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The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi

by Arthur Lennig

Availablepaperback$45.00x 978-0-8131-2661-6
Out of Printcloth$39.95 978-0-8131-2273-1
Out of Printleather$100.00s 978-0-8131-2302-8
560 pages  Pubdate: 08/01/2010  6 x 9  117 b&w photos

In the 1931 film Dracula, Bela Lugosi set the standard for horror film villainy. Though many actors have donned the cape since that first production, remnants of Hungarian-born Lugosi’s portrayal continue to surface in popular culture—from highly prized memorabilia to a character on Sesame Street. After a decade of trying vainly to broaden his range, Lugosi gave up his ambitions and began to support himself with roles that were all in some way a variation of the first. Ultimately, Lugosi became a sad parody of his former self, and the last years of his life were marked by financial crises, family turmoil, and drug addiction. Offering new insights into the films and personality of an actor who could not overcome Hollywood typecasting, The Immortal Count is the definitive account of Lugosi’s tragic life.

Arthur Lennig, emeritus professor of cinema at the University of Albany, is the author of Stroheim and several other books on silent film.

The definitive account of Lugosi’s tragic life and times. -- Turner Classic Movies

A moving, lively, witty, sad book that revives once more the long dead Count Dracula. -- Kirkus Reviews

Will stand for a long time as the definitive book about the man who incarnated Dracula, to the great detriment of his career. -- Lexington Herald-Leader

In this intelligent biography, Lennig details the talented Hungarian-born actor's five marriages, drug addictions, feuds with Boris Karloff, and appearances in Ed Wood's humiliating movies, drawing on firsthand information, archives, interviews, and years of research. -- Library Journal

This book is long overdue and is highly recommended as biography, film history and pop culture. It is the last word on Lugosi. -- National Board of Review

Lennig's lifelong worship of his subject adds an intensely personal flavor to this biography of the complex horror king, which shines in its ability to respect Lugosi's talent, regardless of personality flaws. -- Publisher's Weekly

Remains passionately personal in its outlook, but thanks to new research and greater availability of films it also offers a more comprehensive and richly detailed study of Bela Lugosi's complex personality. -- Paul M. Jensen

One comes away from Lennig's book with a deep respect for both Lugosi and the author himself. -- Scary Monsters Magazine

A moving, lively, witty, sad book that revives once more the long dead Count Dracula. -- Kirkus