See Edward Gorey's "Dracula"
-- Playbill magazine

Bela Lugosi
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Original Vintage 8" x 10"


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Biography for
Bela Lugosi

Mini biography
Born Be'la Ferenc Dezso Blasko on October 20, 1882, Lugos, Hungary. The youngest of four children. During WWI, volunteered and was commissioned as an infantry lieutenant. Wounded three times. Married Ilona Szmik (1917 - 1920) Arrived in New York City in December, 1921. Married Ilona von Montagh (? - ?) Became an American citizen 1931. Married Lillian Arch (1933 - 1951) Father of Bela Legosi Jr. (1938 - ?). Helped organize the Screen Actors Guild in the mid-30's, joining as member number 28. Died of a heart attack August 16, 1956. Buried in his full Dracula costume, including a cape.
Mini biography
It's ironic that Martin Landau won an Oscar for impersonating Bela Lugosi (in 'Ed Wood') when Lugosi himself never came within a mile of one, but that's just the latest of many sad ironies surrounding Lugosi's career. A distinguished stage actor in his native Hungary, he ended up a drug-addicted pauper in Hollywood, largely thanks to typecasting brought about by his most famous role. He began his stage career in 1901, and started appearing in films during World War I, fleeing to Germany in 1919 as a result of left-wing political activity (he organised an actors' union). In 1921 he emigrated to the United States and made a living as a character actor, shooting to fame when he played Count Dracula in the legendary 1927 Broadway stage adaptation of Bram Stoker's novel. It ran for three years, and was subsequently, and memorably, filmed by Tod Browning in 1931, establishing Lugosi as one of the screen's greatest personifications of pure evil. Sadly, his reputation rapidly declined, mainly because he was only too happy to accept any part (and script) going, and ended up playing pathetic parodies of his greatest role, for Abbott & Costello and others. He ended his career working for the legendary Worst Director of All Time, Edward D.Wood, Jr. He was buried in his Dracula cape.
'Hope Lininger' (25 August 1955 - 16 August 1956) (his death)
'Lilian Arch' (1933 - 1953) (divorced); 1 son
'Beatrice Weeks' (1924 - ?) (divorced)
'Ilona Szmik' (1917 - 1920)

According to Vincent Price, when he and Peter Lorre went to view Bela's body during Bela's funeral, Lorre, upon seeing Lugosi dressed in his famous Dracula cape, quipped, "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?"

Born in Lugos, Hungary, from which he derived his eventual professional surname.

Father was a banker

His son, 'Bela Lugosi Jr.', practices law in Los Angeles, Calif. (1995).

Interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, California, USA. Specific Interment Location: Grotto, L120, 1.
Personal quotes

"I guess I'm pretty much of a lone wolf. I don't say I don't like people at all but, to tell you the truth I only like it then if I have a chance to look deep into their hearts and their minds"

"I am Count Dracula!"
Mother Riley Meets the Vampire (1952) $5000
White Zombie (1932) $800

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actor. (b. Oct. 20, 1882, Lugos, Hungary, as Bela Blasko; d. Aug. 16, 1956.) The man who will always be known as Dracula actually had a long and distinguished acting career (mostly on stage) before donning cape and fangs in Hollywood. In 1901, after studying at the Budapest Academy of Theatrical Arts, this banker's son made his stage debut as a featured juvenile. Tall, aristocratic, and handsome in a vaguely sinister way (with piercing eyes and a cruel mouth), he spent the next two decades building a reputation as one of Hungary's great matinee idols, and made his first film-A Leopard-in 1917. Political turmoil in his homeland drove Lugosi to Germany in 1919; he appeared in several films there, including a 1920 adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and a 1922 filmization of The Last of the Mohicans.

Emigrating to America shortly thereafter, Lugosi toiled in stage melodramas and routine programmers (such as 1923's The Silent Command and 1925's The Midnight Girl) before assuming the title role in the 1927 Broadway production of "Dracula," which he also essayed for two years on the road. The thick, almost impenetrable accent that hampered him in most roles actually proved to be an asset when he played Bram Stoker's Transylvanian vampire. Film rights to the play were sold to Universal, which announced that Lon Chaney would play the title role. But Chaney's untimely death from cancer in 1930 prompted producer-director Tod Browning to cast Lugosi instead. Dracula (1931) launched Universal's long-running cycle of horror movies and made its star a household name overnight.

