It’s one of the great Hollywood ironies that Christopher Plummer didn’t like the film that made him a legend. He was an actor’s actor and had cut his teeth doing Shakespeare. “The Sound of Music,” he thought, was sentimental shlock. And he wasn’t alone — reviews at the time were famously terrible. Then, like a personal curse, it would go on to become a universally beloved classic. He’d played Henry V and Hamlet and yet Captain von Trapp, he said in 1982, followed him around “like an albatross.”
But even Plummer, who died Friday at the age of 91, lived long enough to soften a bit. And why wouldn’t he? He also got to enjoy something that so few actors do: A genuine third act with terrific roles as “60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace in Michael Mann’s “The Insider,” a widower who comes out later in life in Mike Mills’ “Beginners” and, most recently, a slain mystery writer in Rian Johnson’s whodunnit “Knives Out.” He got three Academy Award nominations in one decade and, at age 82, would become the oldest actor to ever win an Oscar (for “Beginners”). He still holds that title.
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