Still from "The Hobbit"
Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Noted actor and author Christopher Lee passed away on Sunday, June 7, 2015. The delayed news comes via The Guardian, citing sources in the actor's family.

Lee is best known for playing Dracula in a string of films for Hammer from 1958 to 1976, as well as playing the starring role in the 1973 horror film The Wicker Man. After largely removing himself from the horror genre in the late 1970s, Lee experienced a career resurgence in the early 2000s with roles as Saruman in Lord of the Rings, Count Dooku in two of the Star Wars prequel films, and several roles in recent Tim Burton movies.

According to The Guardian, Lee passed away Sunday morning due to respiratory problems and heart failure.

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