LUGOSI: The Man Behind the Cape by Robert Cremer

LUGOSI: The Man Behind the Cape

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You fools! You think with your wafers, your wolf's-bane, you think that you can destroy me, me, the king of my kind? You shall see!"" A sensual aura glows from his greenish skin; his fiery eyes squint, then widen in fiendish frenzy. ""I AM DRACULA!"" Or rather Bela Lugosi, in costume at his full-length dressing-room mirror--he'd stand there for fifteen minutes, psyching himself for a magnetic stage entrance. Few fans ever saw Lugosi at the top of his form. He was a devastating romantic actor on road shows in his native Hungary, playing Shakespearean leads or Graustarkian nonsense with equal zest. Widely read in current events, an easy conversationalist on any subject, a devotee of the good life of wine, young women (they made him younger), gypsy music, and cigars--a great partygiver. But then came the Hollywood typecasting as a horror actor: of his films only Dracula, White Zombie, and his Ygor in Son of Frankenstein were worthy of him--well, depending on your taste. His fate was sealed when he turned down the monster's role in Frankenstein because it had no lines fitting for the matinee idol he still fancied himself. In the end, after four marriages to child-women, he inflated his drug habit for press purposes and to become a ward of the court. Buried in his famed cape, he was an often foolish man loved by many. A far more intense and rich portrayal than last year's The Count.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1976
Publisher: Regnery