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Looking back at Christopher Plummer's life and most memorable roles, from 'The Sound of Music' to 'Beginners'

By Heather Cichowski

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By Heather Cichowski

Christopher Plummer passed away at age 91 on Feb. 5. The Canadian icon, who was best known for his beloved role as Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music, had a career that spanned seven decades from his start in plays in his native Canada to the stages of Broadway.

The Toronto-born star made a name for himself across the stage and screen, delivering unforgettable performance after unforgettable performance. With that, he earned countless awards and nominations. The actor was praised by critics and fans alike right up to his last days.

In honour of the late star, scroll through the gallery (or click through if you're on desktop) to look back the legend's most memorable roles, from his Shakespearean stagework to The Sound of Music and Beginners.

Photos: © Tim Boxer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images, Allen Berezovsky/WireImage, JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images

Chris got his start on the stage, first in school then on Canadian stages before making his way to Broadway.

The dapper young star is photographed getting ready for The Lark by Jean Anouilh in 1955.

Photo: © Pix/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In 1965, Christopher landed his career-defining part of Captain Von Trapp in the adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music opposite Julie Andrews.

This is a publicity handout from that year.

The incredibly successful musical movie would outsell Gone with the Wind at the box office.

Photo: © Bettmann/Getty Images

After two marriages, the Canadian actor found lasting love with Elaine Taylor. They worked together on Lock Up Your Daughters on location in Kilkenny, Ireland.

The Agnes of God actor and the English actress married on Oct. 2 1970 in Montreal. They're pictured in 1971. Elaine was by Chris's side as he passed away on Feb. 5, 2021.

Photo: © Dove/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

One Christopher's earliest theatre awards was for Cyrano. Chris earned the Best Actor in a Musical prize at the 1974 Tony Awards.

He's seen (left) with fellow Canadian-born actress Colleen Dewhurst and Michael Moriarty with their prizes.

Photo: © Tim Boxer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In 1975, the Montreal-raised star was in another iconic film. He joined Peter Sellers and Catherine Schnell for The Return of the Pink Panther.

Christopher portrayed Sir Charles Litton, aka the Phantom, taking over the part from David Niven.

Photo: © Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Christopher, with Susan Sarandon, picked up a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for Barrymore at the 51st annual Tony Awards in June 1997.

Photo: © Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Fans never tired of seeing The Sound of Music co-stars reunite. In 2001, 72-year-old Christopher and 66-year-old Julie were photographed when she was awarded the Ella Award by the Society of Singers.

Photo: © M. Caulfield/WireImage

True legends came together at the Juilliard School Benefit honouring Richard Rodgers Centennial with The Sound of Music event with Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber, Julie, composer Mary Rodgers Guettel and Christopher stepping out to the event in February 2002.

Photo: © Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

(L-R) Charlotte Church, Christopher and Julie Andrews gave an incredible performance during their A Royal Christmas tour in 2002.

The 15-city tour brought together the legends with soprano Charlotte and an incredible crew of dancers, singers and musicians for a dazzling holiday event.

Julie and Chris had also recently reunited for a TV remake of On Golden Pond.

Photo: © Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic

The Toronto native released his memoir, In Spite of Myself, in 2008. Here, he signed copies of the book at the Free Library of Philadelphia on Nov. 21, 2008.

Photo: © Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

He worked around the world, but the Canadian actor had many memorable moments in connection with our country, including when he applauded the Queen following her Canada Day speech on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on July 1, 2010 during her royal tour of Canada.

He was also awarded the Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.) in 1968, the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal for Canada in 1977, the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1993 and medals for Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee (2002) and Diamond Jubilee (2012).

Photo: © GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images

Chris continued his Shakespearean stage work later in life, appearing in critically acclaimed versions of King Lear in 2002 and The Tempest in 2011. He's pictured right at a press day for the New York premiere of the play that year. It also staged at Stratford the next summer.

Photo: © Wendell Teodoro/WireImage

The Canadian actor's role in Beginners earned him countless nominations during the 2011/2012 awards season – as well as multiple prizes, including the Best Supporting Actor Award at the 17th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in January 2012.

Photo: © Jason Merritt/Getty Images

He nabbed a Golden Globe for the role, too, taking home the Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture prize.

Photo: © George Pimentel/WireImage

He also won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role for Beginners in 2012.

Photo: © FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Christopher won his first Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Award for the part at the 2012 Oscars.

It was the second time he had been nominated in the category. The first was for 2009's The Last Station.

With the award, he became the oldest actor to ever win an Oscar at the age of 82.

Photo: © JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images

The Sound of Music fans were thrilled when Christopher and Julie attended the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival's opening night gala premiere of the 50th anniversary of the iconic film.

Photo: © Allen Berezovsky/WireImage

The legendary actor continued to earn accolades and nominations well into his 80s.

The octogenarian was recognized for All the Money in the World at the Academy Awards, BAFTAs and Golden Globes with Best Supporting Actor nominations. But, he did not take home any of the trophies.

He's pictured at the film's premiere in Beverly Hills on Dec. 18, 2017.

Photo: © David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The Knives Out screening at TIFF in 2019 was one of the last red carpets on which Christopher appeared.

He drew rave reviews for his performance in the film.

Photo: © GP Images/Getty Images