William of Lugos

BelaLugosiHeadstone

Headstone of Bela Lugosi at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City

His real name was Béla Ferenc Dezsö Blaskó, but that didn’t sound cool enough for the title role in Universal Pictures’ new film Dracula (1931). Béla, or William as it’s translated into English, was born in Lugos in then Austro-Hungarian Empire. Now it is known as Lugoj and is located in Rumania. And, just so you know, in Transylvania, near Timisoara, known by the Hungarians as Temesvár. So Béla Lugosi is none other than William of Lugos.

By the way, his name is really pronounced BAY-lah LOO-gauche-ee, with the accent on the first syllable of first and last name.

Martine has always loved Lugosi’s acting. In fact, on her favorite sweater, she wears a metal pin of a 32¢ stamp issued in his honor, as shown below:

1997 USPS Stamp Commemorating Famous Monsters of Hollywood

1997 USPS Stamp Commemorating Famous Film Monsters of Hollywood

Martine has a set of DVDs for Lugosi’s films; and when we visit Holy Cross Cemetery, we always check out his grave on a hillside near a grotto.

It always surprises me how many famous people don’t have any flowers or other marks of family or fan affection by their graves. Note, however, that there is a little votive candle by the bottom right of Béla’s headstone.