Bela Lugosi

Bela Lugosi

Highest Rated: 100% Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story (2007)

Lowest Rated: 20% Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)

Birthday: Invalid date

Birthplace: Lugos, Austria-Hungary. [now Lugoj, Romania]

At the peak of his career in the early '30s, actor Bela Lugosi was the screen's most notorious personification of evil; the most famous and enduring Dracula, he helped usher in an era of new popularity for the horror genre, only to see his own fame quickly evaporate. Béla Ferenc Dezsõ Blaskó was born in Lugos, Hungary, on October 20, 1882. After seeing a touring repertory company as they passed through town, he became fascinated by acting, and began spending all of his time mounting his own dramatic productions with the aid of other children. Upon the death of his father in 1894, Lugosi apprenticed as a miner, later working on the railroad. His first professional theatrical job was as a chorus boy in an operetta, followed by a stint at the Budapest Academy of Theatrical Arts. By 1901, he was a leading actor with Hungary's Royal National Theatre, and around 1917 began appearing in films (sometimes under the name Arisztid Olt) beginning with A Régiséggyüjtö. Lugosi was also intensely active in politics, and he organized an actors' union following the 1918 collapse of the Hungarian monarchy; however, when the leftist forces were defeated a year later he fled to Germany, where he resumed his prolific film career with 1920's Der Wildtöter und Chingachgook. Lugosi remained in Germany through 1921, when he emigrated to the United States. He made his American film debut in 1923's The Silent Command, but struggled to find further work, cast primarily in exotic bit roles on stage and screen. His grasp of English was virtually non-existent, and he learned his lines phonetically, resulting in an accented, resonant baritone which made his readings among the most distinctive and imitated in performing history. In 1924, Lugosi signed on to direct a drama titled The Right to Dream, but unable to communicate with his cast and crew he was quickly fired; he sued the producers, but was found by the court to be unable to helm a theatrical production and was ordered to pay fines totalling close to 70 dollars. When he refused, the contents of his apartment were auctioned off to pay his court costs -- an inauspicious beginning to his life in America, indeed. Lugosi's future remained grim, but in 1927 he was miraculously cast to play the title character in the Broadway adaptation of the Bram Stoker vampire tale Dracula; reviews were poor, but the production was a hit, and he spent three years in the role. In 1929, Lugosi married a wealthy San Francisco widow named Beatrice Weeks, a union which lasted all of three days; their divorce, which named Clara Bow as the other woman, was a media sensation, and it launched him to national notoriety. After a series of subsequent films, however, Lugosi again faded from view until 1931, when he was tapped to reprise his Dracula portrayal on the big screen. He was Universal executives' last choice for the role -- they wanted Lon Chaney Sr., but he was suffering from cancer -- while director Tod Browning insisted upon casting an unknown. When no other suitable choice arose, however, only Lugosi met with mutual, if grudging, agreement. Much to the shock of all involved, Dracula was a massive hit. Despite considerable studio re-editing, it was moody and atmospheric, and remains among the most influential films in American cinema. Dracula also rocketed Lugosi to international fame, and he was immediately offered the role of the monster in James Whale's Frankenstein; he refused -- in order to attach himself to a picture titled Quasimodo -- and the part instead went to Boris Karloff. The project never went beyond the planning stages, however, and in a sense Lugosi's career never righted itself; he remained a prolific screen presence, but the enduring fame which appeared within his reach was lost forever. Moreover, he was eternally typecast: Throughout the remainder of the decade and well into the 1940s, he appeared in a prolific string of horror films, some good (1932's Island of Lost Souls and 1934's The Black Cat, the


