Christopher Plummer 13.12.29 – 5.2.21

06/02/2021

The man who played the hero in The Sound of Music, Christopher Plummer, has died:

Christopher Plummer, who was among the greatest Canadian actors ever to grace stage and screen, has died.

Plummer died Friday morning at his home in Connecticut with his wife, Elaine Taylor, by his side, said Lou Pitt, his longtime friend and manager.

“Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self-deprecating humour and the music of words,” Pitt said in a statement to CBC News. “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.”

In a career that spanned over six decades, Plummer was nominated for best supporting actor at the Academy Awards three times and won once at 82 for Beginners, a film about a widower who begins to live life as a gay man while dying of cancer.

He also captured two Tony Awards among seven nominations, and took home two Emmys. He earned a reputation as one of the great classical actors of modern times — without attending a prestigious theatre school. . . 

Born Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer on Dec. 13, 1929 in Toronto, he was a descendant of John Abbott, Canada’s third prime minister. 

Plummer’s parents split up not long after his birth, and he was raised in relative privilege in Montreal by his mother and her extended family. He saw his father on only one other occasion years later.

A love for acting onstage was cemented by playing Mr. Darcy in a Montreal High School production of Pride and Prejudice. He would further develop his stagecraft at the Ottawa Repertory Theatre, and learned how to harness his baritone voice in CBC Radio plays.  . . 

I doubt there’s anyone of my generation who didn’t know Plummer as Captain Von Trapp, am I the only one who didn’t know he was Canadian?


366 days of gratitude

08/10/2016

Oamaru’s Majestic theatre was overseen by Mr Horsborough. always immaculate in a dinner suit and bow tie even for matinée showings.

Those were the days when each session began with the National Anthem (God Save the Queen, not God Defend New Zealand) and everyone stood to attention while it played.

Back then, 10 cents was enough to get you in to the pictures (yes, they were the pictures then, not the movies) with enough change for a bag of acid drops and an ice cream at half time.

Ice cream at the picture theatre was rolled and pressed into cones, dipped in chocolate and kept in the deep freeze until half-time. It tasted all the better for it.

For all that 10 cents seems very cheap for an outing, we went to the movies only a few times a year. Favourite films included The Great Race, The Incredible Journey, National Velvet,  Herbie, My Fair Lady, The Great Escape,  Hayley Mills in The Truth About Spring and The Parent Trap and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Thoroughly Modern Milly.

Watching a DVD of the latter this afternoon I realised that she wasn’t very modern at all. But there was an innocence to the film, the baddies were bad, the goodies were good and while there was love there was no sex.

It was a refreshing contrast to a lot of modern movies and what passes as news and I’m grateful for that.


Julie Andrews – Thoroughly Modern Millie

01/10/2009

The search for something to mark Julie Andrew’s birthday led me to Thoroughly Modern Millie.

My best friend and I loved it when we saw it at the pictures, way back in the days when you stood for the National Anthem (which was then God Save The Queen) before the shorts which came on before the film.

You might prefer something from The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady or Mary Poppins.


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