Screen Legend Sir Christopher Lee Passes Away

Sir Christopher Lee died June 7 after being hospitalized for heart failure and breathing problems

Sir Christopher Lee, the booming British actor with more than 250 film credits to his name, has died at age 93.

Lee, whose credits include often villainous but always memorable roles in films like Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings and the James Bond series, passed away June 7, reports The Telegraph.

BBC News reports that Lee died at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London. He had been hospitalized for heart failure and breathing problems.

Although he was best known for his villainous roles, the 6-foot-4-inch Lee had a softer side. He was knighted in 2009 for his services to charity and was well-loved by his friends.

Sir Roger Moore, who starred opposite Lee in the 1974 James Bond installment "The Man with the Golden Gun," tweeted, "It's terrible when you lose an old friend, and Christopher Lee was one of my oldest. We first met in 1948."

Writer Neil Gaiman, who worked with Lee on the BBC radio dramatization of Gaiman's novel "Neverwhere," put it simply.

"Great actor, great loss," Gaiman tweeted.

For his 92nd birthday, Lee crossed from the world of film he had already conquered into the music world. He released an album of heavy metal cover songs, including a heavy metal cover of Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

Lee certainly left a visible, long-lasting mark on the lives of those who saw his films during his long career.

Robbie Collin, a film critic for The Telegraph, put it this way in a written piece about the actor: "The thing about Sir Christopher Lee being dead is that it doesn't immediately strike you as being much of a career setback."

Heart failure happens when the heart cannot function strongly enough to support the body's other organs.

Around 5.1 million people in the US have heart failure, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2009, 1 in 9 deaths was at least partly due to heart failure.