OBITUARY Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer

December 13th 1929 – February 5th 2021

Christopher Plummer was born in Toronto, Canada on December the 13th 1929. He spent his formative years progressing through the ranks of Canadian theatre and made his New York Broadway debut in 1953, his film debut followed in 1958. His phenomenal acting career spanned seven decades during which he starred opposite all the big names of Hollywood and received every accolade known to the acting world. But above all he was best known, and will be remembered every Christmas, for his role as head of the Von Trapp family in ‘The Sound of Music’ (1965). A much-loved classic that went on to win all the awards and break all the records. However, for the Whitechapel Society, the highlight of his career is arguably his role as Sherlock Holmes in the movie ‘Murder by Decree’ (1979). A classic Ripper film based on Stephen Knight’s book ‘Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution’ (1976) and Elwyn Jones’s ‘The Ripper File’ (1975). Parts of it were filmed on the streets of London. Not the East End itself perhaps but the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, Covent Garden, before it was gentrified, and some wonderful locations in South London, most notably Clink Street SE1, home to the original Clink Prison. In 2010 at the age of 82, Christopher Plummer was the oldest actor ever to receive an Oscar. Reading through the long list of performances he gave over the decades it’s clear that the theatre was his first love. An actor who challenged himself right up to the end. He accepted the most difficult roles and truly brought to life the written words of Shakespeare, Jonathan Miller, George Bernard Shaw and many other great writers. Still working right up until 2020, Plummer, complying with Covid19 lockdown regulations filmed his scenes for ‘Departure’ a Canadian television drama from his home in Connecticut. A thespian to the very end he was set to play ‘King Lear’ this year in a major movie production, unfortunately the curtain fell on his final performance before it could really begin. An acting great who enriched the lives of all who watched him on screen or stage.


Ian Parson