey.
Christopher Plummer appeared firstly in Tv in 1953 on Othello, Christopher Plummer appeared extensively in many British, Canadian and American TV series and short production. He managed to be nominated for the Emmy Award for 1959 “Little Moon of Alban”. Even more, for his portrayal of Hamlet in the 1965 BBC product Hamlet. He appeared in America on anthology shows as Studio One, Kraft Television Theatre, Hallmark Hall of Fame and The Dupont Show of the month. After his release of the movie “Sound of Music,” he pretty much disappeared from TV fields
Christopher was nominated for Emmy Award for outstanding actor in miniseries and movies for Arthur Hiley’s “The money changer” other short movies he was in were as Sir John A MacDonald n “Riel”. Even more, He was nominated for Emmy Award for outstanding support actor in 1983. And also in 2008 for “The Thron Birds” and for portraying Cardinal Bernard in “Our Fathers” which criticized the catholic church sex scandals. Christopher also nominated for Gemini Award for Canadian production “Counterstrike” and a golden globe nomination for “American Tragedy” as Lawyer F Lee Bailey.
Christopher Plummer had also appeared in many voice-over actings on movie series, animations and book recitals. He has won Emmy awards and been nominated for many more in the field of voice-overs. Also, involved in many documentaries. However, Christopher also has a book titled “A Spite of Myself” written about himself by Alfred A Knopf.
Christopher Plummer Personal Life
Plummer married American actress, Tammy Grimes in 1956 and had a daughter with her named Amanda in 1957. She’s a famous actress who has worked on some big-name productions. However, according to his biography, Plummer was not really in contact with his daughter in the early and teenage years. But things look okay now as the two claim to have a friendly relation.
He later married to journalist Patricia Lewis from May 4, 1962, to 1967. Currently, he has a stable relationship with his third wife, Elaine Taylor an English actress. They got married on Oct 2, 1970, and are living together in Weston, Connecticut.