Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Plummer, who starred as Captain Von Trapp in the classic musical film, The Sound of Music, died on February 5, 2021. He was 91.
The news was first announced via a statement by Plummer’s longtime manager Lou Pitt.
Pitt said of his friend and client of 46 years, “Chris was an extraordinary man who deeply loved and respected his profession with great old fashion manners, self deprecating humor and the music of words. He was a National Treasure who deeply relished his Canadian roots. Through his art and humanity, he touched all of our hearts and his legendary life will endure for all generations to come. He will forever be with us.”
As for the Plummer’s cause of death, his wife, Elaine Taylor, told The New York Times that the Tony Award-winning actor passed away at his home in Connecticut after falling and hitting his head. Deadline reported that he died “peacefully at his home in Connecticut, with Elaine Taylor, his wife and true best friend for 53 years by his side.”
Plummer loved being an actor in his old age. He told Closer Weekly in December, “There’s nothing more boring than a leading man. I couldn’t wait until I was a character actor in my 40s. The roles immediately got more interesting and more diverse.”
Plummer is survived his third wife, actress and dancer Elaine Taylor, and daughter from his first marriage to actress Tammy Grimes, Amanda Plummer, who appeared in the film, Pulp Fiction. His second wife was journalist Patricia Audrey Lewis.
Plummer Said He’d Rather ‘Die Right on Stage’ Than Retire from Acting
The veteran actor, who won an Oscar in 2012 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for the movie, Beginners, made him the oldest thespian to win a competitive acting award at the age of 82.
Plummer, who celebrated his 91st birthday on December 13, told Closer Weekly in December that he will “never retire.” “I would rather die right on stage doing my craft,” noting that the following day was doing voice-over work for the animated movie, Heroes of the Golden Masks. “Nobody retires in our profession. We just go until we drop,” he added with a laugh.
“And acting — learning all those lines — helps keep [the brain] alive,” said Plummer.
While the Knives Out star was looking forward to the holiday break, he was most excited to get back to work.
“Christmas has always been big for me because I grew up in Montreal and it’s cold and bitter, so you need cheer,” said Plummer, but couldn’t help but note that he was looking forward to getting back on a movie set. “I’ve done more interesting stuff in the last five or six years than I’ve done all my life in the theater. I don’t feel old. Never retire. Don’t want to. There [are] too many wonderful things to do.”
Plummer credited exercise and a healthy diet as what kept him going into his old age. He said of his wife, “[Elaine] knows how to cook organic food fantastically. It’s delicious and hardly any calories.”
Celebrity Tributes to Plummer Filled Twitter Following the News of His Death
It’s not supposed to come as a shock when a person dies at the age of 91, but his fans and fellow actors expressed heartfelt tributes at what still seemed like a sudden death for the Hollywood legend.
Fellow actors, entertainment journalists, and movie buffs discussed their favorite Plummer films such as The Insider, All the Money in the World, and A Beautiful Mind.
George Takei tweeted, “The Sound of Music is a sad one today as Christopher Plummer has left us today. He was giant of stage and screen, winner of an Academy Award for ‘Beginners.’ He died at age 91 with his wife of 53 years, Elaine Taylor, by his side. Rest in eternal music, Captain Von Trapp.”