20 Oct

Bela Lugosi

Chil­dren of the night, rejoice! It’s Bela Lugosi’s Birth­day!


Most peo­ple rec­og­nize Bela Lugosi from his icon­ic role in Universal’s clas­sic hor­ror film, Drac­u­la. What most peo­ple are unaware of is how that infa­mous role played a major part in the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of Lugosi’s career.


Sad Lugosi

After the large suc­cess of Drac­u­la, Lugosi found him­self type-caste as the hor­ror vil­lain, and slow­ly degrad­ed from a top billed actor in major releas­es, to low­er bud­get B-movie pro­duc­tions who used him to hook audi­ences with a famil­iar name.


We’re sure he was thrilled to meet that goril­la.

Lugosi’s decline in the cin­e­mas was also due to the fact that he had devel­oped a seri­ous addic­tion to mor­phine and opi­ates due a an injury he received in the war that caused him uncom­fort­able amounts of pain. His addic­tion became so noto­ri­ous that film pro­duc­ers had actu­al­ly believed him dead.


Late in his life, Bela Lugosi was sought out by infa­mous direc­tor Ed Wood, who was an enor­mous fan of Lugosi’s work, to star in his films with parts writ­ten specif­i­cal­ly with Lugosi in mind. Lugosi was liv­ing in obscu­ri­ty and near pover­ty, and accept­ed some­what gra­cious­ly, Wood’s offer. Lugosi decid­ed to seek treat­ment for his drug addic­tion. Accord­ing to a biog­ra­phy of Frank Sina­tra, when the enter­tain­er heard of Lugosi’s prob­lems, he helped with expens­es and vis­it­ed at the hos­pi­tal. Lugosi would recall his amaze­ment, since he did not even know Sina­tra.


Lugosi died in his home of a heart attack on August 16, 1956 and was buried wear­ing one of the Drac­u­la Cape cos­tumes.

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