Christopher Plummer Dead, Iconic Actor Dies At Age 91

Terrence Smith

Christopher Plummer has died. The legendary actor passed away early on Friday at his home in Connecticut, as reported by The Wrap. In a career that spanned seven decades, Plummer crafted an iconic resume. He was known for his role as Captain Georg von Trapp in the musical film The Sound of Music, as well as appearances in Knives Out, A Beautiful Mind and Beginners, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. The celebrated actor has also earned two Emmy Awards and two Tony awards to go alongside his Oscar, according to Biography.

The sad news was confirmed by his longtime friend and manager Lou Pitt, who added that his best friend and wife of 53 years, Elaine Taylor, was by his side when he died.

"Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self-deprecating humor and the music of words. He was a National Treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots. Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come. He will forever be with us," Pitt said.

Plummer was born on December 13, 1929, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. While growing up in Montreal, he displayed an early interest in entertainment, originally studying the piano before discovering acting. While working as a stage actor, Plummer drew the interest of English producer and director Eva Le Gallienne, who gave him a role in 1954's The Starcross Story, his first New York stage role. Plummer took advantage of this break, picking up roles on the stage with Britain's National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as parts on television.

In 1958, Plummer made his film debut with a role in Sidney Lumet's Stage Struck. That didn't mean he had given up stage and television acting, however. In fact, 1959 saw him receive his first Tony Award nomination for his role in J.B. and his first Emmy nomination for his appearance on the show Hallmark Hall of Fame. Although he had built a solid career in all realms of acting, it was his portrayal of Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music in 1965 that made him a superstar, establishing him and his co-star Julie Andrews as household names. He ironically had mixed feelings about the musical and film in general at the time, later describing himself in his autobiography as someone who "still harbored the old-fashioned stage actor's snobbism toward moviemaking."

Plummer continued his work on both the stage and screen, going on to win a Tony in 1974 for his starring role in Cyrano. Two years later, he won his first Emmy with the 1976 miniseries The Moneychangers. The 1970s saw Plummer in some of his most notable roles, including The Return of the Pink Panther, The Man Who Would Be King and International Velvet. His career showed no signs of slowing down in the following decade, as he starred in Broadway productions of Othello and Macbeth, the hit television miniseries The Thorn Birds and as the narrator in the beloved children's film The Velveteen Rabbit.

Plummer stayed just as busy in the latter decades of his career. He won accolades for his performances in films including 1999's The Insider, 2001's A Beautiful Mind and 2005's Syriana. He was also a regular presence on Broadway, picking up Tony nominations for King Lear in 2004 and Inherit the Wind in 2007. He also lent his voice to 2009's Up. Despite his long and celebrated career, though, Plummer wasn't nominated for an Oscar until 2010. He went on to win one in 2011 for a supporting role in the film Beginners. Plummer played a gay father coming out to his adult son, portrayed by Ewan Mcgregor. As he entered his 90s, Plummer appeared in the well-received films Boundaries and Knives Out. He also continued his voice work in the Howard Lovecraft films.

Plummer was married three times over the course of his life. He has been married to Taylor since October 2, 1970. He and his first wife Tammy Grimes had a daughter together, the Tony-winning actress Amanda Plummer. Plummer had no children with his second and third wives.