CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER, who has
recently completed his Tony-nominated performance as King Lear
in Sir Jonathan Miller’s much lauded production at Lincoln Center (2005), has enjoyed 50 years
as one of the English speaking theatre’s most distinguished actors and as a veteran of
international renown in over 100 motion pictures.
It was in his hometown of Montreal that Plummer began
his professional career on stage and radio in both French and English.
After Eva Le Gallienne gave him his New York debut (1954) he went on to star in many
celebrated, prize-winning productions on Broadway and London’s West End
including Elia Kazan’s production of Archibald
MacLeish’s Pulitzer-winning play J.B., and the
title role in Anthony Burgess’ musical Cyrano for which
Plummer won his first Tony. Apart from King Lear, his most recent
Broadway success was as Barrymore for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk,
Outer Critics’ Circle Award, The Edwin Booth Award, the Boston Critics’ Award,
Chicago’s Jefferson Award, and Los Angeles’ Ovation Award as best actor 1997-1998. He was
also a leading member of Britain’s National Theatre under
Sir Laurence Olivier, the Royal Shakespeare Company
under Sir Peter Hall, and in its formative years, Canada’s Stratford Festival under
Sir Tyrone Guthrie and Michael Langham. He has played most of the great roles
in the classic repertoire.
Plummer’s eclectic career on screen began when Sidney Lumet
gave him his movie debut in Stage Struck. Since then he has appeared in a host of
notable films which include the Academy Award-winning The Sound of Music, The Man Who
Would Be King, The Battle of Britain, Waterloo, The Silent Partner, Dragnet, Daisy Clover,
Star Trek IV, Malcolm X, Dolores Claibourne, Wolf, Twelve Monkeys, Murder by Decree, Somewhere
in Time, Douglas McGrath’s Nicholas Nickleby, and a host of
others. Plummer’s recent successes are
Michael Mann’s Oscar-nominated The Insider, playing television journalist
Mike Wallace, for which he won the Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago and Las Vegas National
Critics’ Awards; as well as Ron Howard’s Academy
Award- winning A Beautiful Mind and Etom Egoyan’s Ararat.
He was most recently seen in Gary David Goldberg’s Must Love Dogs.
Plummer’s upcoming films include Terrence Malick’s
The New World, Alejandro Agresti’s The Lake House, Charles Beeson’s
and Spike Lee’s Inside Man.
Handsome, award-winning Shakespearean-trained actor who will probably forever be remembered as Baron Von Trapp from The Sound of Music (1965), a film he reportedly referred to as "The Sound of Mucus."
A veteran of the Montreal stage, Plummer is adept at both comedy and drama, and is particularly effective in sinister roles, such as the Israeli
diplomat in Eyewitness (1981), and the head of
covert intelligence in Dreamscape (1984).
Plummer made his film debut in Wind Across the
Everglades (1958), and was memorable in
(also 1958), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964),
Inside Daisy Clover (1965), Oedipus the King
(1968), Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969),
The Man Who Would Be King (1975, as Rudyard Kipling),
The Return of the Pink Panther, Conduct
Unbecoming (both also 1975), The Silent Partner
(1978), Murder by Decree
(1979, as Sherlock
Holmes), and Somewhere in Time (1980).
The 1980s saw him playing heavies and
appearing in many lackluster films,
including a few that went
straight to video. But the
decade also saw him tackling more
lighthearted parts, displaying a
hitherto unsuspected comedic facility.
His films in this period include
Ordeal by Innocence
(1984), The Boy in Blue (1985),
An American Tail (1986, voice only), The
Boss' Wife (also 1986), Dragnet,
I Love N.Y., Souvenir
(all 1987), Stage Fright
(1988), Mind Field
(1990), Where the Heart Is
(also 1990, all but unrecognizable
playing a filthy bum),
The Dispossessed, Firehead,
Red-Blooded American Girl
(all also 1990),
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
(1991, as a Shakespeare-quoting
Klingon opposite William Shatner,
who had understudied for Plummer
on stage in Canada), Malcolm X
(1992, in a cameo as a
prison priest), Liar's Edge
(1994), and Dolores Claiborne (1995).
Plummer continues to divide
his time among film, stage, and
TV work. (He won a 1974
Tony Award for the
Broadway musical Cyrano,
and a 1977 Emmy Award for the
TV miniseries The Moneychangers.)
His daughter (by former wife Tammy
Grimes) is actress Amanda Plummer.