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Encyclopedia > Bela Lugosi
Bela Lugosi as Dracula United States stamp.
Bela Lugosi as Dracula United States stamp.

Béla Lugosi was the stage name of actor Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (October 20, 1882August 16, 1956). He was born in Lugos, Banat, Austria-Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania), the youngest of four children of a banker. The blue-eyed actor is best known for his portrayal of Dracula in the American Broadway stage production, and subsequent film, of Bram Stoker's classic vampire story. This image is a postage stamp produced by the United States Postal Service after 1978. ... This image is a postage stamp produced by the United States Postal Service after 1978. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1882 (MDCCCLXXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Banat (Romanian: Banat; Serbian: Банат or Banat; German: Banat; Hungarian: Bánát or Bánság; Slovak: Banát) is a geographical and historical region in Southeastern Europe divided among three countries: the eastern part belongs to Romania (the counties of TimiÅŸ, CaraÅŸ-Severin, Arad, and MehedinÅ£i), the western... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... Lugoj (-Romanian, Hungarian: Lugos, German: Lugosch) (postal code: 305500) is a city in TimiÅŸ county, Transylvania, Romania, situated on both banks of the TimiÅŸ River, which divides the town in two quarters, the Romanian on the right and the German on the left bank. ... Bela Lugosi as Dracula; U.S. postage stamp first issued in 1997 as part of a series celebrating Famous Movie Monsters Dracula (1897) is a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, and the name of the worlds most famous vampire character. ... Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ... It has been suggested that Drama (art form) be merged into this article or section. ... Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... Abraham Bram Stoker (November 8, 1847–April 20, 1912) was an Irish writer, best remembered as the author of the influential horror novel Dracula. ... Philip Burne-Jones, The Vampire, 1897 Vampires are mythical or folkloric creatures, typically held to be the re-animated corpses of human beings and said to subsist on human and/or animal blood (hematophagy), often having unnatural powers, heightened bodily functions, and/or the ability to physically transform. ...

Contents


Early career in Hungary

Lugosi started his acting career on the stage in Hungary in several Shakespearean plays and other major roles, and also appeared in several silent films of the Cinema of Hungary under the stage name Arisztid Olt. During World War I, he served as an infantry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian army. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. ... Combatants Allies: Serbia, Russia, France, Romania, Belgium, British Empire, United States, Italy, and others Central Powers: Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Ottoman Empire Casualties Military dead: 5 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total of dead: 8 million Military dead: 4 million Civilian deaths: 3 million Total dead: 7 million The First... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers or marines who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units. ... A Lieutenant is a military, paramilitary or police officer. ... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ...


Lugosi's first film appearance was in the 1917 movie Ezredes, Az (known in English as The Colonel). Lugosi would make twelve films in Hungary between 1917 and 1918 before leaving for Germany.


Lugosi left his native Hungary for Germany in 1919. Following the collapse of Bela Kun's Hungarian Soviet Republic, left-wingers and trade unionists were persecuted, including Lugosi, who was persecuted following his participation in the forming of an actor's union. In exile, he began appearing in a small number of well received films in German cinema. One of his earliest appearances for the German film industry was in the 1920 adaptations of the Karl May penned novels Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses ("In the Rubble of Paradise") and Die Todeskarawane ("The Death Caravan") opposite the ill-fated Jewish actress Dora Gerson. Lugosi emigrated to the United States in 1921 and on June 26, 1931 became a naturalized citizen of the United States. 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... la Kun B la Kun (February 20, 1886 - 1939?) was a Hungarian Communist who ruled Hungary for a brief time in 1919. ... The Hungarian Soviet Republic was the political regime in Hungary from March 21, 1919 until the beginning of August of the same year, and it is the second Communist (or soviet) government in world history, after the one in Russia (1917). ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A union (labor union in American English; trade union, sometimes trades union, in British English; either labour union or trade union in Canadian English) is a legal entity consisting of employees or workers having a common interest, such as all the assembly workers for one employer, or all the workers... Karl May Karl Friedrich May (Hohenstein-Ernstthal, February 25, 1842 - Radebeul, March 30, 1912) was the best selling German writer of all time, noted chiefly for wild west books set in the American West and similar books set in the Middle East; in addition, he also wrote some lesser-known... Dora Gerson Dora Gerson (March 23, 1899 - February 14, 1943) was a Jewish German cabaret singer and motion picture actress of the silent film era who was notoriously murdered with her family at Auschwitz. ... 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... June 26 is the 177th day of the year (178th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 188 days remaining. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Naturalization is the process whereby a person becomes a national of a nation, or a citizen of a country, other than the one of his birth. ...


