British Stars at the Vienna Filmball 2011 

                            

 

 

 

Sir Christopher Lee and his wife

 

 

Claire Bloom

After lying dormant for 47 years, the Vienna Filmball was resuscitated in 2010 and is now in its second successful year at the beautiful Viennese Town Hall. 

On March 18th thus the Town Hall opened its impressive rooms to the event which gathered screen gods and goddesses from the US and Europe to celebrate the life achievements of two outstanding actors from the United Kingdom: Claire Bloom and Sir Christopher Lee.

Claire Bloom, born in North London in 1931, descendant of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, started her career at the tender age of 15 and never looked back.  After successful stage debuts alongside Richard Burton amongst others, she shot to fame in 1952 when Charlie Chaplin chose her for the role in ' Limelight '. 

Claire Bloom is well known for her interpretations in Shakespeare plays and starred in Laurence Olivier 's famous version of Richard III.

She was consequently romantically involved both with Richard Burton and Laurence Olivier.  Her three marriages did not last, the first was to the actor Rod Steiger, the last to the writer Philip Roth.

Her filmography lists countless memorable films right to the present day with ' The Kings Speech '.

Sir Christopher Lee was also born in London, in 1922, and has performed in 266 films since 1948 which makes him the holder of the world record for having starred in the greatest number of films ever as listed in the Guinness Book of records.

He started his career by portraying villains and became famous by starring in a series of Dracula films.  Amongst his most successful films are the James Bond film ' The Man with the Golden Gun' and ' Jinnah ' in which he plays Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of modern Pakistan, which he himself considers by far his best performance.   Most recently he starred in the acclaimed ' The Lord of the Rings' trilogy.

Lee is not just successful as an actor but also as a musician.  He has published a number of albums and has recently made a ' heavy metal ' album.

Sir Christopher Lee was knighted in 2009 and received a BAFTA fellowship in 2011.  He has been married for over 60 years.

That two such outstanding British actors receive awards outside their home country proves yet again that the importance of the British film industry and their members reaches far beyond their national borders. 

 

By Reya von Galen

 

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