Pencils on paper 33×24 cm
Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956), better known as Bela Lugosi, was a Hungarian-American actor, famous for portraying Count Dracula in the original 1931 film and for his roles in various other horror films. He had been playing small parts on the stage in his native Hungary before making his first film in 1917, but had to leave the country after the failed Hungarian Revolution. He had roles in several films in Weimar Germany before arriving in America as a seaman on a merchant ship. In 1927, he appeared as Count Dracula in a Broadway adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel, where he was talent-spotted as a character actor for the new Hollywood talkies. He would appear in the classic 1931 Dracula by Universal Pictures. Through the 1930s, he occupied an important niche in popular horror films, with their East European setting, but his Hungarian accent limited his repertoire, and he tried unsuccessfully to avoid typecasting. Meanwhile, he was often paired with Boris Karloff, who was able to demand top billing. To his frustration, Lugosi was increasingly restricted to minor parts, kept employed by the studio principally for the sake of his name on the posters. By this time, Lugosi had been receiving regular medication for sciatic neuritis, and he became addicted to morphine and methadone. This drug dependence was noted by producers, and the offers eventually dwindled down to a few parts in Ed Wood’s low-budget movies. Lugosi died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956, while lying on a couch in his Los Angeles home. Lugosi was buried wearing one of the Dracula Cape costumes, per the request of his son and fifth wife, in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. His gestures and his hypnotic look made him famous all over the world.