Christopher Plummer, Beginners and The Sound of Music Actor Who Set Oscar Age Records, Dies at 91

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Christopher Plummer, Beginners and The Sound of Music Actor Who Set Oscar Age Records, Dies at 91

Christopher Plummer, a veteran actor whose roles spanned The Sound of Music to Knives Out, has died at age 91.

Announced by his agency, Plummer’s death followed an extraordinary career partially defined by its continued effectiveness despite its longevity. Plummer was a gripping performer until the end of his seven decades on stage and screen.

In fact, he was such a standout in this regard that he set multiple Oscar records: One for being the oldest actor to ever win a competitive Oscar (in 2012, for his supporting turn as a newly-open gay man in Beginners) at age 82, and another for being the oldest actor to ever be nominated (in 2018, for his last-minute supporting work replacing Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World) at age 88.

Plummer’s younger days were just as acclaimed and prolific, with his standout role as The Sound of Music’s Captain Von Trapp making him a household figure. With over 200 acting credits to his name and scene-stealing appearances wherever you look—be they in The Insider, Malcolm X, Up or 12 Monkeys—Plummer was a force to be reckoned with. His intimidating ability for gruffness was either utilized on its surface or undermined in compelling ways, with Plummer gamely spanning high and lowbrow.

He won an Emmy for The Moneychangers miniseries and earned two Tonys for his ‘70s roles as Cyrano de Bergerac and John Barrymore, performed long after his Shakespearean start and his 1954 Broadway debut. A few years after the latter, he’d make his way to the screen for the first time in Sidney Lumet’s 1958 film Stage Struck.

“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,” said his manager, Lou Pitt. “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.”

Plummer is survived by his wife Elaine Taylor and his daughter, actress Amanda Plummer.

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