By Ninder Kaur

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Sir Christopher Lee, the actor who was best known for playing  Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy,  passed away on Sunday at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

The 93 year old actor had been hospitalised following respiratory problems and heart failure for three weeks.

His wife, the former Danish model Birgit Kroencke, decided to hold back the information for four days until all family members and friends were informed. The couple had been married for more than 50 years and had one daughter, Christina.

The actor was knighted in 2009 for services to drama and charity, and was awarded the Bafta fellowship in 2011. Best known for being the master of horrors, Christopher also starred in Dracula as well as playing Bond villain Scaramanga in 1974’s The Man With the Golden Gun alongside co-star Sir Roger Moore.

The film legend’s death has prompted an outpouring of grief from fans and co-stars.

Sir Roger Moore said: “It’s terribly when you lose an old friend, and Christopher Lee was one of my oldest. We first met in 1948.”

Elijah Wood also added: “An extraordinary man and life lead, Sir Christopher Lee. You were an icon, and a towering human being with stories for days. We’ll miss you.”