June 13, 2015

UNGENTLEMANLY GENTLEMAN:

22 Incredible Facts About The Life and Career Of Sir Christopher Lee (Rob Bricken, 6/12/15, io9)

2) He mother was an Italian contessa, and through her Lee descended from the Emperor Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire and was related to Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general.

3) He met Prince Yusupov and Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich, the assassins of the Russian monk Rasputin. He didn't do this as research for his later film role as Rasputin (in the 1966 Hammer film Rasputin the Mad Monk), but just as a child in the 1920s.

4) At age 17, he saw the death of the murderer Eugen Weidmann in Paris, the last person in France to be publicly executed by guillotine.

5) During World War II, Lee joined the Royal Air Force but wasn't allowed to fly because of a problem with his optic nerve. So he became an intelligence officer for the Long Range Desert Patrol, a forerunner of the SAS, Britain's special forces. He fought the Nazis in North Africa, often having up to five missions a day. During this time he helped retake Sicily, prevented a mutiny among his troops, contracted malaria six times in a single year and climbed Mount Vesuvius three days before it erupted.

6) At some point during the war he moved from the LRDP to Winston Churchill's even more elite Special Operations Executive, whose missions are literally still classified, but involved "conducting espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe against the Axis powers." The SOE was more informally called -- and I can't believe this somehow hasn't been made into a movie yet -- The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare.




Posted by at June 13, 2015 4:44 AM
  

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