Russell Crowe remembered Christopher Plummer as a “good man” as Hollywood continued to pay tribute to The Sound Of Music star following his death aged 91.
Canadian actor Plummer enjoyed a stellar career on stage and screen, with acclaimed turns in films including The Man Who Would Be King, Knives Out and Beginners, the 2010 comedy which made him the oldest person to win an acting Oscar.
He will perhaps be best remembered for playing Captain von Trapp in the 1965 musical The Sound Of Music.
Plummer, who died in Connecticut on Friday, was later dismissive of the movie, despite its success.
I reached out to him in 2012 after he won the Academy Award to say “ on behalf of Finch and I, welcome to the club”. He laughed.
Rest In Peace Mr Plummer. Good man. Fine actor.
— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) February 5, 2021
Following his death, Crowe, Plummer’s co-star in The Insider and A Beautiful Mind, was among the Hollywood figures who paid tribute.
Crowe shared a Twitter thread recalling a story Plummer had told him about being a young actor in 1960s London and bumping into Peter Finch, the Oscar-winning star of 1976 drama Network.
Plummer had recently started dating a young woman and former partner of Finch’s, who had arrived at a party in Chelsea in a “very confrontational mood”.
After Finch followed them around “making disparaging remarks”, the woman insisted she and Plummer leave. However, Finch followed them into the car and “kept up a torrent of abuse from the back seat”.
Eventually, according to Crowe, the woman kicked them both out. Plummer is said to have been “chilled with fear” at being left alone with Finch, who had “threatened him with physical violence a number of times”.
However, Crowe said: “In an instant the red anger left his (Finch’s) face, and the piercing knives of his eyes resolved into something impish and charming… ‘Thank f*** we got rid of her’ he bellowed mellifluously, echoing off the empty street, then whispered ‘let’s find a drink’. They became friends.”
Oscar-winner Crowe, recalling his time working with Plummer, added: “Occasionally we would spend time together after work. He preferred one on one, a good drink, not just any drink. I appreciated his candour and wisdom. As Actors do though, in the big circles we swing around, we fell out of touch.
“I reached out to him in 2012 after he won the Academy Award to say ‘on behalf of Finch and I, welcome to the club’. He laughed. Rest In Peace Mr Plummer. Good man. Fine actor.”
Anne Hathaway was 19 when she appeared alongside Plummer in a 2002 adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby.
In her tribute, she said Plummer was “calm, steady, generous, and so, so funny” and recalled how he was on hand to present her with her Academy Award for 2012’s Les Miserables.
Hathaway wrote on Instagram: “It felt so special when it was you who handed me my Oscar a decade later. I was still the one shaking in my shoes; somehow you were still keeping me steady just with your formidable, warm, loving presence.”
She added “I hope you felt all the love you created.”
Dame Julie Andrews, Plummer’s The Sound Of Music co-star, called him a “consummate actor” and “cherished friend”.
In a statement to the PA news agency, she added: “I treasure the memories of our work together and all the humour and fun we shared through the years.
“My heart and condolences go out to his lovely wife Elaine and his daughter Amanda.”
Director Sir Ridley Scott, who worked with Plummer in All The Money In The World, said: “What a guy. What a talent. What a life.”
Plummer, a lauded Shakespearean actor, continued to star in major films well into later life and played the wealthy patriarch of a dysfunctional family in 2019 whodunnit Knives Out.
His co-stars from that film also paid tribute.
Alongside behind-the-scenes pictures from the set of Knives Out, Ana de Armas wrote on Instagram: “My heart is broken, my dear Chris. I feel your loss deep inside. How lucky was I having you next to me in what’s been one the best experiences of my career.
“Thank you always for your laughter, your warmth, your talent, your stories about Marilyn, the vitamins when I got sick, your patience, your partnership and your company. I will always think of you with love and admiration. Rest In Peace.”
Chris Evans said: “What an unbelievable loss. Few careers have such longevity and impact. One of my favourite memories from Knives Out was playing piano together in the Thrombey house between set ups. He was a lovely man and a legendary talent.”
Knives Out director Rian Johnson described Plummer as “a living legend who loved his craft, and was an absolute gentleman”.