“A Word Or Two . . . ”
The classically-trained actor is one of the finest performers of his generation. In his Oscar acceptance speech, he spoke to the statuette, saying “You’re only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?”
The Esther Elson Memorial Lecture
Born in Ontario, Canada, Christopher Plummer took an early interest in the stage, acting in various productions that included ballet and opera. After headlining for three of the world’s most noted theater companies, Plummer starred in a host of movies, most memorably playing Baron Georg Von Trapp in the smash hit musical “The Sound of Music” (1965).
Though he remained prolific both on stage and on screen, the classically trained actor struggled to find film roles that paralleled his immense talent. Plummer found solace on the stage, where he won Tonys for Best Leading Actor in the musical “Cyrano” (1974) and the drama “Barrymore” (1997). He also gave a titular performance in “King Lear” (2004).
Classically handsome and equally capable of channeling good nature or villainy as required by the script, Plummer also easily straddled starring and character roles, acting in such acclaimed films as “The Man Who Would Be King” (1975), “The Insider” (1999), “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “The New World” (2005), and “Syriana” (2005). He has worked with directors as diverse as John Huston, Spike Lee, Michael Mann and Ron Howard.
He garnered an Academy Award nomination as the literary revolutionary Leo Tolstoy in “The Last Station” (2009). Within the next year, he won his first Oscar in a supporting role for “Beginners” (2010). In 2017 the octogenarian was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his performance, replacing Kevin Spacey, as J. Paul Getty in Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World.”
The Esther B. O’Keeffe Speaker Series features notable speakers from the fields of politics, culture and the media. Lectures take place January through March on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. Book signings, when offered, are held in the O’Keeffe Gallery Building following the lecture, and are available to the public at no charge.