Dracula

On arrival in America, the 1.85 m (6'1"), 82 kg (180 lb) Lugosi worked for some time as a laborer, then returned to the theater within the Hungarian-American community. He was spotted there and approached to star in a play adapted by John Balderston from Bram Stoker's novel Dracula. The production was very successful. Despite his excellent notices in the title role, Lugosi had to campaign vigorously for the chance to repeat his stage success in Tod Browning's movie version of Dracula (1931), produced by Universal Pictures. Abraham Bram Stoker (November 8, 1847–April 20, 1912) was an Irish writer, best remembered as the author of the influential horror novel Dracula. ... Bela Lugosi as Dracula; U.S. postage stamp first issued in 1997 as part of a series celebrating Famous Movie Monsters Dracula (1897) is a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, and the name of the worlds most famous vampire character. ... Charles Albert Browning, Jr. ... This DVD cover for the film shows Lugosi in the role which would type-cast him for the rest of his career. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... The current Universal Studios logo Universal Studios, a subsidiary of NBC Universal, has production studios and offices located at 100 Universal City Plaza Drive in Universal City, California, an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County between Los Angeles and Burbank. ...


A persistent rumor asserts that silent-film actor Lon Chaney, Sr. was originally scheduled for this film role, and that Lugosi was chosen only due to Chaney's death. Chaney, however, was under long-term contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and his home studio refused to release him to Universal for this project. Further, although Chaney and Browning had worked together on several projects, Browning was only a last-minute choice to direct the movie version of Dracula: this film was not a long-time pet project of Tod Browning, despite some claims to the contrary. Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera Lon Chaney, Sr. ... For alternate meanings of MGM, see MGM (disambiguation). ... Bela Lugosi as Dracula; U.S. postage stamp first issued in 1997 as part of a series celebrating Famous Movie Monsters Dracula (1897) is a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, and the name of the worlds most famous vampire character. ...


Following the success of Dracula (1931), Lugosi received a studio contract with Universal. This DVD cover for the film shows Lugosi in the role which would type-cast him for the rest of his career. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ...


Typecasting

Through his association with Dracula (in which he appeared with minimal makeup, using his natural, heavily accented voice), Lugosi found himself typecast as a horror villain in such movies as Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Raven, and Son of Frankenstein for Universal, and the independent White Zombie. DVD cover showing horror characters as depicted by Universal Studios. ... The Raven (1935) was a horror film revolving around Edgar Allan Poes famous poem, featuring Bela Lugosi as a Poe-obsessed mad surgeon with a torture chamber in his basement and Boris Karloff as a fugitive murderer desperately on the run from the police. ... Son of Frankenstein is a horror film made by Universal Studios in 1939 and directed by Rowland V. Lee. ... White Zombie is an American horror film, first released on August 4, 1932. ...


Despite the fact that Lugosi was not interested in the role of Frankenstein's monster due to lack of dialogue and make-up, it is a myth Lugosi declined the offer to appear in Frankenstein. James Whale, the film's director, replaced Lugosi and would do this again in The Bride of Frankenstein (Lugosi was supposed to play the role of Dr. Pretorius). A recent Lugosi scrapbook (see external link below) surfaced with a newsclipping listing both Lugosi and Boris Karloff in the film together. This gives credence to the possibility that Lugosi was going to play the role of Dr. Frankenstein. And in an interview with the cinematographer who shot test footage of Lugosi for the role of the monster, he testified that Lugosi was happy with the role and gave him a box of cigars. Frankenstein is a 1931 horror film from Universal Pictures directed by James Whale and loosely based on the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. ... Bride of Frankenstein 1999 release DVD cover Bride of Frankenstein is a horror film released April 22, 1935, which is a sequel to the 1931 film Frankenstein. ... Boris Karloff Boris Karloff (November 23, 1887 – February 2, 1969), born William Henry Pratt, was an actor best known for his roles in horror films. ...


Regardless of controversy, the role was taken by the man who became Lugosi's principal rival in horror films, Boris Karloff. Several films at Universal, such as The Black Cat (1934), The Raven (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939) paired Lugosi with Karloff. Regardless of the relative size of their roles, Lugosi inevitably got second billing, below Karloff. Lugosi's attitude toward Karloff is the subject of contradictory reports, some claiming that he was openly resentful of Karloff's long-term success and ability to get good roles beyond the horror arena, while others suggested the two actors were — for a time, at least — good friends. Boris Karloff Boris Karloff (November 23, 1887 – February 2, 1969), born William Henry Pratt, was an actor best known for his roles in horror films. ... The Black Cat is a 1934 horror film that became Universal Pictures biggest box office hit of the year. ... The Raven (1935) was a horror film revolving around Edgar Allan Poes famous poem, featuring Bela Lugosi as a Poe-obsessed mad surgeon with a torture chamber in his basement and Boris Karloff as a fugitive murderer desperately on the run from the police. ... Son of Frankenstein is a horror film made by Universal Studios in 1939 and directed by Rowland V. Lee. ...


