LONDON - Sir Christopher Lee who played role of founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah in his 1998 biopic named “Jinnah” has died aged 93. The legendary actor, who also appeared in Lord of the Rings, passed away on Sunday at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, sources close to his family told the Telegraph. In an interview with a local radio show Christopher described Jinnah as an ‘important film’ and cited a number of different reasons for doing it. “I think that the film Jinnah, is an extremely important film for many reasons and it should be seen now. The reasons, and there are quite a few of them: One, it shows the true meaning of Islam, Islam means submission to the will of God, it does not mean terrorism, fundamentalism.

“Secondly it shows the creation of a Muslim state and how it came into being. How the founder of that nation achieved this and again, it has nothing to do with all the dreadful things that are happening recently,” said the actor. He was full of praises for the Father of the Nation and for him it was the most important role he played as an actor.

“It is a story of a true Muslim and the people around him who decided that the Muslims of India need a country of their own,” he said. “They say there are still seven million Muslims living in India but of course Pakistan was created in 1947.

The man responsible for this was Muhammad Ali Jinnah: known of course to Pakistan as the Quaid-e-Azam which means ‘the great leader’.” The actor who was knighted in 2009 for his services to drama and charity had once said about Jinnah, “For me as an actor, it is certainly the most important role I have ever played, because the responsibility on my shoulders was immense. I went to the country he founded. I was there for ten weeks playing the leader of the nation, the creator of the nation in the country he created in front of his own people,” said Christopher.

Sir Christopher had been treated at the hospital for respiratory problems and heart failure in the last three weeks. According to the publication, Lady Lee opted to delay the news of his death until family members were told. The star has played a number of memorable roles, like Saruman in the Lord of the Rings film franchise. He also made a name for himself as Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974 and played Count Dooku in two Star Wars motion pictures.

Besides Jinnah and Lord of the Rings, Christopher appeared alongside Veronica Carlson in Dracula has Risen from the Grave, as well as The Wicker Tree, Dark Shadows, Hugo and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies last year. He was due to star in Lars Ole Hansen movie The 11th.

The 93-year-old appeared in more than 250 films and television shows, including ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’, but could never shake off his image as the bloody-thirsty vampire. Lee died in his home city of London on Sunday, the local authority which issued his death certificate said. In a rare break from type, Lee hosted a one-off episode of US television show ‘Saturday Night Live’ in 1978, which he relished because it showed he could be funny. Lee considered his portrayal of Pakistan's founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah in the little-seen ‘Jinnah’ (1998) as his ‘best performance, no question’. But for many young fans he will be best known as Count Dooku in the ‘Star Wars’ prequels and as Saruman in the films based on J. R. R. Tolkien's ‘The Lord of the Rings’. As Saruman, Lee used his voice and steely gaze to maximum effect as the wizard corrupted by power. Lee married former Danish model Gitte Kroencke in 1961 and had one daughter, Christina. The actor's agent said the family would not be making any comment.

‘They're more interesting, because there's a greater variety you can apply: you can be very cruel or charming, amusing or dangerous,’ Lee said. However, he criticised the gratuitous violence of many modern films, arguing the power of suggestion was more terrifying - something he mastered early on, scaring the wits out of viewers with his piercing gaze.

Lee was recognised for his achievements with a knighthood in 2009, when he admitted his pleasure in a long career. ‘What's really important for me is, as an old man, I'm known by my own generation and the next generation know me too,’ he said. A devotee of heavy metal - a genre partly inspired by the sort of horror films he starred in - Lee sang on several albums. His last ‘Metal Knight’, was released on his 92nd birthday, followed by a metal Christmas carol in 2014.

Lee's ‘Lord of the Rings’ co-star Dominic Monaghan led the tributes, saying: ‘So, so sorry to hear that Christopher Lee has passed away. He was a fascinating person.’ Prime Minister David Cameron described him as ‘a titan of the golden age of cinema and a distinguished WW2 veteran who'll be greatly missed.’ Lee was born in London on May 27, 1922, to a decorated army colonel and an Italian countess, and attended the elite schools of Eton and Westminster.

He served in the Royal Air Force in World War II, at one point being attached to the special forces. After the war, Lee had a succession of bit parts in film, theatre and radio, although at six feet four inches (1.95 metres), he said he suffered from being ‘too tall and too foreign-looking’. His big break came when he signed with Britain's legendary Hammer studios to make ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’ in 1957.

He and Cushing went on to make cinematic history with a variety of sinister tales, including ‘Dracula’ (1958), ‘The Mummy’ (1959) and ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ (1959). Lee later returned to the Hammer brand opposite Hollywood actress Hilary Swank in thriller ‘The Resident’ (2010). Other scary roles included the Fu Manchu series and most notably ‘The Wicker Man’ (1973) with Edward Woodward, which became one of the great cult films of all time. ‘That's the story of my career really, making cult movies,’ Lee once said.

Another villainously brilliant role saw Lee as Scaramanga, the eponymous assassin opposite Roger Moore's James Bond in 1974's ‘The Man With the Golden Gun’.