Christopher Plummer Dies: ‘Sound of Music’ Star, ‘Beginners’ Oscar Winner Was 91

The Hollywood legend passed away peacefully at his home in Connecticut.
Christopher Plummer attends the "Knives Out" premiere during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 07, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Photo by Lionel Hahn/Abaca/Sipa USA(Sipa via AP Images)
Christopher Plummer
Sipa USA via AP

Update: “Beginners” director Mike Mills has spoken to IndieWire about the passing of Christopher Plummer, who won an Academy Award for his role in the film. Plummer played Hal Fields, an aging patriarch who comes out to his son late in life, and chooses to live his final years as an out gay man.

“It was a great honor to work with Christopher, to be in conversation with such a dedicated artist,” Mike Mills said. “In his 80s when we met, I marveled at his intense curiosity, hunger to make something vulnerable, and his need to challenge himself. Christopher was both dignified and mischievous, deeply cultured and always looking for a good laugh. As he said about playing my father who was dying ‘not an ounce of self pity,’ and that’s how he was. I’ll always be indebted to Christopher for honoring the story of an older man who dares to come out of the closet, to overcome shame with grace, and intelligence, and a rowdy desire for life — Christopher knew how to make that story alive for so many people.

Earlier: Christopher Plummer, the Hollywood legend best known for his iconic role as Captain Von Trapp in the classic musical “The Sound of Music,” has died at 91. His family confirmed the news. He died peacefully at his home in Connecticut alongside his wife Elaine Taylor

Lou Pitt, his friend and manager of 46 years said, told Deadline: “Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self deprecating humor and the music of words. 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.”

Plummer received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2011 for “Beginners,” and was nominated in 2010 for “The Last Station,” and again in 2018 for “All the Money in the World,” where he replaced Kevin Spacey.

Born in Toronto and raised in Quebec, the Canadian actor began his career on Broadway with “The Starcross Story” before moving into film with Sidney Lumet’s “Stage Struck” in 1958. “The Sound of Music” catapulted him to stardom in 1965, but that same year he also starred in Robert Mulligan’s Alan J. Pakula-produced drama “Inside Daisy Clover,” opposite Natalie Wood and Robert Redford, He won a Tony Award in 1974 for Best Actor in a Musical for “Cyrano,” and again for Best Actor in a Play in 1997 for “Barrymore.” He has two Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Actor in 1977 for “Arthur Hailey’s the Moneychangers,” and Outstanding Voice-Over Performance in 1994 for the series “Madeline.”

He played a number of major historical figures, including Roman emperor Commodus in “The Fall of the Roman Empire” (1964), Arthur Wellesley in “Waterloo” (1970), Rudyard Kipling in “The Man Who Would Be King” (1975), Mike Wallace in “The Insider” (1999), Leo Tolstoy in “The Last Station” (2009) and, most recently, as J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World.” In 2019, he starred in Rian Johnson’s murder mystery “Knives Out.” But he also worked with filmmakers like Terrence Malick (“The New World”), David Fincher (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), Spike Lee (“Malcolm X”), and Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind”).

Additional reporting by Eric Kohn.

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