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Christopher Lee, the actor who was perhaps best known for playing Dracula, as well as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, died Sunday after being hospitalized for respiratory problems and heart failure.

The news only became public on Thursday morning, as his wife took the time to inform family members of Lee's death. They had been married for more than 50 years.

Tributes to the 93-year-old actor poured in across Twitter, starting with his Lord of the Rings costar Dominic Monaghan, who wrote: "So so sorry to hear that #christopherlee has passed away. He was a fascinating person. Threw a bic pen into a tree in front of me."

Though author Neil Gaiman never met the actor, who played the role of Earl on BBC Radio 4's adaptation of his novel Neverwhere, he mourned his passing as a "great loss."

Actor Josh Gad wrote, "Goodbye #ChristopherLee. Thank you for leaving behind a legacy that will be revisited for generations to come. #Saruman #Scaramanga #Mummy".

Michael Weatherly of NCIS fame also paid tribute, writing "Scaramenga" in reference to Lee's villainous turn in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.