R.I.P. Christopher Plummer, legendary screen star in the The Thorn Birds and The Moneychangers miniseries

He brought his striking stage presence to many live television productions in the 1950s.

The Everett Collection

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Christopher Plummer, Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner, has died at the age of 91. Best known as the surly Captain Von Trapp who warms to the unorthodox ways of Julie Andrews' Maria in The Sound of Music, Plummer also appeared in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and, at 82, became the oldest actor to win an Oscar for his performance in the film Beginners. Six years later he became the oldest person ever nominated for playing J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World.

Born in Toronto but raised in Montreal, Plummer began his career performing on stage in both English and French. His theatre experience helped in his television debut, a rendition of Shakespeare’s Othello in 1953 on the Canadian anthology series General Motors Presents, known as Encounter in the U.S. The episode was also the first television appearance of fellow Canadian Lorne Greene, who played the title character.

Plummer continued in teleplays, many performed live, on shows like Studio One in Hollywood, Suspense, Producers' Showcase and General Electric Theatre. These early roles would prove prophetic as he later won acclaim in Broadway versions of the same stories, like Othello, opposite James Earl Jones, and Cyrano, the musical based on Cyrano de Bergerac.

After playing supporting roles in only a few theatrical films, Plummer won the part he is still known for to this day — Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music. After that he was a bona fide movie star, appearing in multiple projects a year through the 1970s. He also joined several limited series in the 70s and 80s, reuniting with Lorne Green in Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers, and starring alongside Barbara Stanwyck and Richard Chamberlain in The Thorn Birds.

Though he already had a decades-long career by the end of the 20th century, Plummer's time in show business was far from over. He appeared in the movies Malcolm X, 12 Monkeys, The Insider, A Beautiful Mind, National Treasure, and Inside Man, among many others. One of his most memorable recent roles was in the whodunnit Knives Out. Plummer plays a wealthy patriarch, somewhat of a theme in his later roles, whose murder throws his adult children into a frenzy.

With a career that spanned nearly 70 years, Christopher Plummer fully cemented his status as an acting legend of both stage and screen.

 
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obectionoverruled 8 days ago
I’m no romanticist, but when Christopher Plummer sang duet with Julie Andrews as he proposed in the garden to her in The Sound of Music, his film legacy was established for me. Something Good is one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s brilliant compositions in a huge book of musical writing that I still find so beautiful.
texasluva 18 days ago
Saw this the other day at Notable Passing's. We will be watching your life's work. R.I.P. Christopher Plummer.
stephaniestavropoulos 18 days ago
He was good in TSOM. But I like the fact that he was able to go for "and now for something completely different." He worked with a animator turned director I admire. I don't think I've seen the entire movie, but the parts I have seen I like.
baseballgirl 19 days ago
I loved him in the Sound of Music. RIP Christopher Plummer
UTZAAKE 20 days ago
The one Christopher Plummer scene that I remember the most involved a nighttime pool party in Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers. When Joan Collins shed her clothes, Plummer had that thoroughly hedonistic expression on his face that was the stuff of legends. Collins in that miniseries was, too.
Barry22 20 days ago
My daughter, (who is now 29) was a fan of his when she was a child. She loved The Sound of Music, and also was a fan of the animated movie Rock-a-Doodle. Plummer voiced an evil owl in that one.
TheDavBow3 20 days ago
I know Christopher Plummer is a legendary actor but I remember him most in "The Return of the Pink Panther". I love Peter Sellers. RIP Mr. Plummer.
KMT6600 20 days ago
I love that man Christoper Plummer he was a great actor but God took him home to get his rest that he so deserved Rest in peace .
Tresix 21 days ago
Also died today: former wrestler Butch Reed. Also known as “Hacksaw” and “The Natural”. He was 66.
Barry22 Tresix 20 days ago
I was also a fan of Butch Reed.
MrsPhilHarris 21 days ago
Great actor. I just I watched two interviews he did in Canada with Canadian interviewers. One he had his psuedo British accent and one he did not.
DethBiz 21 days ago
RIP Mr. Plummer. An actor's actor. The door is closing fast on the talented actors and actresses of what acting once was.
I used to think that until I recently saw (and re-saw) Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the great spoof on Tinseltown, the 60’s and the Manson ‘family’. Pitt and DiCaprio were hilarious and I thought their stuntman and washed out cowboy roles were really well done! Pitt toying with the hippie standing at the street corner was one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen lately, and diCaprio’s ‘emotional’ conversation with the precocious child actor awaiting their scene together had me in stitches!
harlow1313 21 days ago
I am particularly fond of "Murder by Decree." Plummer plays Sherlock Holmes and James Mason portrays Dr. John Watson on the trail of Jack the Ripper. It's a rollicking corker. The game's afoot!
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