Happy Birthday, Bela Lugosi! He is one of my favorite actors and Dracula (1931) is one of my all-time favorite movies. Dracula was a tremednous success for Universal Pictures and helped launch the film studio’s horror movie enterprise.
The vampire was a complete change from the usual romantic characters I was playing, but it was a success.
He had previously appeared as Dracula on the Broadway stage to critical acclaim.
Every actor’s greatest ambition is to create his own, definite and original role, a character with which he will always be identified. In my case, that role was Dracula.
Born in Hungary in 1882, Lugosi was tall and strikingly handsome, as well as talented.
In Hungary, acting is a career for which one fits himself as earnestly and studiously as one studies for a degree in medicine, law or philosophy. In Hungary, acting is a profession.
He served in World War I and received a medal. In addition to Dracula, Bela Lugosi appeared on Broadway and in many other films, including Hungarian and German silent films. After movig to the United States, he appeared in chiefly horror movies after Dracula, White Zombie, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Black Cat, The Raven, The Wolfman and many more. He also had a cameo in Ninotchka.
Every producer in Hollywood had set me down as a type. I was both amused and disappointed.
He was underpaid for his work and typecast into horror roles, which he found frustating:
I’d like to quit the supernatural roles and play just an interesting, down-to-earth person.
He died at the age of 73, while acting in Ed Wood’s film, “Planet 9 From Outer Space.”
I guess I’m pretty much of a lone wolf. I don’t say I don’t like people at all, but, to tell you the truth, I only like it when I have a chance to look deep into their hearts and their minds.