Bela Lugosi’s portrayal as Count Dracula by Tod Browning in his 1931 film remains a fascination and horror.
Some might argue that Bela Lugosi was the greatest vampire. But who was this night creature?
Koren Shadmi is the author and illustrator “Lugosi: The Rise and Fall of Hollywood’s Dracula, “Inside Edition Digital spoke to him about his role and its impact on his career.
“As far as vampires go, he was the best vampire, “Shadmi shared his thoughts about the Hungarian actor.
He claims that his career began in Europe. He eventually moved to New York, where he worked as an actor in theater plays.
“He was the first person in the United States to play the role of Count Dracula in the theater,” He pointed out. “Then that led to the legendary role in the Tod Browning movie from 1931.
“This Hungarian accent is so impressive that it can be seen in the portrayal of Count Dracula today.” he continued. “He has a European feel to him and that he brought to the character, this European gentleman.”
Shadmi added that Lugosi brought some refinement to the character.
“This was one of the more original aspects of Dracula’s portrayal of the vampire who is a gentleman,” he said. “He is more than just a ghoul. You have the hidden monster beneath him, this charming and educated man.
“I think there’s something timeless about the movie, it’s set in another period, and it has this slow-moving hypnotic pace,” He concluded. “There’s something kind of powerful about the first depiction of this seminal figure in horror.”
Shadmi says that Lugosi was blessed with Dracula as a part of his blessings.
“Dracula was the height of his career,” He stated. “He was in many other great movies, but he never reached that same level of fame.”
He was often cast as a villain in horror films and appeared in 99 films during his career.
“One of my favorites is ‘The Black Cat,'”Shadmi stated. “It’s one of his first collaborations with Boris Karloff, and it’s just an amazing Art Deco, creepy, eerie movie that you wouldn’t see today. He was also in the Ed Wood movies, considered some of the worst movies of all time.”
Bela Lugosi died in 1956 at the age of 73, but his Dracula lives on.
“He makes the audience believe that there’s a very dark side to him. And there was a dark side to him, “He stated. “I wouldn’t say, definitely not evil, but he was struggling with demons throughout his life. And he’s able to translate that to his performances.
“He is very evil, and his performances are quite demonic,” Shadmi said. “I believe that he has the power to do that.”