Christopher Plummer's career highlights - Sound of Music, Shakespeare and Star Trek

image copyrightGetty Images

The Sound of Music star Christopher Plummer, who has died at the age of 91, was a distinguished star of stage and screen whose career spanned seven decades, winning him worldwide acclaim and numerous awards.

Born in Toronto in 1929, Plummer made his Broadway debut in 1953. By the time he made his first film appearance five years later, he had established himself as a leading Shakespearean actor thanks to his work at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario.

In 1964, Plummer played the title role in a production of William Shakespeare's Hamlet that was filmed at Elsinore Castle in Denmark, the setting for much of the play's action.

Sir Michael Caine, who played Horatio in the televised production, recalled in his autobiography how Plummer had to race through his soliloquies lest they be interrupted by a persistent nearby foghorn.

image copyrightGetty Images

The 1965 film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical The Sound of Music remains Plummer's best-known and best-loved film.

Set in Austria in the late 1930s, it saw him play a widowed former naval officer who falls in love with the guardian who comes to look after his seven children.

image copyrightGetty Images

In 1975's The Return of the Pink Panther, Plummer played Sir Charles Litton, an urbane aristocrat suspected of being a jewel thief, opposite Peter Sellers' bumbling Inspector Clouseau.

Catherine Schell played his wife in the film, which Blake Edwards - the husband of Plummer's Sound of Music co-star Julie Andrews - co-wrote and directed.

image copyrightGetty Images

Plummer did his own sleuthing in 1979's Murder By Decree, which saw him play Sherlock Holmes opposite James Mason's Doctor Watson.

The film saw the fictional detective investigate the real-life murders perpetrated by the notorious killer nicknamed Jack the Ripper.

image copyrightGetty Images

In 1991's Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Plummer donned an eye patch and extensive make-up to play the sinister Klingon general Chang.

The film took its subtitle from Hamlet and saw Plummer's character quote extensively from the Bard's works.

In the 2002 BBC film Night Flight, Plummer and Edward Woodward played World War Two comrades who reunited 50 years after their wartime service.

From playing Field Marshal Rommel in The Night of the Generals to his role as Squadron Leader Colin Harvey in Battle of Britain, the 1939-1945 conflict was a recurring theme in Plummer's work.

image copyrightGetty Images

In 2012, Plummer was named best supporting actor at the Academy Awards for his performance as an elderly man who announces he is gay in the film Beginners.

The award saw the then 82-year-old become the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar in an acting category.

image copyrightTristar

Plummer received another Oscar nomination, his third, for playing billionaire John Paul Getty in 2017 drama All the Money in the World.

The actor was brought in at the last minute to replace Kevin Spacey, whose entire performance was excised from Sir Ridley Scott's film after Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct.

image copyrightLionsgate

One of Plummer's last screen appearances came in 2019 comedy Knives Out, in which he played a mystery novelist who dies under curious circumstances.

Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Chris Evans, K Callan, Ana de Armas, Michael Shannon, Jaeden Martell, Riki Lindhome, Toni Collette and Katherine Langford also starred in Rian Johnson's hit whodunnit.

Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email

Related Topics

More on this story