The Golden Age of Hollywood

By which I mean, who's your favorite actor to portray the Count, of course. A possible but not exhaustive list of candidates:
Max Schreck
Bela Lugosi
Carlos Villarias ('31 Spanish-Language version)
The Manniquin in the Coffin in DRACULA'S DAUGHTER
Lon Chaney, Jr.
John Carradine
Francis Lederer (RETURN OF DRACULA, '58)
Christopher Lee
David Peel (BRIDES OF DRACULA, '60)
Denholm Elliot (BBC TV, late 60s...I know, I know, WHO has ever seen THAT?)
Paul Naschy (sometimes he played something else besides a Polish werewolf!)
Charles MacCauley (in BLACULA)
Jack Palance (TV)
David Niven (OLD DRACULA)
Louis Jourdan (BBC TV '76)
Klaus Kinski
Frank Langella
Gary Oldman
Willem Dafoe
Mark Warren (BBC TV, recently)
Richard Roxburgh (VAN HELSING)
I might reiterate that I mean the Count himself, not simply movie vampires patently based on the Lugosian tradition (such as Jonathan Frid in DARK SHADOWS, German Robles in the Mexican EL VAMPIRO films, the guy with the cardboard teeth in the Jean Rollin films) or of vaguely Nosferatoid visage (Reggie Nalder in the original SALEM'S LOT) and certainly not those that have played Vlad the Impaler, such as the Romanian Actor Stefan Sileanu in the Romanian film of the same name, or the guy on the USA Network movie whose name escapes me, nor ones who simply hijack the name, such as COUNTESS DRACULA.

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Replies to This Discussion could I have forgotten Willem? (Technically, he's playing someone playing Drac, but we won't split hairs to that degree...)
They great John Carradine played Dracula THREE times, in HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN ('44), HOUSE OF DRACULA ('45) and BILLY THE KID VS. DRACULA ('65)
Palance was quite good, though I kept expecting him to say "Prove it!" when threatened by Van Helsing...
Oh, and sorry about the awkwardness of my replies...always look at the bottom of the list, not right after your comments--the Web Blocker here where I use the Internet doesn't like 'Chat' and somehow prorogues my replying directly to a comment. Thank you, George Orwell...
For myself, I guess I still prefer Lugosi over all, in spite of the fact that his performance isn't the Literary original...however stereotyped his portrayal has become, he still exudes menace in a way that few of his successors manage, and he was, after all, the very first Dracula I ever saw, on an old Super 8 movie nearly 40 years ago. Much as I like John Carradine generally, Universal should have hired Lugosi for the role (and he wanted it, too) in the 'House' movies of the '40s, but the studio was mad at him. Christopher Lee is great, and gave his own spin to the role, but have you ever noticed that the totality of Lee's dialogue in all of his Dracula performances combined does not add up to those of Lugosi in the single original film? What were those Hammer writers thinking, sacrificing such great vocal talent as Lee's?
Shreck..the wreck...Lugosi....Defoe(the part where he tells how he had to learn to cook and clean for himself is one of the saddest moments..should a been included in more Drac Pics)..LEE....Kinski(altho hes a good Renfield too.."!..We can't film in a real asylum..I'm afraid they'll want to keep you!)....Oldham(I like the overall terrific movie more than him..He's abit on the annoyingly hammy side in the beginning with his big Do)..Francis Lederer( could have been really effective in a bigger badder production..Hes pretty menacing).."oh I hope he likes cheese sauce on his Assparagus"
Much as i love Christopher Lee ( and that is MUCH!), Bela is the ultimate Drac! John Carradine also portryed Dracula in the Mexican-wrestling classic with masked wrestling great Mil Mascaras in LOS VAMPIRAS and played Drac again in NOCTURNA: The DISCO VAMPIRE- Dracula's Grand-daughter! The others are just posers! ( Ok, MAX SHRECK Rocks!)
Sad part is, I own this one!
great poster..I love Mexi-monster art..I see Drac is sporting the deluxe Queen Isabela collar..
What is absolutely un-nerving is that this film opens with John Carradine walking down the stairs turning to the cameras and.....speaking spanish!! Now That's Scary!
as count floyd used to say...prrretty scary eh kids??.........OK so its not so scary! :o/
I wish i could have seen Rudy Valentino play a sexy romantic Dracula. =) But, i haven't seen all these actors play Dracula. But, i enjoyed Frank Langella and maybe Christopher Lee the most. Max Schreck is maybe the scariest one. I missed seeing David Niven play it. Maybe Jack Palance.
Chris Lee for me as the favorite Drac. Granted he played the bloodsucker as a snarling beast most of the time, but he had such presence that you couldn't ignore him if you wanted to. Of course Bela Lugosi would have to rank right up there with Lee. If possible, I'd give them both top billing as Dracula. All the rest pale, no pun intended, in comparison.
Well, I just came back from the mailbox and found HORROR OF DRACULA waiting for me -- hooray for netflix.

It's been years since I have seen it, but I am excited at the prospect.


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