Name: Bela Ferenec Dezso Blasko
Birth: October 20, 1882
Death: August 16, 1956
“Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they play,” is just one of the many iconic lines Bela Lugosi said in his star role of Count Dracula in 1931’s Dracula.
Even after more than 50 years after his death, Lugosi remains an iconic figure in the world of classic movies and horror. He defined the image and characteristics of a vampire; the cape, his charming and suave attitude, and of course his aversion to sunlight and crosses and his affinity for blood. We can see these traits in the majority of vampire movies that have been produced since Dracula.
Real Name: William Henry Pratt
Birth: November 23, 1887
Death: February 2, 1969
Boris Karloff is arguably Universal Studio’s most well-known horror actor and icon. He was made famous in 1931 for his role as the Monster in Frankenstein at 44-years-old.
Before Frankenstein, Karloff struggled as an actor and had small roles in numerous silent films. Lon Chaney, the big horror star of the time, was friendly with him and gave him advice on how to succeed in the industry. “Find something no one else can or will do and they’ll begin to take notice of you.” This is something Chaney did throughout his career by playing painful roles, and it’s what Karloff found a few years later when he became the Monster.
Name: Leonidas Frank Chaney
Birth: April 1, 1983
Death: August 26, 1930
“Don’t step on it! It might be Lon Chaney!” was the popular 1920s catchphrase for one of Universal’s first horror movie stars, Lon Chaney. His ability to completely transform himself using makeup made the public believe that he never appeared on film wearing his own face, which coined him the name “Man of a Thousand Faces.”
Chaney was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado to two deaf and mute parents. Throughout his childhood, he learned to communicate through pantomime, sign language, and facial expressions, which is credited as to why he was such a great silent film actor.