Last Friday, February 5, the world of cinema said goodbye to one of its great stars: Christopher Plummer, the interpreter who played Captain John Von Trapp in the classic Smiles and tears by Robert Wise from 1965. The actor died of a stroke after a fall at the age of 91 at his Connecticut home, where he lived with his wife, the dancer and actress Elaine Taylor, to whom he had been married for 50 years.
Christopher Plummer and Elaine Taylor met in 1968, when they shot the musical film together Lock Up Your Daughters! and as he told in his memoirs published in 2008, In Spite of Myself, he discovered that he had fallen in love with her at the end of the film, when he was aware that their paths were parting. Then, Plummer had two failed marriages behind him: the first, with the actress Tammy Grimes, whom he married in 1956 and separated four years later and from whom his only daughter was born, the actress Amanda Plummer; and the second, the one he formed with the British journalist and show business columnist, Patricia Lewis, whom he married in 1962 and whose marriage lasted five years.
Taylor, a British woman born in Hertfordhire, England, in 1943, had already played the role of Bond girl in Casino Royale, the film of the saga of agent 007 that David Niven played in 1967 when he began working with Plummer and he was not known as a partner. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Taylor also starred in The Anniversary (1968), All the Way Up (1970) and Diamonds via Moscow (1968). Her last credited film dates from 1992, and later the actress and dancer pursued other passions, such as interior design. She and Plummer resided in a 100-year-old English mansion-style Taylor-decorated home in Eston, Connecticut, where the actor died.
When filming Lock Up Your Daughters! It came to an end Plummer confessed to Taylor that he would miss her and asked him to let him visit her. She said yes, but on one condition: to stop using alcohol. The Canadian had already recognized his drinking problems, something that he thought made him more attractive. “I adored alcohol because it liberated me and obeyed my whim. Also, I thought he was devastatingly attractive when he was drunk, but Elaine quickly put me off that idea, “said the actor from Daggers in the back in 2015 to Daily Mail, where he revealed that since he got married he has not drunk as before: “I think I needed to get married and, in fact, I thanked him because he was drinking like crazy. I realized that I shouldn’t be alone and I needed someone ”.
The age difference between them, Taylor is 14 years younger than him, was not an impediment to their love either. They were married in October 1970 in Montreal in an intimate ceremony officiated by the Reverend Philip Morenton, the same one who married Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor on their second marriage in 1964. “It was the smallest and best wedding in history,” he would admit. Plummer himself later. Elaine Taylor was responsible for saving his life and this was admitted by the interpreter in 2012 when he became the oldest actor to win the Oscar for best supporting actor thanks to Beginners. “To my long-suffering wife Elaine, who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for coming to rescue me every day of my life,” he said then when collecting the award, which he also dedicated to his daughter Amanda.
Taylor also had a lot to do with Christopher Plummer’s relationship with his daughter. Amanda Plummer, actress known for roles in hit movies like Pulp Fiction, King fish, My life without me O The Hunger Games: Catching Fire He grew up with his mother in the United States and it was not until his majority when he was reunited with his father. As he himself recounted in The New York Times in 1982, he wanted nothing to do with raising a baby. “I am very bad at responsibilities of any kind. I was a lousy husband and an even worse father, ”she said.
The relationship between father and daughter was perhaps a reflection of what Plummer himself experienced at home. His parents divorced shortly after he was born in Toronto and he grew up with his mother in Montreal. It wasn’t until she was 17 that she met her father. “Divorces were severe then, so they didn’t let me see it. When I did, it was too late. It seemed very nice, but there was nothing really emotional about it and I think I knew it, “he said on another occasion about his childhood. However, thanks again to Elaine Taylor’s intervention in Plummer’s life, he was able to make up for lost time with his daughter and the two maintained a wonderful relationship until his death.
Last October, Plummer and Taylor celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary just as in love as the first day and strictly following the secret of their long marriage. “She is my best friend. We can part ways for the day and then meet for dinner and talk about how things went. We’re not on top of each other all the time, that could be boring and kill marriages. I am very lucky ”, admitted a few years ago Plummer himself in an interview in Zoom in.