Bela (Blaskó) Lugosi

Bela Ferenc Dezső (Blaskó) Lugosi (1882 - 1956)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Bela Ferenc Dezső Lugosi formerly Blaskó
Born in Lugos, Kingdom of Hungary,map
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 1917 (to 1920) [location unknown]
Husband of — married about 27 Jul 1929 (to 9 Dec 1929) in California, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 1933 (to 1953) [location unknown]
Husband of — married 24 Aug 1955 (to 16 Aug 1956) in Los Angeles, California, United Statesmap
Father of [private son (1930s - unknown)]
Died in Los Angeles, California,
Profile manager: Matt Pryber private message [send private message]
Profile last modified 19 Jun 2019 | Created 19 Aug 2014
This page has been accessed 1,493 times.


Notables Project
Bela (Blaskó) Lugosi is Notable.

Bela Ferenc Dezső Blaskó was born on October 20, 1882 in Lugos in the Kingdom of Hungary. His parents were István Blaskó and Paula de Vojnich. He was the youngest of four children.

Bela was raised as Roman Catholic. When he was 12 years old, he dropped out of school. And by his late teens, he began his acting career (around 1901-1902). It was around this time that he took on the last name of "Lugosi", which came in part from the name of his home town. He began by taking on roles in small theaters throughout Hungary and was only interrupted by the onset of World War I. During WWI (1914-1916), he served as an infantryman for the Austrio-Hungary Army and fought on the Russian front as a member of the Ski Patrol. He received the Wound Medal for injuries suffered in the fighting.

When he returned from the war, he married his first wife, Ilona Szmik around 1917. The couple had no children, and by 1920 they had divorced, reportedly over political differences with her parents.

Bela was an activist around the time leading up to the Hungarian Revolution of 1919, and ended up fleeing the country, travelling to Germany, and eventually ending up in the United States around 1920. He appeared in 12 Hungarian silent films, several German films, and when he arrived in the US, he started off again on the stage for a number of years. In 1927, he starred in a theater version of Dracula, which was very popular. When the movie version was being cast (1930-1931), Lon Chaney was originally considered for the part, but due to his popularity in the theater, they cast Lugosi instead.

Around this time, he married Beatrice Weeks (in 1929), however, they divorced 4 months later as she claimed infidelity. It was rumored at the time that he was having an affair with actress Clara Bow. He denied such rumors. He later married Lillian Arch (in 1933).

Bela was typecast as a horror movie villain for many years, although he did what he could to break out of the mold. By the late 1930's and early 1940's, he resigned to the fact that Hollywood wanted him primarily in this role. In 1938, Bela and Lillian had a child, Bela G. Lugosi, Jr. Bela Sr. continued acting through the 1940's both in movies and theater, however, he developed severe issues with sciatica that affected his ability to perform. It also addicted Bela to pain killers, which ended up putting his career on hiatus.

By the 1950's, Bela had moved into near obscurity when a director by the name of Ed Wood sought out Bela and offered him roles in his movies. Initially his voice was used to narrate movies, but eventually he began acting again. Ed was a fan of Bela, and helped him seek medical help for his pain and addictions. Apparently even Frank Sinatra visited Bela in the hospital and paid for some of his medical expenses. Bela's final film was in 1955.

Bela and his wife Lillian divorced in 1953. He married once more in 1955 to Hope Lininger. She remained with him until his death. Bela Lugosi died in 1956 of a heart attack. He was buried wearing one of his Dracula cape costumes and interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver, California. He was 73 years old at the time.


  • "California, County Marriages, 1850-1952," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Oct 2014), Bela Lugosi and Hope Louise Lininger, 24 Aug 1955; citing p. 63, , California, United States; FHL microfilm 1343448.
  • "California, Southern District Court (Central) Naturalization Index, 1915-1976," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 11 March 2018), Bela Lugosi, 1931; citing Naturalization, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1525 (United States: National Archives and Records Service, Los Angeles Branch, 2016).
  • "New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 12 March 2018), Bela Lugosi, 1939; citing Immigration, New York, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Oct 2014), Bela Lugosi, Los Angeles (Districts 0001-0250), Los Angeles, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 0047, sheet 9A, family 193, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 133.
  • "United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Oct 2014), Bela Lugasi, Councilmanic District 1, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Township, Los Angeles, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 60-53, sheet 61B, family 643, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 376.
  • "United States World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 8 November 2017), Bela Lugosi, 1942; citing NARA microfilm publication M1936, M1937, M1939, M1951, M1962, M1964, M1986, M2090, and M2097 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Is Bela your ancestor? Please don't go away!
 star icon Login to collaborate or comment, or
 star icon contact private message the profile manager, or
 star icon ask our community of genealogists a question.
Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of Bela's DNA have taken a DNA test.

Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 1

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
There are more sources on his FamilySearch FamilyTree profile; I don't have time (or patience) to add them all here, but I've used the FamilySearch Connections app to link the two profiles.
posted by J Palotay

Bela is 22 degrees from Donald Howard, 18 degrees from Julia Howe and 20 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.