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Bela Lugosi
Bela Lugosi
Birth name: Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó
Gender: Male
Medium(s): Film
Roles: Actor
Date of birth: October 20th, 1882
Place of birth: Lugoj, Austria-Hungary
Date of death: August 16th, 1956
Place of death: Los Angeles, California
Notable works: Dracula
The Wolf Man
The Raven
White Zombie
Black Cat
1st Horror: Dracula (1931)

Béla Lugosi (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956) was a hungarian actor born in Lugoj, Austria Hungary in 1882. He is best remembered for his portrayal of the vampire Dracula both in the 1926 play as well as the 1931 film by Universal Pictures.

Career Edit

Dracula was the film that turned Lugosi into a horror film icon. Unfortunately, it also typecast him as a villain, and though he had a prolific career playing the heavy in many Universal pictures, his career never fully emerged beyond that archetype. Following the success of Dracula, Lugosi received a studio contract with Universal Pictures. For Dracula, Lugosi was paid $500 per week for a seven week shooting schedule. Under Universal, Lugosi often found himself paired up against contemporaries such as Boris Karloff (famous for being the first to portray the Frankenstein Monster) and Lon Chaney, Jr., the son of Lon Chaney, Sr., who was originally considered for the role of Dracula but for his untimely death in 1930. Many of the roles Lugosi received in the 30s were because of brand name recognition based upon the success of Dracula.

With the decline of the Universal Monsters franchise in the late 1940s, work became more difficult to come by for Lugosi. He appeared in several b-rated commercial films and even lampooned himself in the titular Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla.

In the 1950s, Lugosi worked on several projects for b-movie director Ed Wood including Glen or Glenda and Bride of the Monster. In 1956, Lugosi starred in The Black Sleep directed by Reginald Le Borg. Also featured in this film were actors Lon Chaney, Jr. and John Carradine, both of whom succeeded Lugosi in playing the role of Dracula in Son of Dracula and House of Dracula (respectively). This was Lugosi's last film while he was still alive. Lugosi's absolute final, albeit posthumous, film role was Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space. While most of the film was produced following Lugosi's death, Wood managed to incorporate stock footage of Lugosi wearing a black cape into the final cut.

Lugosi passed away from a heart attack at age 73 on August 16th, 1956. He was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. At the request of his family, he was buried wearing the costume and cape from his Broadway Dracula show (although some sources cite that it was the costume from the film that he was buried in, not the play).

Body of work Edit

Film Year Role
Dracula 1931 Dracula
Murders in the Rue Morgue 1932 Doctor Mirakle
White Zombie 1932 Murder Legendre
Island of Lost Souls 1932 Sayer of the Law
The Whispering Shadow 1933 Anton Strang
Night of Terror 1933 Degar
The Return of Chandu 1934 Frank Chandler
The Black Cat 1934 Vitus Werdergast
Mark of the Vampire 1935 Count Mora
The Raven 1935 Richard Vollin
The Phantom Creeps 1939 Alex Zorka
Son of Frankenstein 1939 Ygor
The Gorilla 1939 Peters, the Butler
The Dark Eyes of London 1940 Feodor Orloff
Black Friday 1940 Eric Marnay
The Devil Bat 1940 Paul Carruthers
The Black Cat 1941 Eduardo
The Wolf Man 1941 Bela
The Ghost of Frankenstein 1942 Ygor
Night Monster 1942 Rolf
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man 1943 Frankenstein Monster
The Ape Man 1943 James Brewster
Return of the Vampire 1944 Armand Tesla
Return of the Ape Man 1944 Professor Dexter
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein 1948 Dracula
My Son, the Vampire 1952 Von Housen
Glen or Glenda 1953 Scientist
Bride of the Monster 1955 Eric Vornoff
The Black Sleep 1956 Casimir
Plan 9 from Outer Space 1959 Ghoul Man

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Actor Martin Landau won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi in the 1994 biopic Ed Wood.

External Links Edit

References Edit

Universal Monsters logo
Universal Classics Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Universal Classics era of films. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Universal Classics crew members category.
Dracula logo
Dracula Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Dracula franchise.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the Dracula crew members category.
Frankenstein logo
Frankenstein Actor or Crew member
This article relates to actors or production crew members pertaining to the Frankenstein franchise.
This template will categorize articles that include it into the Frankenstein crew members category.

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