Attempts were made to give Lugosi more heroic roles, as in The Black Cat, The Invisible Ray, and a small role in the comedy classic Ninotchka opposite Greta Garbo, but did not help him break out of the "type" into which he had been placed. The Black Cat is a 1934 horror film that became Universal Pictures biggest box office hit of the year. ... Movie poster for The Invisible Ray The Invisible Ray is a 1936 Universal Pictures science fiction film starring Boris Karloff (credited as just Karloff) and Bela Lugosi. ... Ninotchka is a 1939 American film by Ernst Lubitsch, starring Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas. ... Greta Garbo (September 18, 1905 – April 15, 1990) was a Swedish actress and one of the greatest and most inscrutable movie stars ever to be produced by MGM and the Hollywood studio system. ...


Decline

After Universal changed management in 1936, he found himself consigned, along with their entire approach to horror films, to Universal's b-film unit, at times in small roles where he was obviously used for "name value" only. In the early 1940s, Universal did not renew its contract with Lugosi, and he ended up having to contract with the Poverty Row company Monogram Pictures, where he received star billing in a succession of horror, psycho, and mystery B-films produced by Sam Katzman. The term B-movie originally referred to a film designed to be distributed as the lower half of a double feature, often a genre film featuring cowboys, gangsters or vampires. ... Poverty Row is a slang term used in Hollywood from the late silent period through the mid-fifties to refer to a variety of mostly short-lived small studios, many clustered in the area of Los Angeles, USA known as Gower Gulch, near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Psycho is a 1959 suspense novel by Robert Bloch, which describes the events surrounding the encounter of an embezzler and the profoundly disturbed motel proprietor Norman Bates. ... Mystery fiction is a distinct subgenre of detective fiction that entails the occurrence of an unknown event which requires the protagonist to make known (or solve). ... Sam Katzman (July 7, 1901 – August 4, 1973) was an American film producer. ...


Later on, the acting jobs dried up, and Lugosi became addicted to morphine, originally prescribed to him for severe back pain in the early 1940s, though he did get to recreate the role of Dracula one last time in the film Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948. Morphine (INN), the principal active agent in opium, is a powerful opioid analgesic drug. ... Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein is a 1948 comedy/horror film in which characters played by Bud Abbott and Lou Costello deliver large heavy crates to a wax museum only to discover that the contents -- Frankensteins monster and Dracula -- are neither wax nor dead. ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday (the link is to a full 1948 calendar). ...

1931 film poster, promoting Bela Lugosi's genre-defining turn as Dracula.
1931 film poster, promoting Bela Lugosi's genre-defining turn as Dracula.

Late in his life, he again received star billing in movies when filmmaker Edward D. Wood, Jr., a fan of Lugosi, found him living in obscurity and near-poverty and offered him roles in his films, such as Glen or Glenda (in which his role made no more sense than the rest of the movie) and as a mad scientist in Bride of the Monster. During post-production of the latter, Lugosi entered treatment for his morphine addiction, and the premier of the film was ostensibly intended to help pay for his treatment expenses. The extras on an early DVD release of Plan 9 from Outer Space include an impromptu interview with Lugosi upon his exit from the treatment center, which provide some rare personal insights into the man. Download high resolution version (1390x1080, 222 KB)1931 Dracula film poster, from http://lugosi01b. ... Download high resolution version (1390x1080, 222 KB)1931 Dracula film poster, from http://lugosi01b. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ... Edward D. Wood, Jr. ... Glen or Glenda or I Lived 2 Lives is a movie filmed in 1953, starring its director Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi, and Woods then girlfriend Dolores Fuller. ... Originally known as Bride of the Atom, Bride of the Monster is a 1955 science-fiction film starring Bela Lugosi in a traditional mad scientist role, and was produced, directed and co-written by Ed Wood. ... Plan 9 From Outer Space is a 1959 science fiction/horror film written, produced and directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. ...


Following his treatment, Lugosi made one final film, in late 1955, The Black Sleep, for Bel-Air Pictures, which was released in the summer of 1956 through United Artists Corp. with an a-film campaign that included several personal appearances. To his disappointment, however, his role in this film was of a mute, with no dialogue. The Black Sleep is an 83-minute, 1956, American black-and-white science fiction film, scripted by John Higgins from a story by Gerald Drayson Adams developed for producers Aubrey Schenck and Howard Koch, who had a four-picture finance-for-distribution arrangement with United Artists Corp. ...


