Bela Lugosi – the Hungarian actor who rose to fame in (and as) Dracula, only to be both typecast as a horror star and then rapidly eclipsed in the genre by rival Boris Karloff – had a tumultuous life of B movies, drug addiction and multiple marriages. Arguably, his low rent horror films are more interesting than many of the bigger budget movies of the era – they are certainly a lot livelier. And any man who ended his career working with the legendary Edward D. Wood Jr is okay by us.
There are few interviews with Lugosi around – he was dead before horror fandom came into its own. So these clips, stage-managed and hokey as they are , should be treasured.
Here’s an episode of the Intimate Interviews series, with Bela talking to Dorothy West. Worth sticking around for the end of this one.
Here he is interviewed in 1951, after returning to the USA after making the lamentable Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire (aka Vampire Over London).
And here he is in 1955, shortly before his death, being interviewed after leaving a sanitarium where her was being treated for drug addiction.
And here, in happier times, is Bela putting the bite on Betty Boop (played by Bonnie Poe) in Hollywood On Parade.