What Was Christopher Plummer’s Cause of Death?

Christopher Plummer has died at age 91. The renowned actor and Broadway star had an acting resume that stretched back over six decades. The actor was known for his roles in the iconic 1965 musical The Sound of Music and his more recent work in All The Money in the World and Knives Out.

Though he initially wanted to be a professional pianist, Plummer found his calling on the stage when he starred in his first production in the 1950s. From there, his career skyrocketed. He never hinted at any desire to retire and was even preparing for a new role at the time of his death.

Christopher Plummer at the Hand and Footprint Ceremony in 2015
Christopher Plummer | Stefanie Keenan/WireImage

Christopher Plummer didn’t actually sing ‘Edelweiss’ in ‘The Sound of Music’

Plummer was known for his role as the stern widower, Captain Von Trapp, who eventually falls in love with Maria (Julie Andrews), a young nun who is hired to care for his seven children. The actor absolutely hated the role and the film.

“That sentimental stuff is the most difficult for me to play, especially because I’m trained vocally and physically for Shakespeare,” Plummer told People in 1982. “To do a lousy part like von Trapp, you have to use every trick you know to fill the empty carcass of the role. That damn movie follows me around like an albatross.”

Plummer never ever got a chance to show off his vocals in the movie, since his voice is dubbed over in one of The Sound of Music’s most beloved numbers “Edelweiss.” He told NPR,

It was very well done. The entrances and exits from the songs were my voice, and then they filled in – in those days, they were very fussy about matching voices in musicals. And Julie, of course, had been – you know, trained since day one as a – I mean, she was ….tone perfect since she was in her cradle, which is an exasperating thing to admit. And it was awfully hard to match her and her sustained, long notes. So yeah, I was – they did it very well ’cause it sounded very much like me.

RELATED: ‘The Sound of Music’ Star Christopher Plummer Hated the Film, Calling it ‘So Awful and Sentimental and Gooey’

Christopher Plummer regretted turning down a role in ‘The Lord of the Rings’

As much as Plummer hated doing The Sound of Music, he deeply regretted not taking on the role of Gandalf when Peter Jackson offered him the part in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

At the time, he was not keen on spending several years of his life in New Zealand. “I thought there are other countries I’d like to visit before I croak,” he said on Conan. However, he did love  Ian McKellen’s portrayal of the wizard.  “I might have been a little cold and serious,” he said.

How did Christopher Plummer die?

When news of Plummer’s death hit the media, most people assumed that the late actor had died due to old age. However, his cause of death was a bit more complicated than that.

Plummer died on Feb. 5, 2021, at his home in Weston, Connecticut. His wife, Elaine Taylor, told The New York Times that the actor’s cause of death was due to a blow to the head due to a fall in his home. Taylor gave no further details.

At the time of his death, Plummer was preparing to appear as King Lear on film for the first time, under the direction of renowned Broadway director, Des McAnuff.