Bela Lugosi was born with the splendid
Be'la Ferenc Dezso Blasko
on October the 20th, 1882 in Lugos, Hungary. His father was a bank manager, his mother fulltime on Childcare duties as young Bela was one of four children.
He volunteered during World War I and was commissioned as an infantry lieutenant. He was wounded three times and awarded two medals for bravery.
He married his childhood sweetheart Ilona Szmik in 1917 but was divorced in 1920 and arrived in New York City in December of the following year.
He was naturalised as an American citizen in late 1931 and just over a year later, married Lillian Arch (1933 - 1951) with whom he produced his most lasting work, Bela Legosi Jr. (1938 - ?).
He also helped to organise the Screen Actors Guild in the mid-30's, joining as member number 28.
He died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956 and was buried in his full Dracula costume, including the opera cloak.
According to Vincent Price, when he and Peter Lorre went to view Bela's body during the funeral, Lorre, upon seeing Lugosi dressed in his famous Dracula cape, quipped, "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?"
His son, Bela Lugosi Jr. practices law in Los Angeles, California.