Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bela Lugosi / Dracula

"I - am - Dracula...." was the phrase of evil in Hollywood. Bela Lugosi started it all with a heavy deliberate, imitateable accent. In 1927 he played Dracula on Broadway for a year or two on the road, but when he introduced himself to the film audiences of the silver screen, it was like seeing evil for the first time.
He was born Bela Blasko on October 20,1882 in Logos, Hungary. He had training at the Budapest Academy of Theatrical Arts. Sometimeshe used another name, Arisztid Olt during 1918. It was the collapse of the Hungarian Monarchy, and during that time, he organized an actors union.When the Leftists were defeated in 1919, he fled to Germany where he appeared in a number of films, but in 1921 he came to America.
With superior screen ability, he shared the stage with another great, Boris Karloff. Cinema had boomed, and people were flocking to the movies, so Lugosi had many roles to choose from,but Dracula made him famous. The vampire image became part of his real life. He even took interviews while in his coffin.
As is well-known, Bela Lugosi was buried in his cape, tuxedo, and wearing his Dracula crest ring after a career in movies, none of which came close to the fame brought to him as Dracula.
in Dracula and played the infamous count for 265 performances. In 1931, Lugosi starred in the film version of Dracula, replacing the late Lon Chaney, Jr., for whom the rights had been originally purchased.
Lugosi only made $500 a week for a seven week shoot, a ridiculously low figure even then. But Dracula both made him a star and typecast him forever at nearly 50 years of age. He made dozens of movies, many of them regrettably bad, but some of them quite good though they may not be well-remembered today.
Martin Landau gave an Academy Award-winning performance as Lugosi in Ed Wood, the Johnny Depp biopic about the director of the abysmal Plan 9 From Outer Space which notoriously included casual footage shot of Lugosi at his home before his death. Landau would observe that no matter how bad a movie might be, Lugosi's mere presence in the cast brought some stature to the production.
Following a lifetime of career ups and downs, five wives, and a lengthy morphine addiction stemming from a World War I injury he finally kicked, Lugosi died of a heart attack in his bed at his Los Angeles home on August 18, 1956.

There's the strange story connected with his burial. It isn't a very dramatic story, but it is a terrific story.
As the Lugosi funeral procession advanced towards Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, the driver found the horses drawing Lugosi's coffin suddenly fighting him. The driver wanted them to turn right, but the horses instead drew the hearse left, across Vine Street's oncoming traffic and down Hollywood Boulevard.
It turned out that it was down Hollywood Boulevard that Lugosi took daily on his way to buy cigars, cigarettes, and the daily newspapers.
The driver was unable to explain what had happened.

I love Bella In all his Movies!!!
BOOOOoooooooo BOOOOOOoooooooooo