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|Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931)|
|Birthday/Birthplace||Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó
(1882-10-20)20 October 1882
Lugos, Austria-Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania)
|Deceased||16 August 1956(1956-08-16)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery|
|Other names||The King of Horror|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Wife/Husband||Ilona Szmick (m. 1917; div. 1920)
Ilona von Montagh (m. 1921; div. 1924)
Beatrice Weeks (m. 1929; div. 1929)
Lillian Arch (m. 1933; div. 1953)
Hope Lininger (m. 1955; his death 1956)
|Kid(s)||Bela George Lugosi|
|Parent(s)||István Blaskó (father)
Paula de Vojnich (mother)
Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (in Hungarian Blaskó Béla Ferenc Dezső) (between October 20 and October 29, 1882 – August 16, 1956), better known as Béla Lugosi (of Magyar origin) was an Austro-Hungarian actor, well known for characterizing the character of Count Dracula in several Broadway productions, including Dracula in 1927, and which took him to the big screen in the movie Dracula by Tod Browning in 1931.
Near the end of his life, he is known to have participated in the Glen or Glenda films, Bride of the Monster and a small role in Plan 9 From Outer Space, all directed by Ed Wood.
He was born in 1882 in Lugoj, Banat, region of present-day Romania, but at the time belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, being the smallest of the four children of a bank employee.
Lugosi began his career as an actor in Europe, working on different works of Shakespeare.
During the First World War he participated as a lieutenant of infantry and after the fight he was an active part in the left of his country and founded the actors’ union. In 1917 he married Ilona Szmik, from whom he would be separated in 1920.
He had to go into exile because of his political activity, first to Germany in 1919 and then he left Europe and left for the United States. There he received the role of his life, that of Count Dracula, who played first in the Broadway theaters in the play Dracula (1927) and in various tours and then led to the screen by the hand of Tod Browning in Dracula of 1931.
In his role as “Dracula”, the interpretation by which he is best known.
The film was a success, but Lugosi was pigeonholed into horror roles with films like White Zombie (in Spain, The Legion of Men without a soul) and Scared to Death. He refused to play the monster in Frankenstein but did a good job playing the deranged Ygor in two sequels, Son of Frankenstein and Ghost of Frankenstein before agreeing to finally play the monster in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. He also had a small role in the classic comedy Ninotchka next to Greta Garbo.
Many films, such as The Black Cat and the aforementioned Son of Frankenstein, equated Lugosi with his biggest rival in the world of horror films, Boris Karloff. The attitude of Lugosi before Karloff is the subject of many and varied opinions among experts and film historians. Many of them speak of a Lugosi resented by the success and the ability of Karloff to get better roles within the horror film scene, while other stories comment that between both actors – at least for a while – there was a very good friendship.
Years later, the papers stopped arriving and he became addicted to morphine, a substance he began using during his stay at the war front to appease the pain of the wound on his leg. He recreated for the last time the role of Dracula in the film Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948.
Decline and death
Almost at the end of his life, he reappeared in movies, even if they were of poor quality.
The historical director Ed Wood was always a fan of Lugosi. Wood manages to convince an elderly Lugosi to participate in a small role in his film Glen or Glenda. Later, Lugosi would again play a mad scientist in another film by Wood, The Girlfriend of the Monster. The biopic of Wood (Ed Wood, 1994), directed by Tim Burton, reflects, among other aspects, the director’s relationship with Lugosi, played by Martin Landau, a role for which he won the Oscar of the Academy as best supporting actor. < / p>
As a result of his appearances in B movies, especially in his film Bride of the Monster, he appeared in some episodes of the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Lugosi, in the mythical Plan 9 of Outer Space.