Christopher Plummer, acclaimed actor, signing copies of In Spite Of Myself
* 5/10/09 Noon at Chapters – Rideau Street. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer, CC (born on December 13, 1929) is a Canadian theater, film and television actor. In a career that spans over five decades and includes substantial roles in film, television, and theater, Plummer is perhaps best known for the iconic role of Captain Georg von Trapp in The Sound of Music.
Plummer was born in Toronto, Ontario, in Canada, the son of Isabella Mary (née Abbott, granddaughter of Prime Minister John Abbott) and John Plummer, who was secretary to the Dean of Sciences at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec.
Plummer has played most of the great roles in classic repertoire. He also appeared in a lauded production of King Lear, directed by Jonathan Miller and performed at Lincoln Center. Plummer’s performance as Lear garnered him his sixth Tony nomination. He returned to Broadway in 2007 as Henry Drummond in a revival of Inherit the Wind, winning a Drama Desk Award nomination as well as his seventh Tony nomination.
Plummer returned to the stage at The Stratford Festival of Canada in August 2008 in a critically acclaimed performance as Julius Caesar in George Bernard Shaw’s “Caesar and Cleopatra” directed by Tony winner Des McAnuff.
Among his television appearances, which number almost a hundred, are the Emmy winning BBC production Hamlet at Elsinore, the five-time Emmy winning The Thorn Birds, the Emmy-winning Nuremberg, the Emmy-winning Little Moon of Alban and the Emmy-winning Moneychangers.
Plummer has also written for the stage, television and the concert-hall. Plummer and Sir Neville Marriner rearranged Shakespeare’s Henry V with Sir William Walton’s music as a concert piece. They recorded the work with Marriner’s chamber orchestra the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.
He performed it and other works with the New York Philharmonic and symphony orchestras of London, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Ohio, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Toronto, Vancouver and Halifax. With Marriner he made his Carnegie Hall debut in his own arrangements of Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Plummer has been married three times. His first marriage, to Tony Award-winning actress Tammy Grimes, was in 1956 and lasted for 4 years. The couple’s daughter, Amanda Plummer (born 1957), is an acclaimed actress in her own right. Plummer was married to journalist Patricia Lewis from May 4, 1962 until their divorce in 1967. He and his third wife, former British dancer and actress, Elaine Reginia Taylor have been married since 1970 and live in a 100-year-old converted farm house in Connecticut.
In a 2005 interview with Entertainment Weekly Plummer unpretentiously maintained that in their early days he and his fellow actors didn’t drink “because we had problems. We drank ’cause we adored it! We adored getting drunk, you a–holes! Don’t tell me that it isn’t fun! I can’t bear that. Oh, you must have had some awful childhood, that you drank like that. Nonsense! Actually, I was taught as a child to drink. I came from a family that loved wine. I was 12, I think, when I was drinking wine with dinner. I’m glad I had fun and lived in a fun time.”
Plummer’s memoir, In Spite of Myself, was published by Knopf Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., in November 2008.