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Actor Christopher Lee dies at age 93; Appeared in “The Lord of the Rings,” gothic thrillers

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Sir Christopher Lee attends 66th Locarno Film Festival opening ceremony on August 7, 2013 in Locarno, Switzerland. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

LONDON  — Christopher Lee, the prolific, aristocratic British actor who brought dramatic gravitas to the low-budget thrills of Hammer Studios’ horror films, has died at age 93.

An official for the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London confirmed a death certificate was issued for Lee on June 8. She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with the policies of the borough.

Lee appeared in more than 250 movies, but for many was forever known as the vampire Count Dracula in a slew of “Hammer Horror” movies — the gory, gothic thrillers churned out by the British studio in the 1950s and 1960s that became hugely popular.

His career flourished late in life, with roles in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and two of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” prequels.