Every now and then we salute those performers we call the Triple Crown Winners — that is actors who have won an Oscar, a Tony and an Emmy. Today we highlight the career of one of the most enduring actors of the last six decades, Christopher Plummer.
If you’ve seen him in nothing else, you’ve certainly seen him as Captain Von Trapp in the 1965 screen version of the Broadway musical, The Sound of Music — probably like many of us, several times. He claims to have never particularly liked the part but often acknowledges that it is by far his most popular.
Many people think Plummer is British, but he is Canadian born to an aristocratic family of politicians and academics in Toronto in 1929. He began making movies in the mid-Fifties, and has never stopped.
Besides carving out the reputation as North America’s premier Shakespearean actor, Plummer has worked extensively on both stage and in the movies. His credits list totals more than 200 titles over sixty years. He is one hardworking actor who equates retirement with death. (By the way, his daughter by first wife Tammy Grimes is hard working actress, Amanda Plummer.)
Plummer can be seen to great advantage in Elsa & Fred, an unjustly overlooked comedy released last year costarring Shirley MacLaine as Elsa, a fanciful octogenarian wooing her cantankerous neighbor nicely played by Plummer. Without giving away the ending of Elsa & Fred, we can say that both wind up in a touching finale in Rome, at the Fountain of Trevi yet. The film is most enjoyable largely due to the excellent performances from two veteran pros.
Plummer also plays the key role of the music manager who presents a long lost letter from John Lennon in the new movie entry Danny Collins, starring Al Pacino as the title character.
For the record, Plummer won his best supporting actor Oscar 2010’s Beginners, making the actor the oldest winner of a competitive Academy Award (he was 82 at the time; he’ll be 86 in December.)
His two Emmys were, respectively, for his 1976 acting role in Arthur Hailey’s The Moneychangers, and for his voiceover for Family Channel’s 1994 children’s series, Madeline.
And his two Tonys were awarded for being best leading actor in a musical, 1974’s Cyrano; and as best leading actor in a play (Barrymore) in 1997. Below is our man in a younger incarnation. He’s resembles somebody famous but are coming up blank as to who. Can you help us?