Special Feature: Sir Christopher Lee to receive Bafta fellowship

On Sunday 13 February the British Academy of Film and Television Arts will present Sir Christopher Lee with the ‘Academy Fellowship’ at the Orange Baftas ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House. Awarded annually by the Academy, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film. Previously honoured Fellows include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Julie Christie, John Barry, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Terry Gilliam and Judi Dench. “It’s a very unexpected but very great honour to find myself in such distinguished company to receive the fellowship” said Lee.

Knighted in 2009 for his services to drama and charity, Sir Christopher Lee has appeared in nearly 200 films. He first became a star in the mid-50s playing Frankenstein’s creature, then the title role of Dracula in a pair of high-class Hammer Horrors. In a career spanning over eight decades, he has starred as Mycroft Holmes in Billy Wilder’s The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), Lord Summerisle in cult classic The Wicker Man (1973) and Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974).

Lee won a new worldwide audience when he starred as Saruman in the Bafta and Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy and appeared as Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels. He has also worked extensively with Tim Burton, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) and distinctive voice roles in Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Corpse Bride (2005).

Future projects include the highly anticipated Martin Scorsese 3D film Hugo Cabret (2011) which sees Lee appear alongside Jude Law, Chloe Moretz and Sacha Baron Cohen. The ceremony will be hosted for the fifth year by Jonathan Ross and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One. Red carpet coverage will be hosted by Edith Bowman on BBC Three.

Stay tuned over the weekend for CineVue’s very own Bafta predictions.

Daniel Green