Bela Lugosi

Bela Lugosi (1882-1956, born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó) was a Hungarian actor. He rose to stardom in the title role of the 1931 film version of Dracula and set the standard for movie vampires.

A successful stage actor in his native Hungary and in Germany, he emigrated to the United States in the 1920s and played various character roles until grabbing the lead in the stage production of Dracula in 1927. Lugosi's talent for playing a villain led to a career of playing monsters and mad scientists. Some of his more memorable movies include The Black Cat (1934), Ninotchka (1939, starring Greta Garbo) and The Wolf Man (1941, opposite Lon Chaney Jr.). He also created the role of Ygor, the hunchbacked assistant to Dr. Frankenstein, a character that would become a staple of Frankenstein films for many years. He portrayed Ygor in both The Son of Frankenstein and The Ghost of Frankenstein before going on to play the Monster in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. At the suggestion of Paul Marco, Lugosi recreated his iconic role as Dracula in 1948's Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

After years of declining fortunes in Hollywood, Bela Lugosi appeared in the Ed Wood film Glen or Glenda in 1953 out of desperation for money. This began his famous working relationship with Wood, eventually leading to Bride of the Monster. During this time, Lugosi committed himself to an institution for an addiction to methadone.

Footage shot shortly before he died was utilized by Wood in Plan 9 from Outer Space (released in 1959).[1] This movie has been called one of the worst movies ever made. Lugosi's works increased in popularity after his death and he is now regarded as a luminary among horror movie actors. Martin Landau won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Lugosi in the 1994 film Ed Wood.

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Complete Filmography at New York Times