In The Spoony Experiment's review for Captain America 2: Death Too Soon, host Noah Antwiller says the following about Christopher Lee:

The doctor has been kidnapped by the notorious international terrorist General Miguel played by Christopher Lee. One could wonder about the casting decision here. After all, I look more like a Miguel than Englishman Christopher Lee does, and I'm just about as white as you get. But thinking about it, Lee has pretty much already portrayed every nationality in the movies he's been in: a Transylvanian, a Russian, a Pakistani, a wizard, and...well...Fu Manchu.

Ignoring roles with fictional nationalities (e.g. that of Sauruman and Count Dooku), is this statement much of an exaggeration? How many nationalities has Christopher Lee portrayed?

1 Answer 1


From TVTropes:

Early in his career he had trouble finding roles as Englishmen because casting directors thought his Italian heritage made him look too "foreign". As a result, he's played Germans, Italians, French, Arabs, Chinese...it's probably easier to mention ethnicities he hasn't played.

Let's go through Christopher Lee's appearances in order.

  1. Charles in Corridor of Mirrors - French.
  2. Pirelli's assistant in One Night With You - Italian.
  3. A spear carrier in Hamlet - Danish.
  4. Jonathan Blair in Penny and the Pownall Case - British.

[more roles with nationalities already mentioned above]

  1. Detective Holt in Valley of Eagles - Swedish.
  2. Spanish Captain in Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. - Spanish.
  3. Chariot driver in Quo Vadis - ancient Roman.
  4. Joseph in The Crimson Pirate - probably British or Spanish?
  5. Russian agent in Top Secret - Russian.
  6. Sir Felix Raybourne in Paul Temple Returns - British.
  7. Slave dealer in Babes in Baghdad - Iraqi?

[more roles with nationalities unknown or already mentioned above]

  1. Karaga Pasha in Storm Over the Nile - Egyptian?
  2. John Preston in Alias John Preston - British.
  3. General von Linbeck's aide in Private's Progress - German.

[a couple of roles with nationalities unknown but probably already mentioned above]

  1. Manolo in The Battle of the River Plate - Uruguayan.

[more roles with nationalities already mentioned above]

  1. Count Dracula in Dracula - Romanian.

[more roles with nationalities already mentioned above]

  1. Kharis in The Mummy - ancient Egyptian.

[more roles with nationalities already mentioned above]

  1. Prof. Alan Driscoll in The City of the Dead - American.

[more roles with nationalities already mentioned above]

  1. Chung King in The Terror of the Tongs - Chinese.
  2. ...

A quick scan down the list also gives me German, Pakistani, and Chinese, among doubtless several others.

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