In a career that spans over five decades and includes substantial roles in film, television, and theatre, Plummer is perhaps best known for the role of Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music. His most recent film roles include the Disney–Pixar 2009 film Up as Charles Muntz, the Shane Acker production 9 as The Last Station as Leo Tolstoy, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus as Doctor Parnassus.
Plummer was born in Toronto, Ontario, the great-grandson of former Canadian Prime Minister Sir John Abbott. Following his parents' divorce he moved with his mother to live in Senneville, Quebec, near Montreal. He studied to be a concert pianist but developed a love of the theatre at an early age and began acting in high school. He travelled by train to study with Canadian Repertory Company in Ottawa.
Plummer's eclectic career on screen began in 1957 when Sidney Lumet provided him his movie debut in Stage Struck. Since then he has appeared in a vast number of notable films which include the Academy Award winning The Sound Of Music, The Man Who Would Be King, Battle of Britain, Waterloo, The Silent Partner, Dragnet,Inside Daisy Clover, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Malcolm X, Dolores Claiborne, Wolf, Twelve Monkeys, Murder by Decree, Somewhere in Time and Syriana.Recent successes include Michael Mann's Oscar-nominated The Insider playing television journalist Mike Wallace, for which he won the Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas and the National Critics Awards, and Ron Howard's Academy Award winning A Beautiful Mind as well. He played Arthur Case in Spike Lee's 2006 film Inside Man.
His most recent film roles include the Disney-Pixar 2009 film Up as Charles Muntz, the Shane Acker production 9 as 1, The Last Station as Leo Tolstoy, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus as Doctor Parnassus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as Henrik Vanger, and Beginners as Hal.
Plummer has won numerous awards for his work, including an Oscar, two Emmys, two Tonys, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award. With his win at the age of 82 in 2012 for Beginners, Plummer is the oldest actor ever to win an Academy Award.
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