Christopher Lee


Wiki source

When Lee was nine, he was sent to Summer Fields School, a preparatory school in Oxford whose pupils often later attended Eton. He continued acting in school plays, though "the laurels deservedly went to Patrick Macnee". Lee applied for a scholarship to Eton, where his interview was in the presence of the ghost story author M. R. James. Sixty years later, Lee played the part of James for the BBC. His poor maths skills meant that he placed eleventh, and thus missed out on being a King's Scholar by one place. His step-father was not prepared to pay the higher fees that being an Oppidan Scholar meant, and so he did not attend. Instead, Lee attended Wellington College, where he won scholarships in the classics, studying Ancient Greek and Latin. Aside from a "tiny part" in a school play, he didn't act while at Wellington. He was a "passable" racquets player and fencer and a competent cricketer but did not do well at the other sports played: hockey, football, rugby and boxing. He disliked the parades and weapons training and would always "play dead" as soon as possible during mock battles. Lee was frequently beaten at school, including once at Wellington for "being beaten too often", though he accepted them as "logical and therefore acceptable" punishments for knowingly breaking the rules. At age 17, and with one year left at Wellington, the summer term of 1939 was his last. His step-father had gone bankrupt, owing £25,000.