A deep overview of a great actor. Be sure to read it fully.
“It makes one very grateful that, when you reach my age, you’re doing as much work as you’ve ever done. I think it’s possibly because, in one respect, I may be the last of the line,” Lee said, referring to such legendary screen villains and horror icons — now gone — as Lon Chaney Sr., Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone, Peter Lorre, his friend Vincent Price, his friend and frequent co-star, Peter Cushing, and his London next-door neighbor in the 1960s, Boris Karloff. (“When we came out of our houses simultaneously, people expected to see body-bags dumped on the pavement,” Lee wrote in his autobiography.)
“With all these characters, I always look for one particular element that runs through them all, and that is a kind of sadness,” Lee said in a recent telephone interview from his home in London. “In the case of the creature in ‘The Curse of Frankenstein,’ it didn’t ask to be created — it was a pitiful being. In the case of Dracula, it’s the curse of immortality — forces that control him. He cannot control himself. In the case of The Mummy, it’s the sadness of being brought back to life, centuries later, and believing that he is seeing the princess he once loved, born again.” […]