Highest Rated Movies



58% Extraordinary Tales Narrator: The Tell-Tale Heart (archive footage) 2015
No Score Yet White Zombie Actor 2014
No Score Yet RiffTrax: Plan 9 from Outer Space: LIVE! Nashville 2009 Actor 2009
No Score Yet Voodoo Man Dr. Richard Marlowe 2009
100% Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story Actor 2007
No Score Yet Terror in the Pharaoh's Tomb Actor 2007
No Score Yet Apartment 51: The Devil Bat Actor 2004
No Score Yet Heroes of Horror Actor 2001
No Score Yet Ghosts On The Loose Actor 2000
No Score Yet The Return of Chandu (Chandu's Return) (The Return of Chandu the Magician) Actor 2000
No Score Yet Lugosi - Hollywood's Dracula Actor 1997
No Score Yet The Haunted World of Edward D. Wood Jr. Actor 1996
No Score Yet Ed Wood: Look Back in Angora Actor 1994
39% Innocent Blood Count Dracula 1992
No Score Yet Bela Lugosi: The Forgotten King Actor 1988
No Score Yet Monsters and Maniacs Actor 1988
No Score Yet Mondo Lugosi: A Vampire's Scrapbook Actor 1986
38% Into the Night Count Dracula 1985
57% Terror in the Aisles Actor 1984
20% Murders in the Rue Morgue Actor 1971
67% Plan 9 from Outer Space Ghoul Man 1959
No Score Yet The Black Sleep Casimir 1956
45% Bride of the Monster Dr. Eric Vornoff 1955
35% Glen or Glenda? Scientist 1953
No Score Yet My Son, the Vampire Von Housen 1952
29% Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla Dr. Zabor 1952
89% Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein Count Dracula 1948
No Score Yet Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (Dick Tracy Meets Karloff)(Dick Tracy's Amazing Adventure) Actor 1947
63% Scared to Death Prof. Leonide 1947
84% The Body Snatcher Joseph 1945
No Score Yet One Body Too Many Merkil 1944
75% The Return of the Vampire Armand Tesla 1944
No Score Yet Return of the Ape Man Prof. Dexter 1944
No Score Yet Zombies on Broadway Dr. Paul Renault 1944
No Score Yet Ghosts on the Loose Emil 1943
25% Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man The Monster 1943
No Score Yet The Ape Man Dr. James Brewster 1943
75% Ghost of Frankenstein Ygor 1942
40% Bowery at Midnight Prof. Frederick Brenner, alias Karl Wagner 1942
60% Night Monster (House of Mystery) Rolf the Butler 1942
No Score Yet Black Dragons Dr. Melcher/Monsieur Colomb 1942
No Score Yet The Corpse Vanishes Dr. George Lorenz 1942
90% The Wolf Man Bela 1941
No Score Yet The Black Cat Eduardo 1941
No Score Yet Spooks Run Wild Nardo 1941
No Score Yet Invisible Ghost Dr. Charles Kessler 1941
58% The Devil Bat Dr. Paul Carruthers 1940
95% Fantasia Model for Tchernabog 1940
No Score Yet You'll Find Out (Here Come the Boogie Men) Prince Saliano 1940
No Score Yet The Dark Eyes of London (Dead Eyes of London) (The Human Monster) (Dr. Orloff) Dr. Orloff 1940
No Score Yet The Saint's Double Trouble Partner 1940
97% Ninotchka Commissar Razinin 1939
No Score Yet The Gorilla Peters 1939
No Score Yet Mystery of Mr. Wong Actor 1939
91% Son of Frankenstein Ygor 1939
No Score Yet The Phantom Creeps Dr. Zane 1939
No Score Yet S.O.S. Coast Guard Boroff 1937
No Score Yet Phantom Ship Anton Lorenzen / A. Gottlieb 1936
No Score Yet Shadow of Chinatown Actor 1936
No Score Yet Postal Inspector Gregory Benez 1936
55% Dracula's Daughter Doctor's Assistant (masked) 1936
67% The Invisible Ray Dr. Felix Benet 1936
No Score Yet Murder by Television Dr. Arthur Perry / Edwin Perry 1935
100% The Raven Dr. Richard Vollin 1935
80% Mark of the Vampire Count Mora 1935
No Score Yet Chandu on the Magic Island Actor 1934
No Score Yet Mysterious Mr. Wong Mr. Fu Wong/Li See 1934
100% Black Friday Actor 1934
No Score Yet Gift of Gab Man in closet 1934
No Score Yet The Return of Chandu Chandu 1934
88% The Black Cat Dr. Vitus Verdegast 1934
No Score Yet Night of Terror Degar 1933
No Score Yet International House General Nicholas Branovsky Petronovich 1933
93% Island of Lost Souls Sayer of the Law 1933
No Score Yet The Death Kiss Joseph Steiner 1932
No Score Yet Chandu the Magician Roxor 1932
86% White Zombie Murder Legendre 1932
79% Murders in the Rue Morgue Dr. Mirakle 1932
No Score Yet Charlie Chan in the Black Camel Arthur Mayo 1931
91% Dracula Count Dracula 1931
No Score Yet The Thirteenth Chair Inspector Delzante 1929
No Score Yet Daughters Who Pay Serge Oumansky 1925
No Score Yet The Midnight Girl Nicholas Schuyler 1925
No Score Yet Deerslayer and Chingachgook Chingachgook 1920
No Score Yet Der Januskopf (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) (The Head of Janus) Actor 1920
No Score Yet Daughter of the Night Actor 1920


Count Mora says: I was greater than any Real Vampire!

Count Dracula says: Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.

Count Dracula says: I Never Drink...Wine.

Count Dracula says: I never drink... wine.

Count Dracula says: Listen To Them, Children Of The Night, What Music They Make.

Count Dracula says: Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.

Count Dracula says: I Bid You...Welcome.

Count Dracula says: I bid You...welcome.

Count Dracula says: I Am...Dracula.

Count Dracula says: I am...Dracula.

Count Dracula says: For One Who Has Not Lived Even In A Single Lifetime, You're A Wise Man, Van Helsing.

Count Dracula says: For one who has not lived even a single lifetime, you're a wise man, Van Helsing.

Count Dracula says: To Die, To Be Really Dead That Must Be Glorious...There Are Far Worst Things Awaiting Man Than Death.

Count Dracula says: To die, to be *really* dead, that must be glorious!

Count Dracula says: To die, to be *really* dead, that must be glorious! There are far worse things awaiting man than death.

Count Dracula says: The Spider Spinning His Web For The Unwary Fly, The Blood Is The Life, Mr. Reinfield.

Count Dracula says: The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly. The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield.

Count Dracula says: I am Dracula.

Count Dracula says: I never drink wine...

Count Dracula says: Good night, Mr. Renfield...

Count Dracula says: I bid you welcome

Count Dracula says: I bid you welcome.

Count Dracula says: Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.

Count Dracula says: There are far worse things awaiting man than death.