Christopher Plummer, Legendary Actor, Dead at 91

Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Christopher Plummer, an actor whose career onstage and onscreen spanned seven decades, has died, his family told Deadline. He was 91, and died at home beside his longtime wife, Elaine Taylor. “Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come,” his manager, Lou Pitt, told Deadline. “He will forever be with us.” Plummer was one of a few performers to win an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony in acting categories — the top awards for film, television, and theater, known as the “Triple Crown of Acting.” Plummer began his career in theater, making his Broadway debut in 1954 and starring in televised plays around the same time. He earned his first Tony nomination in 1959, for his role in the play J.B., an adaptation of the Biblical story of Job; he earned his first Emmy nomination the same year, for a role in the TV play Little Moon of Alban.

Plummer broke out playing Captain Georg von Trapp in the beloved 1965 film adaptation of The Sound of Music. His film credits include historical dramas like Waterloo, The Man Who Would Be King, and The Last Station; on Broadway, he played major roles from Cyrano de Bergerac to Macbeth to King Lear. Plummer earned his first Tony in 1974 for Cyrano, and went on to earn a second in 1997 for the play Barrymore. He earned an Emmy in 1977 for the miniseries Arthur Hailey’s The Moneychangers, then a second in 1994 for voice-over performance, as narrator of the children’s series Madeline. He earned his Oscar in 2011 for The Beginners, and became the oldest winner at 82. “As that father, Christopher Plummer, whom Kenneth Tynan dubbed ‘a saturnine young actor’ as the Devil in J.B. and who can be as suavely menacing as any actor alive, is light and enchanted, liberated even with cancer after a life of cloaking his sexuality,” Vulture wrote of Plummer’s performance at the time.

In 2017, when Plummer was nominated for another Oscar for starring in All the Money in the World, he became the oldest Oscar nominee at 88. Plummer’s final roles included the writer Harlan Thrombey in the 2019 movie Knives Out and Transport Safety and Investigations Bureau manager Howard Lawson in the Canadian TV series The Departure, which had begun work on a second season last September.

Christopher Plummer, Legendary Actor, Dead at 91