Depp bridges movie generations with honour for Sir Christopher

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Sir Christopher Lee was surprised by his friend Johnny Depp, who turned up to present him with his fellowship from the British Film Institute.

The 91-year-old actor, known for his appearances as Dracula and a string of other villains such as Bond baddie Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden Gun, Saruman in Lord Of The Rings and Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, was honoured for his long and illustrious film career at the London Film Festival Awards at Banqueting House.

Depp, who has worked with Sir Christopher on several Tim Burton projects including Sleepy Hollow, sneaked into the awards ceremony to surprise his friend.

He and Sir Christopher embraced warmly on stage.

Presenting the award Depp, sporting bleached blond locks for a new film role, said: “It is my great honour to bestow this award to a very great man. He’s inspired me like he has so many, he’s fascinated me like he has so many.

“He’s been a wonderful individual and over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with him and it has been a childhood dream come true.

“But as great as it is to work with him, that pleasure doesn’t compare with getting to know him and being able to count him as a true friend. A national treasure and a genuine artist. I love ya!”

Sir Christopher was visibly moved as he took to the stage. His voice was shaking he said to Depp: “I don’t know what to say. I didn’t know you were going be here and it’s a very emotional moment for me as you can probably hear.”

Referring to Depp, he told the audience: “He is one of very few young actors on screen today who’s truly a star. Everything he does has a meaning. He’s a joy to work with, an actor’s dream and certainly a director’s dream.

“I cannot thank you enough for coming here and giving me this award. It’s a great joy to me.”

Sir Christopher has amassed more than 250 screen credits.

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