Christopher Plummer
Canadian actor and Oscar Winner
Theatre
Sound of Music
Movies
Miscellaneous
On Golden Pond TV 2001
Movie posters
Christopher Plummer wins Oscar
Photographs
Theatre

Plummer has played most of the great roles in classic repertoire. In 1953, Plummer was the understudy to Tyrone Power in The Dark is Light Enough, in a production by Katharine Cornell in which she also starred. In his biography, Plummer states that Cornell was his 'sponsor.' In 1973, he appeared on Broadway as the swordsman and poet Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano, a musical adaptation of Edmond Rostand's 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac by Anthony Burgess (libretto and lyrics) and Michael J. Lewis (music). For that performance, Plummer won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Performance.  In 1971 he appeared at the National Theatre in the play Amphitryon 38, directed by Sir Laurence Olivier.

In 2002, he appeared in a lauded production of King Lear, directed by Jonathan Miller and performed at the Stratford (Canada) Shakespeare Festival. The production came to New York City's Lincoln Center in 2004, where Plummer's performance as Lear garnered him his sixth Tony nomination.

He returned to Broadway in 2007 as Henry Drummond in a revival of Inherit the Wind, winning a Drama Desk Award nomination as well as his seventh Tony nomination.

Plummer returned to the stage at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in August 2008 in a critically acclaimed performance as Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw's "Caesar and Cleopatra" directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff; this production was videotaped and shown in high-definition in Canadian cinemas on January 31, 2009 (with an encore presentation on February 23, 2009) and broadcast on April 4, 2009 on Bravo! in Canada. Plummer once again returned to the Stratford Festival in the summer of 2010 in The Tempest as the lead character, Prospero.

Sound of Music

Owing to the box office success and continued popularity of The Sound of Music (1965), Plummer remains best known for his portrayal of Captain Von Trapp, a role he reportedly disliked.  He declined to attend the 40th Anniversary cast reunion, but did provide commentary on the 2005 DVD release. Plummer relented in 2010 for the 45th anniversary, and appeared with the full cast on The Oprah Winfrey Show on October 28, 2010.

Plummer said of the movie and his role in a December 2009 interview, “I was a bit bored with the character (of Captain Von Trapp), 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." However, Plummer admits the movie itself was well made and, despite his reservations, is proud to be associated with a film with such mass appeal. "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.

Movies
Plummer's eclectic career on screen began in 1958 when Sidney Lumet cast him as a young writer in Stage Struck. Since then he has appeared in a vast number of notable films which include Oedipus the King, The Man Who Would Be King, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Jesus of Nazareth, The Return of the Pink Panther, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Battle of Britain, Waterloo, The Silent Partner, Dragnet, Shadow Dancing, Inside Daisy Clover, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Malcolm X, Dolores Claiborne, Wolf, 12 Monkeys, The Insider, Murder by Decree, Somewhere in Time, Syriana, The New World, The Lake House and International Velvet.

One of Plummer's most critically acclaimed roles was that of television journalist Mike Wallace in Michael Mann's Oscar-nominated The Insider, for which he won Boston, Los Angeles, and National Society of Film Critics Awards for 'Best Supporting Actor'; he was also nominated for Chicago and Las Vegas Film Critics’ Awards, as well as a Satellite Award. Predictions of an Oscar nomination circulated, but such recognition only came in January 2010 when Plummer received his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of author Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station.


Miscellaneous

A nice gallery of Christopher Plummer Pictures

On Golden Pond TV 2001

Ethel and Norman Thayer are an old couple living "On Golden Pond". Their daughter, Chelsea, is 42 years old, and has never been married. She is dating a 45 year old dentist, and brings him up to Golden Pond to meet her parents. Her boyfriend, Bill, has a 14 year old son named Billy, who comes along. Young Billy has been virtually raised by his mother, who is newly divorced from his father. The troubled child is left with the elderly Thayers for some time, as his father and Chelsea take off for a tour of Europe. Character-driven story about an elderly man coming to terms with his age, and the nearing of death; a middle-aged woman attempting to enter into a father-daughter relationship with her dad, whom she has never known closely; and a young teenager dealing with parental divorce.

Movie posters

Plummer received his first Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of author Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station. Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an interview that aired on March 7, 2010,  Plummer appeared slightly irritated that it had taken so long to receive a personal Academy Award nomination, saying, "Well, I said it's about time! I mean, I'm 80 years old, for God's sake. Have mercy." Still, on Oscar night, March 7, 2010, Plummer lost the Best Supporting Actor nomination to Christophe Waltz in the Quentin Tarantino 2009 war film Inglorious Basterds. Other recent successes include his roles as Dr. Rosen in Ron Howard's Academy Award winning A Beautiful Mind, Arthur Case in Spike Lee's 2006 film Inside Man, and the philosopher Aristotle in Alexander, alongside Colin Farrell. In 2004, Plummer played John Adams Gates in National Treasure.

Christopher Plummer wins Oscar
Christopher Plummer may be the oldest Oscar winner ever, but he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

The 82-year-old came on stage Sunday night to accept his best supporting actor award and stared at the statuette before remarking on how great it looked.

“You’re only two years older than me darling, where have you been all of my life?” Plummer asked.

At birth, he joked, “I was already rehearsing my academy acceptance speech, but it was so long ago mercifully for you I’ve forgotten it.” The humor and heartfelt one he delivered Sunday night wasn’t that original version, he said, but, “I haven’t forgotten who to thank. Backstage, Plummer told reporters of the recognition he’s received recently, “It’s sort of a renewal, it has recharged me,” he said. “I hope I can do it for another 10 years at least.

Plummer has enjoyed a vibrant career that has included his first two Oscar nominations in the past three years. Wearing a navy velvet tuxedo, Plummer thanked fellow nominees, co-stars and his wife, who he said “deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to my rescue every day of my life.”

 
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