Bela Lugosi: a man of many monsters

Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956) commonly known as Béla Lugosi, was a Hungarian actor of stage and screen.  He was best known for playing Count Dracula in the Broadway play and subsequent film version. In the last years of his career he was featured in several of Ed Wood’s low budget films.

But Bela wasn’t limited to playing the handsome and hypnotically charming blood-sucker.  Although this was and is his trademark role.

In Son of Frankenstein Lugosi played the grunting assistant Ygor opposite Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

In 1943, he played the role of Frankenstein’s monster in Universal’s Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

Bela played another homicidal maniac in The Ape Man 1943.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Bela Lugosi was however most associated with the cunning vampire. He recreated the role of Dracula a second and last time on film in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

 

Late in his life, Béla Lugosi again received star billing in movies when filmmaker Ed Wood, a fan of Lugosi, found him living in obscurity and near-poverty and offered him roles in his films, such as Glen or Glenda and as a Dr. Frankenstein-like mad scientist in Bride of the Monster.

 

Bela Lugosi appeared in approximately 200 movies. The early ones were made in Hungary while the last two thirds were American productions.  He played dozens of fiends, ghouls, ghastly creatures and monsters. Truly a superstar in the world of horror entertainment.

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