Bela Lugosi Facts
Birth Name: Béla Ferenc Dezsö Blaskó
Nickname: Bela “Dracula” Lugosi
Birth Date: October 20, 1882
Birth Place: Lugos, Hungary, located near the western border of the Transylvanian Alps in what is now Lugoj, Romania
Death Date: August 16, 1956
Death Place: At his home at 5620 Harold Way in Los Angeles, California
Burial Location: Buried in one of his Dracula capes in the Grotto at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Dark brown
Pastimes: Reading, listening to Hungarian music, walking
Hollywood Walk of Fame: Star is located at 6340 Hollywood Boulevard - at the southeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue
Parents: István Blaskó and Paula de Vojnich.
Siblings: Older brothers, László and Lajos and older sister, Vilma
Married: Ilona Szmik (m.1917 - d.1920); Ilona von Montágh (m.1921 - d.1924); Beatrice Woodruff Weeks (3 days) (m.1929 - d.1929); Lillian Arch (m.1933 - d.1953); Hope Lininger (m.1955 - w.1956)
Child: (With Lillian Arch) Bela G. Lugosi aka Bela Lugosi, Jr. born January 5, 1938
- Lugosi derived his professional surname from Lugos, the town of his birth.
- Lugosi served in the Hungarian ski patrol of the 43rd Division of the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I, fighting the Russians near the Austrian border.
- Lugosi had an extensive stage career in Hungary including roles in many of the classic plays, totaling 172 stage performances.
- Lugosi first appeared in Hungarian films under the name Arisztid Olt.
- After coming to America by way of New Orleans in 1920, Lugosi quickly went to New York City and was lawfully admitted into the United States through Ellis Island in 1921.
- Bela Lugosi became a naturalized American citizen on June 26, 1931.
- Bela Lugosi created his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1927 Broadway stage production of Dracula—the make-up, the style of dress, the mannerisms. Along with his distinct accent, this became the characterization for which he is famous. When cast in Universal’s film version, he brought his portrayal to the screen.
- Universal Studios’ film Dracula opened on February 12, 1931 at the Roxy Theatre in New York and on February 14, 1931 throughout the U.S.
- Bela Lugosi never wore fangs in his performances as Count Dracula.
- Lugosi made eighteen films at Universal Studios.
- Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff appear together in eight films. They had a friendly professional relationship, but did not socialize off-set.
- Lugosi was founding member No. 28 of the Screen Actors Guild.
- For use in the “Night on Bald Mountain” sequence of Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940), Lugosi performed in live-action reference footage for the demon Chernabog.
- In his 50 year career, Lugosi played a vampire on film four times and only twice as Count Dracula (Dracula, 1931 and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, 1948), yet Bela Lugosi established himself as the quintessential vampire - he is Dracula.
- Bela Lugosi has been immortalized by the 1979 Bauhaus song “Bela Lugosi's Dead.”
- Lugosi was honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a commemorative postage stamp as part of a set of five stamps celebrating "Famous Movie Monsters” issued on September 30, 1997.
Facts as Noted by Bela Lugosi, Jr.
- Dad was an avid cigar smoker. Once he lit a cigar, if he had to interrupt his smoking, he would leave it in some inconspicuous place like a planter box outside the door.
- During stage performances, my mom, Lillian, would keep my dad’s cigar lit by puffing on it offstage while he was performing so he could continue smoking between scenes.
- Dad thoroughly enjoyed Hungarian music and food, with his favorite dish being stuffed cabbage.
- My dad never drove a car or flew on an airplane. He traveled by car with my mother, Lillian, driving or he would take the train, or a ship when traveling overseas.
- Dad loved dogs, particularly large dogs. In addition to his Dobermans, Hector and Pluto, one of Dad’s favorites was his white German Shepard named Bodri.
- Dad was an avid reader of newspapers and kept current with events around the country and around the world.
- Dad encouraged me to have a profession and avoid being an actor because he believed actors were too dependent on producers and agents.
- As a disciplinary tool, all Dad had to do was give me that famous stare.
- Dad loved California wines. He also enjoyed Coors beer and imported sulphur water.
- Dad was a supporter of Los Angeles’ Hungarian soccer team, the Magyars, and for a time, served as honorary president of the Los Angeles Soccer League.
- Dad developed a lakeside residential subdivision called Lugosi Park in Lake Elsinore, California. Since sold and divided, the street names still remain, Lillian Avenue and Arch Way (after my mother’s maiden name, Lillian Arch).
- Dad was a frequent visitor to the Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona, California.
- Marlon Brando was one of Dad’s favorite actors.