Happy 90th Birthday to Christopher Plummer! The Canadian living legend has had an incredible career that has spanned nearly seven decades across stage, movies and television. He’s been the recipient of nearly every award there is to win, with an Academy Award, a Genie Award, two Emmys, two Tonys, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA.
Most of us know him from his beloved role in The Sound of Music, but his career didn’t begin there! He started on stage, making his Broadway debut in 1953 in The Starcross Story, then found theatre success in Stratford in 1956, when he starred in the title role in Henry V. He returned to Stratford to stage Shakespeare’s works several more times throughout that decade and the 1960s, along with the ‘00s and 2010 and 2012. He also found much success on stage across the pond in London.
His film career began in 1958, when he was cast in Starstruck, and has continued ever since.
Scroll through the gallery (or click through if you’re on desktop) to see the best photos of Christopher through the years!
In 1958, Christopher starred with Burl Ives in Wind Across the Everglades. It was one of his first acting roles. He played a game warden trying to enforce conservation laws who comes up against fierce opposition from a local poacher (Burl).
Christopher, who was married for the first time to Tammy Grimes from 1956-1960, found love again with journalist Patricia Lewis in 1961. The two married a year later, but unfortunately divorced in 1967.
The film landed both him and Julie rave reviews for their performances as the austere Austrian army captain who learns to live a little when he falls in love with Maria (Julie) a rambunctious nun, who arrives at his family home to be governess to his nine (!) children. Eleanor Parker (left) also drew strong reviews for her portrayal of the Baroness, whose love for Captain Von Trapp is unfortunately unrequited.
The film is still beloved by movie fans today, thanks to its music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II.
One of the most memorable scenes features the ensemble cast of Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich), Kym Karath (Gretl), Angela Cartwright (Brigitta), Julie, Christopher, Charmian Carr (Liesl), Heather Menzies (Louisa), Debbie Turner (Marta) and Duane Chase (Kurt) singing "Edelweiss" on stage.
The following year, Christopher starred in Triple Cross, in which he plays Eddie Chapman, a man who the Nazis thought was their top spy in the UK, but who was really an MI5 double agent known as "Zigzag."
After roles in the '80s including stints in Somewhere in Time and even a venture into Star Trek with an appearance in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991, Christopher starred in an adaptation of Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne in 1995. The psychological thriller saw him in the role of Detective John Mackey alongside Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh (pictured).
In 1999, Christopher (pictured right) starred alongside Al Pacino and Russell Crowe in The Insider, a fictionalized account of a 60 Minutes story about Jeffrey Wigand (Russell), who was a whistleblower in the tobacco industry in the late '80s and early '90s.
In 2001, 72-year-old Christopher and 66-year-old Julie had one of their many reunions when she was presented with an Ella Award by the Society of Singers to recognize her career contribution to music and social causes.
Christopher, who began his career in theatre on Broadway in 1953 and later also had extensive stints with the Stratford Festival from 1956 to 1967, returned to staging Shakespeare in the early '00s, starring in King Lear with Zoe Caldwell in New York in 2004.