Johnny Depp pays tribute to 'noble and kind' friend Christopher Lee, 'the last of his kind'

Actors first met in 1999 while filming Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow

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The Independent Online

Johnny Depp paid tribute to the late actor Sir Christopher Lee, calling him the “last of his kind”.

Depp, 52, who first starred with Lee in Tim Burton's film Sleepy Hollow in 1999, described him as a “wonderful man,” who was “as noble and gallant as he was wise.”

The actor died on 7 June in a London hospital aged 93, following his admittance for respiratory problems and heart failure.

Following his wife Birgit’s announcement of his death, tributes from stars, friends and colleagues flooded in.

In his tribute, Depp writes Lee had a “brilliant mind with a beautiful heart whose strength of spirit will, in turn, live on in the hearts and minds of many, many generations to come.”

Lee, knighted in 2009, starred in more than 250 films spanning a huge number of genres from horror to comedy. He made his name playing Dracula, but in later years became well-known for his role as Saruman on the Lord of the Rings franchise.

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Depp’s long friendship with Lee, which saw the pair star together in four other films following Sleepy Hollow, was remarked upon by the British actor in a 2009 interview.

Asked who the film greats of today were, after claiming that all the “giants” were dead and gone, he responded only Leonardo DiCaprio and “my good friend Johnny Depp” were worthy of the “star” epitaph.

Currently filming the latest Pirates of the Caribbean instalment, read Depp’s full tribute below:

Sir Christopher Lee, a wonderful man.

A profoundly kind, generous, warm and fascinating man. The consummate gentleman. He was an inspiration in both life and art. In the time we spent together, I had the honor and good fortune of being welcomed into his illustrious proximity. His friendship is one that I will always hold close and dear to my heart.

He was the last of his kind. A rare specimen. Hypnotic and commanding, as noble and gallant as he was wise. A brilliant mind with a beautiful heart whose strength of spirit will, in turn, live on in the hearts and minds of many, many generations to come.

My eternal respect, love, admiration and thanks to my cherished friend, his family and his dearly beloved Gitte, the woman he worshipped.

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