Another star has vanished, darkening the sky he leaves behind. Christopher Plummer enjoyed a career that spanned seven decades, dazzling successive generations with his universally admired urbane charm. Known to many as the guitar-strumming Captain von Trapp from The Sound of Music, Plummer brought a long list of historical figures to the big screen, including the Duke of Wellington, the Emperor Commodus, Rudyard Kipling, Paul Getty, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Leo Tolstoy, among others.
Born in Toronto, Plummer grew up in Quebec. The great-grandson of Canadian Prime Minister, Sir John Abbott, he was primarily raised by his mother, Isabella, who worked for McGill University. At first, the young Plummer aspired to play the piano at a concert level, but after watching Laurence Olivier’s inspiring performance as Henry V he decided to abandon his musical path, diverting his extraordinary creative energies towards acting. At the Montreal Repertory Theatre, Plummer learned his craft alongside fellow Canadian actor William Shatner, later of Star Trek fame.