‘Dracula’ Premieres in New York
America’s passion for vampires began on this day in 1931 as Universal Picture’s Dracula premiered. The first in a long string of “classic” monster movies, Dracula was directed by Tod Browning and starred Bela Lugosi, who had been playing the role in the play version of the Bram Stoker story. Lugosi wasn’t Browning’s first choice for the character. Nor was he the second, third or…you get the idea. Newspapers reported that some people fainted in shock at the horror on screen, which pleased Universal as it help assure them that the film would be a big hit. The role was a blessing and a curse for Lugosi, who became forever tied to the character. His last role was for Plan 9 from Outer Space in 1959. It was directed by Ed Wood and is considered one of the worst movies ever made.
- 1809: Charles Darwin (theorist)
- 1809: Abraham Lincoln (American president)
- 1915: Lorne Greene (actor)
- 1953: Joanna Kerns (actress)
- 1968: Josh Brolin (actor)
- 1968: Chynna Phillips (singer)
- 1969: Darren Aronofsky (film director)
- 1980: Christina Ricci (actress)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.