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Bela Lugosi

A Hungarian actor best know for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 Universal Pictures film.

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A Quick Tip by Count_Orlok_22

  • Oct 20, 2011
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.

Happy Birthday, Béla Lugosi!
Béla Lugosi Béla Lugosi in Béla on a postage stamp. Béla Lugosi in Béla Lugosi as Ygor.
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October 20, 2011
I may be alone in this, but I prefer Christopher Lee as Dracula...nice quick tip tho.
October 20, 2011
Nope, you're not alone. I know a lot of people who like Lee as Dracula more. But for me, Lugosi will always be the best Dracula because he took it so seriously, he was essentially the first movie Dracula and the most iconic because of his performance, and he is the one who revolutionized the part to make it more romanticized than the novel. Lee owes a lot to Lugosi in terms of appearance (the tux and the cape especially) but Lee's Dracula is more like that in the novel. I love them both, but Lugosi is just more charming.
It should also be pointed out that the standards of Hollywood were more conservative when Lugosi played the part and Lee got to actually bare his bloody fangs and leave bite marks on the breasts of many a fair maiden. Lucky bastard!
 
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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 of Ed Wood's low budget films.


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