Unfortunately, the movie's success also doomed Lugosi to a lifetime of boogeyman roles in vehicles of steadily diminishing quality. After refusing to play the Monster in Frankenstein (1931, the role taken by Boris Karloff), he played his first mad doctor in Murders in the Rue Morgue a voodoo master in White Zombie (delivering a wonderfully florid, over-thetop performance), and a priest of the Black Arts in Chandu the Magician in 1932 alone. But the next year he was already working for Poverty Row producers, getting top billing in Mascot's The Whispering Shadow and Majestic's The Death Kiss but winning only supporting roles in major-studio productions such as The Island of Lost Souls and International House (all 1933). Independent producer Sol Lesser gave Lugosi a bona fide hero role as the star of The Return of Chandu a 1934 serial also released in featurelength version. That same year he returned to Universal for The Black Cat (1934), the first (and best) of several chillers that teamed him with Karloff, whose career eclipsed Lugosi's almost from the start.

Lugosi's typecasting and his failure to master the nuances of the English language certainly hampered his American film career, but he also proved to be his own worst enemy, taking leads in the most abysmal mini-budget schlockers for whatever money producers were willing to pay. A colorful character role, that of Ygor, the mad shepherd in Son of Frankenstein (1939), briefly restored Lugosi to prominence, and he appeared to good advantage in that year's Ninotchka (starring Greta Garbo), but he alternated strong supporting roles in Universal's Black Friday (1940), The Wolf Man (1941), and The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942, again as Ygor) with negligible turns in low-budget Monogram melodramas produced by schlockmeister Sam Katzman, who teamed Lugosi most ignobly with the East Side Kids in Spooks Run Wild (1941) and Ghosts on the Loose (1942).

In 1943 Lugosi, by this time in no position to be choosy about his roles, agreed to play the Frankenstein monster-a part he had previously eschewed on the grounds it offered him no dialogue and would submerge him beneath heavy makeup-in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man He played a Dracula-like character in The Return of the Vampire that same year, and made the most of a small role (again opposite Karloff) in Val Lewton's literate, effective version of The Body Snatcher (1945). Lugosi then plunged into the depths of Poverty Row hell, a descent checked only briefly with his wonderfully deadpan turn as Dracula in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), the last good picture he made. By the 1950s the pickings were slimmer than ever; he submitted to demeaning personal appearance tours, and even starred in a selfnamed comedy-chiller, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952). An addiction to morphine finally got the best of him and in 1955 he checked himself into a California rehab hospital for treatment. His last screen appearance was undertaken for fanproducer Edward D. Wood in Plan 9 From Outer Space (filmed 1956 but released 1959); he died during production and his scenes were completed by a stand-in. Lugosi was buried in the cape he always wore as Dracula. He was portrayed by Martin Landau in Ed Wood (1994).

OTHER FILMS INCLUDE: 1929: The Thirteenth Chair 1931: The Black Camel 1933: Night of Terror, The Devil's in Love 1934: The Gift of Gab (cameo with Karloff); 1935: The Mysterious Mr. Wong, Murder by Television, Mark of the Vampire, The Raven (with Karloff, playing a Poe-inspired surgeon); 1936: The Invisible Ray (again with Karloff), Shadow of Chinatown 1937: S.O.S. Coast Guard 1939: Dark Eyes of London (aka The Human Monster), The Phantom Creeps 1940: You'll Find Out (with Karloff and Peter Lorre); 1941: The Devil Bat, The Invisible Ghost 1942: Black Dragons, The Corpse Vanishes, Bowery at Midnight 1943: The Ape Man 1944: Voodoo Man, Return of the Ape Man, One Body Too Many 1945: Zombies on Broadway 1946: Genius at Work 1947: Scared to Death 1952: Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire 1953: Glen or Glenda? (his first for Ed Wood); 1955: Bride of the Monster 1956: The Black Sleep


"Dracula - Prince Des Tenebres"
Hammer British Films
Starring Christopher Lee
1966 Movie Poster 100 cm x 150 cm
55 inch x 81 inch

Biography for
Christopher Lee

Mini biography
This gaunt, handsome, deep-voiced British actor is one of the icons of the horror film industry. With his imposing presence he has played many villainous roles including the Frankenstein Monster, Dracula and Fu Manchu. His most famous role is the blood-thirsty Count Dracula opposite Peter Cushing's Professor Van Helsing in the Hammer horror films. He has rarely varied his approach to his roles. He portrays characters who are intelligent, unsympathetic, aggressive, humourless, ruthless and totally evil.
'Birgit Kroencke' (1961 - present)

Turned down Donald Pleasence's role in Halloween (1978).

is a classiclly trained singer.

