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Bela Lugosi

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1882 - 1956

The actor Bela Lugosi was born as Béla Ferenc Dezsö Blaskó in Lugos. He used his birthplace for the creation of his pseudonym.

Because his parents were against his plans to become an actor he left the family and went to the theater where he made his first experiences as an actor. Finally he joined the film business in 1917 where he first used the pseudonym Arisztid Olt. He took part in the Hungarian silent movies "Naszdal" (17), "Leoni Leo" (17),"Az ezredes" (17) and "A leopard" (18).
Because Bela Lugosi was also active political the situation in Hungary became precarious and finally he and his wife decided to leave Hungary.

They came via Vienna to Berlin where he was able to continue his film career.
He impesonated roles in the silent movies "Der Fluch der bösen Tat" (18), "Casanova "(19), "Der Januskopf" (20), "Lederstrumpf" (20), "Auf den Trümmern des Paradieses" (20), "Die Todeskarawane" (20), "Der Fluch der Menschheit" (20) and "Ihre Hoheit die Tänzerin" (22).

Bela Lugosi ventured the jump across the pond to the USA. There he first had to content himself with smaller roles, first at the theater and from 1923 in movies too.
To his early US movies belong "The Silent Command" (23), "The Rejected Woman" (24), "How to Handle Women" (28), "The Veiled Woman" (29) and "The Thirteenth Chair" (29).

With the rise of the sound film Bela Lugosi managed his great breakthrough. He already impersonated the figure of "Dracula" on Broadway from 1927 and when the director Tod Browning planned to make a movie of it the chance of Lugosi's life came - also because of the unexpected death of the actor Lon Chaney who was originally planned for the title role.
But before the event happend he took part in the movies "King of Jazz" (30), "Renegades" (30) and "Viennese Nights" (30).
But then "Dracula" (31) was released in the cinemas and Bela Lugosi became a star overnight. The movie established a whole string of horror movies of the 30s and early 40s which were very popular.

It followed numerous roles in which Bela Lugosi played dubious characters.
To his works of the 30s belong "Women of All Nations" (31), "The Black Camel" (31), "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (32), "White Zombie" (32), "The Death Kiss" (32), "Night of Terror" (33), "The Black Cat" (34), "Mark of the Vampire" (35), "The Raven" (35), "The Invisible Ray" (36), "Son of Frankenstein" (39) and "Ninotchka" (39) - one of his rare comedies.

His popularitiy diminished from the 40s and he more often took part in low budget movies.
Still he remained a busy actor in front of the camera and he played in movies like "Black Friday" (40), "Invisible Ghost" (41), "The Wolf Man" (41), "The Ghost of Frankenstein" (42), "The Ape Man" (43), "Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man" (43), "Voodoo Man" (44), "The Body Snatcher" (45) and "Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein" (48).

In the 50s he only acted in few more movies, among them "Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire" (52), "Bride of the Monster" (55) and "The Black Sleep" (56).
With "Glen or Glenda" (53) he also appeared in a movie directed by Ed Wood jr. who sometimes is referred as the worst director ever. But because of this fact those movies became a kind of cult and Bela Lugosi became an icon for enthusiasts of such trash movies.

Private Bela Lugosi had to struggle with his alcohol and drug addiction. He was married five times.

Other movies with Bela Lugosi:
A Régiséggyüjtö (17) Lili (18) Az élet kiralya (18) 99 (18) Küzdelem a Létért (18) Tavaszi vihar (18) Lulu (18) Alarcosbal (18) Nachenschnur ist tot (19) Sklaven fremden Willens (20) Das ganze Sein ist flammend Leid (20) Die Sklavenhaler von Kansas-City (20) Nat Pinkerton im Kampf, 1. Teil: Das Ende des Artisten Bartolini (20)  Sybil Joung (20) Die Frau im Delphin oder 30 Tage auf dem Meeresgrund (20) Die Teufelsanbeter (20) Apachenrache, 3. Teil: Die verschwundene Million (21) The Midnight Girl (25) Daughters Who Pay (25) Punchinello (26) Prisoners (29) Such Men Are Dangerous (30) Wild Company (30) Oh, for a Man! (30) 50 Million Frenchmen (31) Broadminded (31) Chandu the Magician (32) Island of Lost Souls (32) The Whispering Shadow (33) International House (33) The Devil's in Love (33) Gift of Gab (34) The Return of Chandu (34) The Mysterious Mr. Wong (34) The Best Man Wins (35) The Mystery of the Mary Celeste (35) Chandu on the Magic Island (35) Murder by Television (35) Postal Inspector (36) Shadow of Chinatown (36) SOS Coast Guard (37) The Gorilla (39) The Phantom Creeps (39) The Dark Eyes of London (39) The Saint's Double Trouble (40) The Devil Bat (40) You'll Fin Out (40) The Black Cat (41) Spooks Run Wild (41) Black Dragons (42) The Corpse Vanishes (42) Night Monster (42) Bowery at Midnight (42) Ghosts on the Loose (43) The Return of the Vampire (43) Return of the Ape Man (44) One Body Too Many (44) Zombies on Broadway (45) Genius at Work (46) Scared to Death (47) Serie "Suspense: A Cask of Amontillado" (49) Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (52) Serie "The Red Skelton Show: Dial "B" for Brush" (54)