Mistress Bela Lugosi

As Dracula’s star, Bela Lugosi achieved legendary status. However, he also endured great suffering throughout his life.

During World War I, Lugosi served in the Hungarian army and was ultimately forced to flee his homeland and travel around the globe.

Birth Date

Lugosi was born in Hungary in 1882 and struggled to make ends meet by working manual labor. Ultimately, his father passed away, giving him the drive and inspiration to reach for greater things – something more fulfilling than simply working a few hours each day.

No matter his trials and tribulations, he never gave up on his dreams of becoming an actor. In 1902, he took his first step toward fame and fortune when he began performing in a stage production.

World War I turned his life on its head, forcing him to flee his homeland. Ultimately, he settled in America and became an American citizen.

His passion for acting eventually took him to Broadway, where he starred in a version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that became an international hit. This play earned him the role of Count Dracula.

After his role in this play, Lugosi was approached about starring in his own movie adaptation of the story. Although he was initially hesitant about taking on such a challenge, it ultimately helped him discover and nurture his talents.

He filmed the film in Budapest with his stage co-stars and it was directed by Ed Wood. Although he initially struggled with English language skills, by the time of its release he could speak fluently.

On Walpurgis Night, Lugosi released his vampire film which, while not entirely accurate, still proved to be a massively successful venture. It remains popular today and inspired many other projects such as the Dracula comic book series.

Though the film didn’t receive many positive reviews, it still marked an impressive milestone for Lugosi. As an accomplished actor who had never previously been in the spotlight, his performance proved that when given the chance to showcase his abilities, he truly shone.

Horror films would not be complete without Bela Lugosi, yet his personal life had plenty of dark sides as well. He was married three times but only two were happy unions.


Bela Lugosi’s personality was characterized by an intensity and sensuality. He had an innate talent for acting and was born into a family of actors and musicians; even as a youngster he showed signs of following in his father’s footsteps.

He quickly captured the attention of theater directors and was cast in stage performances. His unique ability to emote with characters led him to become one of Hollywood’s most renowned actors.

His debut role in a film was The Leopard (1917), made in his native Hungary and an excellent opportunity for him to showcase his acting skills. He portrays a wealthy merchant and patron of the opera as well as being widowed with an uneasy relationship with his stepson Don (Gareth Hughes).

In The Midnight Girl (1925), Lugosi plays Nicholas Harmon, a wealthy merchant with an affair with Anna, a beautiful young soprano. In one scene, he attempts to seduce Anna but she resists him; ultimately he pounces, showing himself more of a villainous type than any romantic hero would be.

As time passed, Lugosi’s popularity began to fade. Nevertheless, he still believed he would become a major star again and even considered reprising his role in another Ed Wood film, The Ghoul Goes West.

He had a successful career, yet was careless with money and spent it frivolously. He purchased several large homes and expensive pieces of art that never appreciated in value, leading to an increasingly precarious financial situation for himself.

After a series of unfortunate events, Lugosi’s life began to spiral out of his control. He ultimately put his health in jeopardy by checking himself into a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.

At a younger age, Lugosi had an affair with actress Clara Bow. According to reports, they began their union after watching him perform Dracula on stage.


Bela Lugosi’s interest in acting began at a tender age. Although his parents, an upper middle class family, disapproved of this career choice, he supported himself by working in mines and as a railroad worker until 18 years old when his sister persuaded her husband to give him a role in a traveling theater troupe.

In 1920, the Hungarian actor moved to Vienna and Berlin before eventually settling in New York City and becoming an American citizen. He made several silent films while living there and became a major star on Broadway before appearing as Dracula in 1927’s Dracula adaptation for Universal Pictures.

Lugosi experienced financial difficulty and became a drug addict in his later years. He lived beyond his means and often had difficulty paying for food, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. Finally, in 1955 he committed himself to a state hospital in Norwalk, California for rehabilitation.

Lugosi persevered despite his financial struggles, continuing to make movies. He often played roles that would have been beneath him if it weren’t for his unique and grandiose acting style; particularly good at portraying ape-men and vampires.

He was often funny in his roles. In some of the Frankenstein films, he played laboratory assistant Ygor. In other more humorous roles, he played a mad scientist who battled an octopus giant in Bride of the Monster and another mad scientist who devoured people in Plan 9 from Outer Space.

At the very end of his life, Lugosi collaborated on three incredibly low-budget science fiction films with director Ed Wood Jr. He narrated one, Glen or Glenda?, and played a cryptic narrator in another; these have now become beloved cult favorites for their unintentionally hilarious natures.