Possibly the only actor who has portrayed three different Sherlock Holmes characters: Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft Holmes and Henry Baskerville. Has one daughter Christina. During the second world war he served in the Royal Air Force and in British Intelligence. In 1972 he founded Charlemagne Productions Limited. He studied at Summerfield Preparatory School and attended Wellington College.

A distant cousin and frequent golfing partner of Bond creator Ian Fleming, Lee was the author's personal pick for the role of Dr. No (1962) in the first 007 film. The part, of course, went to actor Joseph Wiseman, who was brilliant. However, fans of the literary Bond might want to check out Lee's portrayal of Chinese master criminal Fu Manchu, for an idea of how Fleming himself envisioned Dr. No. (source: Steven Jay Rubin's "The James Bond Films" (1983))

Uncle of Harriet Walter

Although Lee did not land the role of Dr. No as his cousin Ian Fleming envisioned, he DID get the title role in The Man with the Golden Gun.

Isn't it odd that Vincent Price and Christopher Lee were born on the same day (27th May) and Peter Cushing was born on the 26th.

Was one of the judges for the 1995 Miss World beauty pageant.

The blood dripping fangs, worn by Lee in many of his vampire films were created by Irish dental technician Sean Mulhall.

Is listed as the Center of the Hollywood Universe by the Oracle of Kevin Bacon web site at the University of Virginia , because he can be linked to any one in hollywood on average in 2.59 steps. That is less than either Heston, Charleton or Kevin Bacon himself.

Biography from Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia:
Actor. (b. May 27, 1922, London.) "Peter Cushing and I have made so many horror films," Lee once said, "that people think we live in a cave together." He was kidding, of course, but there's no doubt that this towering, sharpfeatured actor has enjoyed his most memorable screen roles opposite the suave, aristocratic Cushing in such stylish Hammer Films chillers as Curse of Frankenstein (1957, as the monster), Horror of Dracula (1958, as the vampiric Count, the first of many appearances in that role), The Mummy (1959, in the title role), The Gorgon (1964), Dracula A.D. 1972 and The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1974), not to mention such other spine-tinglers as The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959, as Sir Henry Baskerville), Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965), The Skull (1965), The House That Dripped Blood, Scream and Scream Again (both 1970), The Creeping Flesh (1972), and House of the Long Shadows (1982, teamed with fellow horror veterans Vincent Price and John Carradine).

Lee has, however, done some films on his own-dozens of them, to be exact. His early movies include Hamlet (1948), Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951), The Crimson Pirate, Moulin Rouge (both 1952), and Storm Over the Nile (1956). He played Dracula sans Cushing in many films, among them Dracula-Prince of Darkness (1965), Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), The Scars of Dracula the German-made Count Dracula (both 1970), and the 1976 spoof Dracula and Son He's essayed the classic "yellow peril," Fu Manchu, in five films-EB> (1965), EB> (1966), EB> (1967), EB> (1968), and EB> (1969). And he's the only man to play both Sherlock Holmes (in the 1964 German-made Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace and a British-made miniseries that yielded the 1991 feature films Incident at Victoria Falls and Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady and brother Mycroft (in 1970's The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes).

Among the other titles that stand out on Lee's lengthy roster are Taste of Fear (1961), Rasputin-The Mad Monk (1965, the title role), The Devil's Bride (1967), Julius Caesar (1970), Hannie Caulder (1972), The Wicker Man (1973), The Three Musketeers (1974 and sequels in 1975 and 1989, as Rochefort), The Man With the Golden Gun (also 1974), Airport '77 (1977), Return From Witch Mountain and The Silent Flute (both 1978). He has also demonstrated a flair for comedy, playing a Nazi officer in 1941 (1979), a cycle-riding guru in Serial (1980), and a genetic scientist in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). Like John Carradine, to whose career Lee's own bears a striking similarity, he is an actor of the bravura school who's not averse to self-parody. (In 1983's spoofy The Return of Captain Invincible he even sang. And he turned up as a host one week on TV's "Saturday Night Live.") Since the 1980s Lee has also been active in made-for-TV productions.

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