Christopher Plummer, the elegant actor who played Captain von Trapp in the movie classic “The Sound of Music,” and at age 82 became the oldest actor to receive an Oscar award, passed away. He was 91 years old.
Plummer died Friday morning at his home in Connecticut accompanied by his wife, Elaine Taylor, said Lou Pitt, who for years was his friend and manager.
Throughout more than 50 years of experience, Plummer worked on projects as varied as the film “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the animated film “Up,” in which he voiced the villain, and the Broadway play. “Inherit the Wind”, like a cunning lawyer.
But it was the role of the von Trapp patriarch, who he played alongside Julie Andrews, that gave him stardom. Plummer played the Austrian captain who must flee his country with his singing family to avoid serving in the Nazi army, a role he lamented as “humorless and one-dimensional.” He spent the rest of his life referring to the film as “The Sound of Mucus,” or “S&M.”
“We tried so hard to inject humor into it,” he told The Associated Press in 2007. “It was almost impossible. It was agony trying to make that guy not be a cardboard cutout. ”
The role catapulted him to fame, but Plummer never sought out leading roles despite his gray hair, good looks, and light English accent. He preferred character roles, which he considered more substantial.
Plummer had a notable renaissance in the film as an older adult, beginning with his acclaimed performance as Mike Wallace in Michael Mann’s 1999 film “The Insider”, continuing with such films as “A Beautiful Mind.” 2001’s “A Brilliant Mind” and 2009’s “The Last Station”, whose role as a run-down Tolstoy earned him an Oscar nomination.
In 2012 he won the Academy Award for best-supporting actor for his work in “Beginners” (“Beginners, this is how love feels”).