A Hungarian actor best know for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 Universal Pictures film.
Béla Lugosi (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956) was a Hungarian actor of stage and screen, well known for playing Count Dracula in the Broadway play and subsequent film version. In the last years of his career he featured in several … see full wiki
Whether you've actually seen his movies or not, you most likely know who Béla Lugosi is because of his iconic performance as Count Dracula in the legendary 1931 classic Universal horror film Dracula. Lugosi was born in Hungary on October 20, 1882. He got his start as an actor on the stage in various roles in Hungary. Later, after WWI, he moved to Germany where he appeared in a number of silent films. When he finally emigrated to America he didn't speak much English and therefore learned many of his early stage roles phonetically. His big break came in 1927 when he first played the part that made him a legend in an American stage production of the Hamilton Deane's Dracula, which was then rewritten for American audiences by John L. Balderston. The stage play, although panned by theatrical critics, was a huge success with the public and would provide the major inspiration for the film of 1931 directed by Tod Browning. Lugosi's career shot upwards from this point and he starred, often alongside fellow Universal horror icons like Boris Karloff, in many other horror films. However, he soon became typecast as villains in horror films. Lugosi would later in life become broke due to the fact that his heavy Hungarian accent created a language barrier that prevented him from truly displaying the extent of his talent and the few films he could get roles in marginalized his abilities and exploited his fame. He befriended schlock auteur Ed Wood, Jr., often cited as the worst director ever, and he appeared in some of the strangest exploitation films ever made: Glen or Glenda, The Bride of the Monster, and Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Today, Lugosi is one of the most beloved and praised horror stars and his villainous on-screen intensity has rarely ever been rivaled by any other film actors.