Christopher Plummer – He saw “The Sound of Music” as a flaw in his career

Christopher Plummer – He saw “The Sound of Music” as a flaw in his career

Christopher Plummer has died at the age of 91: Character actor Christopher Plummer wanted to be remembered as a Shakespeare actor.


You don’t have to look far back to understand why Christopher Plummer has been one of Hollywood’s most respected and popular character actors for over six decades. In Ridley Scott’s “Alles Geld der Welt” (All Money in the World), in which he plays oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, only a few scenes were enough for him to leave a lasting impression in 2017. Plummer’s demeanor had a natural authority that was inherent in him.

In his memoirs, he describes his family, including former prime ministers and railroad barons, like a faded aristocracy. Plummer, born in Toronto, Canada, in 1929, embodied the omnipotence and privileges of “old money” in Scott’s film with an aura of inviolable arrogance: with just a few sentences (his sonorous voice predestined him to become a Shakespeare grandee early in his career) he was able to set the temperature in Lower space. And as it should be for a – in his case secret – star, he towered over every ensemble despite his 1.78 meters height, as most recently in the crime parody “Knives Out”.


All the Money in the World:

The role in “All the Money in the World” had brought Plummer the fact that the actual star of the film, Kevin Spacey, had recently fallen out of favor because of a Metoo scandal. Scott hired him six weeks before the cinema release for a re-shoot, he took his job as a substitute athletically. And it speaks for Plummer that in retrospect the role looked like it was tailored to him. He could – as in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Land” – play the silliest villains with an almost imperceptible wink; but if he wanted to, a single sentence from his mouth sounded like a death sentence.

The role of J. Paul Getty earned him his third Oscar nomination in 2018. He had won the golden boy six years earlier with the tragic comedy “Beginners” for the role of a father with cancer who came out shortly before his death. At 82, Plummer holds the record as the oldest Oscar winner.


“The Sound of Music” was his biggest success

We will remember Christopher Plummer, who died on Friday at his home in Connecticut at the age of 91, but for his portrayal of the singing family patriarch Georg Ludwig von Trapp in the musical adaptation of “The Sound of Music” penned by Rodgers and Hammerstein. A Broadway long-running favorite, Plummer, a regular at the Royal Shakespeare Company, was never too fond of.

As “Sound of Mucus”, he would later like to talk about his most famous film with the most gorgeous aerial numbers in the then extremely ambitious musical genre. But the high-gloss kitsch laid the foundation for one of the most diverse careers in Hollywood, not least because Plummer’s performance also revealed a hardness and brokenness that grounded the vocal revue.

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Plummer always remained the Shakespearean actor

Plummer has worked with many great directors – Robert Wise, John Huston, Blake Edwards, Michael Mann, Spike Lee, Terrence Malick, Terry Gilliam, David Fincher – mostly in the second row. It seemed to become more and more in demand with age – and more relaxed. He didn’t say a word about his role in the television Monette “Die Dornenvögel”.

Christopher Plummer was a star who could be happy when he found a table in the restaurant unnoticed, as he told the New York Times in 1982. And a good review for a theater premiere meant more than all praise from Hollywood.


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