Bela Lugosi-The Man Behind the Cape
“Listen to them, children of the night. What music they make.” Bela Lugosi as Dracula (1931)
Long before Robert Pattinson appeared in Twilight, audiences were captivated by Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula. Known for his versatility as an actor, Lugosi toured with the National Theater of Budapest until political unrest forced him to flee the country in 1919. Learning his lines phonetically, the Hungarian actor honed his characterization of the legendary count during 500 performances in the 1927 Broadway production of Dracula.
Due to the death of Lon Chaney, Lugosi was selected for the role of Dracula. Lugosi did his own make-up for the 1931 film. Audiences were entranced by Lugosi’s European accent and aristocratic presence. At one point, he reportedly received as much fan mail from the ladies as Clark Gable.
Lugosi would appear in more than 100 films primarily in the roles of vampires, werewolves, ghouls and mad scientists. He was one of the charter members of the Screen Actors Guild. He died in the summer of 1956 at the age 73 and was buried in one of his Dracula capes.