Lee became famous for his role as Count Dracula in a string of Hammer Horror films. Other notable films include The Wicker Man and The Man with the Golden Gun. Lee is now over 80 years old, and still appearing in films such as The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
Educated at Wellington College, he volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War against the Soviet Union in 1939, then served in the Royal Air Force and intelligence during World War II.
His great grandparents formed Australia's first opera company, performing before miners in towns in the outback. Author Ian Fleming is his cousin. Fleming wanted Lee to play the first James Bond film villain, Dr No.
Lee was a natural choice for the Lord of the Rings movies, as he makes it a habit of reading the novel at least once a year.