Death and posthumous performance

Lugosi died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956 while lying in bed in his Los Angeles home. He was 73. A myocardial infarction occurs when an atherosclerotic plaque slowly builds up in the inner lining of a coronary artery and then suddenly ruptures, totally occluding the artery and preventing blood flow downstream. ... August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nickname: City of Angels Official website: http://www. ...


Bela Lugosi was buried wearing one of the many capes from the Dracula stageplay, as per the request of his son and fifth wife, in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. While it was stated that Lugosi made no requests regarding his burial, either verbally or through his will, this appears to be urban myth; verification can be obtained from the special-edition DVD of Dracula. Holy Cross Cemetery is located at 5835 W. Slauson Avenue in Culver City, California. ... Culver City is a city in western Los Angeles County, California. ...


One of Lugosi's most infamous roles was in a movie released after he was dead. Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space features footage of Lugosi interspersed with a double. Wood had taken a few minutes of silent footage of Lugosi, in his Dracula cape, for a planned vampire picture but was unable to find financing for the project. When he later conceived of Plan 9, Wood wrote the script to incorporate the Lugosi footage and hired his wife's chiropractor to double for Lugosi in additional shots. The "double" is thinner than Lugosi, and covers the lower half of his face with his cape in every shot. Plan 9 From Outer Space is a 1959 science fiction/horror film written, produced and directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. ... Chiropractic treatment uses manipulative therapy to correct subluxation, which has been shown to have some efficacy in treating back and neck pain, headache, and other symptoms of spinal-related conditions. ...


Legacy

More recently, Lugosi became the subject of a song by gothic rock band Bauhaus entitled "Bela Lugosi's Dead", and a couple of his worst films turned up for mocking on the televison program Mystery Science Theater 3000. Gothic rock (also called goth rock or simply goth) evolved out of post-punk during the late 1970s. ... Bauhaus is a British rock band (formed in Northampton in 1978) popular in the 1980s. ... Bela Lugosis Dead is an influential gothic rock song written by the band Bauhaus. ... Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988–1999), usually abbreviated MST3K, is a cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson featuring a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a satellite in space and forced to watch particularly bad movies. ...


Lugosi is mentioned prominently in the song Celluloid Heroes by the Kinks. Celluloid Heroes is a song performed by The Kinks. ...


The pseudo-biographical film Ed Wood (Tim Burton, 1994) is a sentimental interpretation of the relationship between Lugosi and Wood. Lugosi is played by Martin Landau in a good-natured and sometimes moving interpretation for which Landau received an Academy Award for best supporting actor. Lugosi's son, Bela Lugosi, Jr. initially disapproved of his father's portrayal in the film, despite never having seen it, but after a long correspondance with Martin Landau, Lugosi, Jr. was persuaded to view the film in Landau's company. Lugosi, Jr. declared that Landau had 'honored' his father with his portrayal, and the actor and the late star's son became friends as a result. Ed Wood is a biopic directed by Tim Burton, stars Johnny Depp as the transvestite cult movie maker Edward D. Wood Jr. ... Tim Burton Timothy William Burton (born August 25, 1958) is an American film director, writer and designer known for his off-beat and quirky style. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Martin Landau in North by Northwest. ... Academy Awards The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent film awards in the United States and most watched awards ceremony in the world. ...


Contrary to Burton's film, Lugosi did not receive top billing for Plan 9. Instead, he was listed as a guest-star, below Tor Johnson, Vampira and Kenne Duncan. Tor Johnson in Plan 9 from Outer Space This face was turned into a Halloween Mask Tor Johnson (October 19, 1903 – May 12, 1971) was a professional wrestler known as The Super Swedish Angel, and occasional actor. ... Actress Maila Nurmi (born December 21, 1921) portrayed Vampira in many shows, and starred in Ed Woods Plan 9 From Outer Space. ...


Presently, there is a movement by Lugosi fans to get him an honorary Oscar. See link below.


See also

It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Bela Lugosi. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Bela Lugosi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1520 words)
Lugosi emigrated to the United States in 1921 and on June 26, 1931 became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Bela Lugosi was buried wearing one of the many capes from the Dracula stageplay, as per the request of his son and fifth wife, in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.
Lugosi is mentioned prominently in the song Celluloid Heroes by the Kinks.
Bela Lugosi Biography / Filmography at Vlads Vault (825 words)
Bela Lugosi was born Béla Ferenc Deszö Blaskó on October 20, 1882, in Lugos, Hungary.
Bela ran away to the city of Resita at the age of eleven, never returning again to his hometown.
Bela died at the age of 73, on August 16, 1956.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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