Birth Name: Arthur Christopher Orme Plummer
Date of Birth: December 13, 1929
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death: February 5, 2021
Place of Death: Weston, Connecticut, U.S.
Ethnicity: Scottish, English, Northern Irish, Cornish, as well as 1/64th Swiss-French and 1/64th French-Canadian
Christopher Plummer was a Canadian actor of stage and screen. He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for Beginners (2011), and was also nominated for Academy Awards for The Last Station and All the Money in the World, all three times while in his 80s; for the third film, at the age of 88, he was the oldest actor ever to be nominated. He also starred in in the films Knives Out, The Sound of Music, The Insider, and Remember, among many others.
Christopher was the son of Isabella Mary (Abbott), an artist and watercolourist, and John Orme Plummer. His father was born in Idaho, U.S., to Canadian parents. Christopher was of Scottish, English, Northern Irish, Cornish, 1/64th Swiss-French, and 1/64th French-Canadian, ancestry. He was raised in Senneville, Québec, at his maternal grandparents’ family home. Christopher was said to have been a second cousin of actor Nigel Bruce.
Christopher spoke French fluently.
He was married to English actress Elaine Taylor, until his death. With his former wife, American actress Tammy Grimes, he is the father of actress Amanda Plummer. Christopher’s maternal great-grandfather, John Abbott, was the third Prime Minister of Canada, from June 16, 1891 to November 24, 1892, and the first Prime Minister of Canada to have been born in Canada.
Christopher’s paternal grandfather was Frank Plummer (the son of William H. Plummer and Mary Elizabeth/Elisabeth Williams). Frank was born in Algoma, Ontario, Canada, to English-born parents. William was born in Mary Tavy, Devon, the son of Thomas M. Plummer and Maria/Mariah Davey. Elizabeth was the daughter of William Williams and Mary Launey. Christopher’s grandfather had roots in Cornwall.
Christopher’s paternal grandmother was Frances “Fannie”/Fanny Fetherstonhaugh (the daughter of Francis Fetherstonhaugh/Fetherston and Frances/Fannie Swift). Christopher’s grandmother Frances was born in Bruce, Ontario, Canada, to parents who were born in Ireland. Frances was the sister of F. B. Fetherstonhaugh (Frederick Barnard Fetherstonhaugh), a patent lawyer and agent who founded the patent agency Fetherstonhaugh & Co. Christopher’s great-grandfather Francis was born in County Westmeath, the son of William Fetherstonhaugh/Fetherston and Elizabeth Orme, who was born in Abbeytown, County Mayo. Christopher’s great-grandmother Frances Swift was the daughter of Richard Swift. Both the Fetherstonhaugh and Orme surnames trace back to England.
Christopher’s maternal grandfather was Arthur Edward Abbott (the son of Prime Minister, John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, and of Mary Martha Bethune). Arthur was born in Québec, Canada. Prime Minister Abbott was born in Saint-André, Lower Canada, the son of English emigrants, The Rev. Joseph Abbott, an Anglican missionary and clergyman, from Little Strickland, Westmorland, and Harriet A. Bradford, from Worstead, Norfolk. Christopher’s great-grandmother Mary Martha’s father, The Rev. John Wadden Bethune, was an Anglican clergyman, who was acting principal of McGill University; his own father, the Rev. Dr. John Bethune, founded the first Presbyterian Church in Montréal, and was from Isle of Skye, Scotland, and his own mother, the daughter of fur trader Jean-Étienne Waddens, was of Swiss-French and French-Canadian descent. Christopher’s great-grandmother Mary Martha’s mother, Christopher’s great-great-grandmother, was Elizabeth Hallowell.
Christopher’s maternal grandmother was Marianne/Mary Ann Jane Campbell (the daughter of Alexander James Campbell and Isabella Janet Christian Stewart). Marianne was born in Midlothian, Scotland. Alexander was born in Rosneath, Dunbartonshire, the son of Robert Campbell and Catharine. Isabella was born on Malta, the daughter of Alexander Stewart.
Genealogy of Christopher Plummer (focusing on his father’s side) – http://www.thepeerage.com
Christopher’s father on the 1911 Canada Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Marriage record of Christopher’s paternal grandparents, Frank Plummer and Frances “Fannie”/Fanny Fetherstonhaugh – https://www.familysearch.org
Genealogy of Christopher Plummer (focusing on his mother’s side) – https://www.findagrave.com
Marriage record of Christopher’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents, The Rev. Richard Bradford and Sarah Jeffery/Jeffrey – https://www.familysearch.org