Watch CBS News

Passage: Remembering Christopher Plummer

It happened this past week … the death on Friday of actor Christopher Plummer at his Connecticut home.

Born in Canada, the great-grandson of a former prime minister, no less, Plummer trained as a Shakespearean actor, adept at playing princes and kings.

But it was as a navy captain that he achieved his most enduring fame, playing Captain von Trapp in the 1965 movie musical "The Sound of Music," opposite Julie Andrews.

Edelweiss from The Sound of Music by Rodgers & Hammerstein on YouTube

Plummer was largely dismissive of the movie despite its success, as in this exchange with our Anthony Mason back in 2011:

Mason: "Have you ever sung 'Edelweiss' in public after that?"
Plummer: "Not on your nellie! You mean you were hoping, for instance, that if things got dull here, I might sing it for you here now?"
Mason: "I don't know."
Plummer: "It's a wrap!"

Still, when it came to his co-star, Julie Andrews...

Mason: "For all the less-than-nice things you've said about 'The Sound of Music' over the years, you've had only nice things to say about her."
Plummer: "Oh well, who wouldn't?  I mean, what a professional. I love Julie!"

Dozens of other roles followed, including a portrayal of CBS' own Mike Wallace in 1999's "The Insider":

"You corporate lackey! Who told you your incompetent little fingers have the requisite skills to edit me?"

Plummer won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a gay man coming out at age 75 in the 2011 film "Beginners." At age 82 in real life, Plummer was the oldest actor to win an Oscar in a competitive acting category.

With two Tonys and two Emmys also to his credit, Christopher Plummer was an actor through and through.

Mason asked, "Can you hear yourself acting sometimes?"

"Oh God, yeah," Plummer replied.

What's that like? "Oh God, yes. It's awful. Most of this interview has been acting."

"I was afraid of that …"

Christopher Plummer was 91.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.