'Sound of Music' star Christopher Plummer dies at 91

The veteran Canadian actor enjoyed a dazzling career that spanned seven decades

'Sound of Music' star Christopher Plummer dies at 91
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Christopher Plummer, the Oscar-winning actor who starred as Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music, has died aged 91.

Plummer died at his home in Connecticut with his wife Elaine Taylor by his side, his long-time friend and manager Lou Pitt said.

"Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old-fashioned manners, self-deprecating humour and the music of words," Pitt said.

"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."

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 26, 2012 Christopher Plummer holds his Oscar for best actor in a supporting role for 'Beginners' in the press room at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. Christopher Plummer, the Canadian-born actor who starred in films including “The Sound of Music” and “Beginners,” died on February 5, 2021 at his home in Connecticut. He was 91. / AFP / Joe KLAMAR

Plummer starred as the aristocratic widower Captain Georg von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, the beloved cinematic tale of a musical family and their mischievous governess in Austria on the eve of the Second World War.

Despite its enormous worldwide success, Plummer publicly despised the film, calling his role "gooey" in The Hollywood Reporter in 2011.

But he later softened, telling the same publication in 2015 that the production was "the last bastion of peace and innocence in a very cynical time".

Plummer was one of the most recognisable and admired character actors in Hollywood, with about 100 films under his belt.

His first Academy Award nomination came in 2010 for his portrayal of Russian author Leo Tolstoy in The Last Station.

FILE PHOTO: Cast members Christopher Plummer (L) and Julie Andrews are interviewed during the 50th anniversary screening of musical drama film "The Sound of Music" at the opening night gala of the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles, California March 26, 2015. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian/File Photo

He took home the golden statuette two years later, becoming – at the age of 82 – the oldest actor to win an Oscar, for his supporting role in Beginners, in which he played a man who openly embraces his homosexuality after his wife dies.

"Where have you been all my life?" he joked to the trophy at the awards ceremony, quipping that he had been rehearsing his Oscar acceptance speech since he was born.

In 2018, he earned another Oscar nomination after standing in at the last minute in All the Money in the World for Kevin Spacey, who was dropped from the film following accusations of sexual misconduct.

Recently, he starred in the 2019 whodunnit Knives Out alongside Daniel Craig, Chris Evans and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Born on December 13, 1929 in Toronto, Plummer made his professional theatre debut in Ottawa in The Rivals in 1950.

He took to Broadway in 1954 with Starcross Story and broke into film in 1958 with Stage Struck, before crossing the Atlantic in the early 1960s to work in London theatre.

Plummer was said to be dynamic on stage, earning praise as one of the premier Shakespearean actors to come out of North America in the 20th century.

Some critics said he initially failed to project that charisma on the silver screen, but that changed with The Sound of Music, his best-known role.

After that film's wild success, Plummer earned a number of other leading roles over the decades, including as the first Duke of Wellington in Waterloo (1970), Rudyard Kipling in The Man Who Would Be King (1975), veteran CBS journalist Mike Wallace in The Insider (1999) and in Spike Lee's 2006 heist movie Inside Man.

"I've managed to finish the cycle of the great, classic roles," he told The Guardian in 2018. "I've played them all, some more than once."

"But the parts I'm receiving in films now are wonderful – the last 10 parts have all been fascinating," he said.

Plummer was married three times and has a daughter, actress Amanda Plummer.