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Bela the Gypsy

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Bela the Gypsy
Bela the Gypsy
Bela the Gypsy
Continuity: Universal Monsters
Notability: Supporting character
Type: Werewolf
Gender: Male
Location: Llanwelly Village, Wales
Known relatives: Maleva [1]
Status: Dead
Born: 1882 [2]
Died: 1941
1st appearance: The Wolf Man (1941)
Actor: Bela Lugosi

Bela is a fictional werewolf and a minor, yet vital character featured in the "Universal Monsters" series of films produced by Universal Pictures. Played by actor Bela Lugosi, he appeared in the 1941 movie, The Wolf Man.

Biography Edit

Bela was a gypsy fortune teller who traveled with his family throughout Europe in the early 1940s. The son of an elderly woman named Maleva, he suffered the curse of Lycanthropy and turned into a wolf when the moon was full. Like most werewolves, Bela could see the mark of the pentagram transposed over the palm of his next victim. On nights of the full moon, a pentagram mark would also appear upon Bela's head.

In 1941, Bela and his gypsy troupe were in Llanwelly, Wales when he met a customer named Jenny Williams. Bela read her fortune, but was horrified when he saw the image of the pentagram in her hand. Bela warned her to leave, but soon transformed into a large wolf. He hunted Jenny through the moors and attacked her. One of Jenny's acquaintances, an aristocrat named Larry Talbot, came to her aid and beat Bela down with a silver-tipped walking stick, ultimately killing him. During the struggle however, Bela bit Talbot, transmitting the curse of the werewolf to him. His mother Maleva recovered Bela's body and it was taken to a nearby church. A gypsy funeral was conducted, which consisted of people "dancing and singing and making merry". [3]

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • Bela is a notable, albeit obscure character, for he is horror cinema's second werewolf to appear on-screen. The first was Henry Hull in the 1935 film Werewolf of London. Bela is significant for being the one to give Larry Talbot the curse of the Wolf Man. [4]
  • In the film, Bela is seen only as a wolf and not as a full werewolf as demonstrated later by Larry Talbot. Early script treatments wanted to leave the matter ambiguous, allowing the audience to wonder whether Larry Talbot was truly a werewolf, or whether it was just a product of a mental derangement. This is why Bela was never seen as a bipedal "wolf man".
  • The stunt-dog used for Bela's werewolf scenes was later purchased by Lon Chaney.
  • When Bela fights with Larry, he resembles a normal dog. When his body is found leader, he is wearing pants.
  • Several scenes show animals acting aggressively while in the presence of Larry Talbot due to his affliction. This plays upon the idea that animals have an innate sense for anything that is wrong or unnatural. However, none of the horses in the gypsy camp seemed to react to Bela in a similar fashion.

See also Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. Mother, status unknown.
  2. Date approximated based upon the relative age of actor Bela Lugosi.
  3. Wolf Man, The (1941)
  4. Tom Weaver; The Wolf Man audio commentary; The Wolf Man Legacy Collection; 2004


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Universal Monsters Characters
This article relates to characters featured in and pertaining to the Universal Monsters franchise. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Universal Classics characters category.
Wolf Man logo
This image pertains to characters and locations featured in the Wolf Man film franchise. This template will categorize images that include it into the Wolf Man characters category.

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