The 19 Most Memorable Actors Who Played Dracula In Film & TV

The 19 Most Memorable Actors Who Played Dracula In Film & TV

by | Jun 4, 2021

Dracula is arguably the best and most iconic horror monster of all time. There have been many different interpretations of the character, and we’ve rounded up the best castings of this iconic fanged menace across films and TV below! Here are The 19 Most Memorable Actors Who Played Dracula In Film & TV.

 

The Actors who Played Dracula - Bela Lugosi - 1931
The Actors who Played Dracula - Bela Lugosi - 1931

Bela Lugosi – 1931

Bela Lugosi’s performance as the vampire Count Dracula, in the 1931 adaption, is widely acknowledged as the definitive portrayal of the character. The film is based on a 1920s stage adaptation of Stoker’s novel, where Lugosi’s played the count. His Hungarian accent, halting speech and costume all carried over various iterations of Dracula. Dracula’s big collar comes from a stage trick which would see the character disappear into thin air. The collar hid Lugosi disappearing through a trap door, leaving the cloak hanging, until dropped.

 

lon chaney jr
lon chaney jr

Lon Chaney Jr. – 1943

Lon Chaney Jr. was given the role of Dracula in Son of Dracula (1943). This made him the only actor to portray all four of Universal’s major horror characters: the Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s Monster, the Mummy, and Count Dracula. Son of Dracula was the first film that showed  Dracula’s transformation from man to bat onscreen.

 

The Actors who Played Dracula - Bela Lugosi - 1931
John Carradine

John Carradine – 1944/1966

John Carradine played Count Dracula multiple times in House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945) and Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966). Doom of Dracula (1966) was an eight minute short film adapted from all the Dracula scenes in House of Frankenstein, resurrected Carradine’s role one last time.

 

Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee – 1950s / 1970s

Christopher Lee has played Dracula mores times in film than any other actor. He starred as Dracula in nine movies between 1958 and 1974, many of which were for Hammer Horror, which had a loosely continued Dracula story that stretched three decades.

 

Klaus Kinski
Klaus Kinski

Klaus Kinski – 1979

Klaus Kinski was a German actor who actually cut his teeth on the vampire world in the 1970 Dracula film as R.M. Renfield. In 1979 he donned the big cap in West German movie Nosferatu the Vampyre, which was actually filmed twice, one in English and one in German.

 

Frank Langella
Frank Langella

Frank Langella – 1979

Frank Langella played the title character of Dracula in the 1979 film and on stage during the Broadway revival, and was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance. Langella, like Bela Lugosi, never wore fangs for the role of Dracula.

 

George Hamilton
George Hamilton

George Hamilton – 1979

George Hamilton starred as Count Vladimir Dracula in the 1979 comedy Love At First Bite. Hamilton utilizes an accent that both evoked and parodied Bela Lugosi’s from Dracula (1931).

 

Duncan Regehr
Duncan Regehr

Duncan Regehr – 1987

Portrayed with extreme menace by Canadian actor Duncan Regehr, The Monster Squad starred Regehr as Dracula, who leads the ultimate monster mash up from 1987. The comedy horror film has become a cult classic over the years.

 

Gary Oldman
Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman – 1992

Gary Oldman played Dracula in the Oscar winning film Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This was the first film where Dracula is directly named as Vlad Tepes, most commonly known as Vlad the Impaler. Oldman hired a singing coach to help him lower his voice by an octave to help him give Dracula a more sinister quality.

 

Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen – 1995

Leslie Nielsen parodied Dracula in Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), the final theatrical feature film directed by Mel Brooks. Much of the dialogue from the original classic Dracula (1931) picture is repeated here and spoofed. This includes the film’s star Nielsen doing a spoof-impersonation of the famed Bela Lugosi.

 

Gerard Butler
Gerard Butler

Gerard Butler – 2000

Gerard Butler tested his teeth skills when he starred in Dracula 2000. The Weinstein Company bought the script knowing it was awful, but fancied their hands at making a Dracula movie. Butler was given a break from filming The Cherry Orchard (1999) so that he could star in the film.

 

Richard Roxburgh
Richard Roxburgh

Richard Roxburgh – 2004

Richard Roxburgh portrayed Dracula in Van Helsing, a film that tried to turn the classic story on it’s head and launch a series of films, but bad reviews stopped those plans. Hugh Jackman played the titular Van Helsing who must take on Dracula to save the world. Roxburgh plays Dracula while Silvia Colloca plays Verona, one of his brides. In real life, Roxburgh and Colloca are married to one another. They met during filming and got married the following year. Roxburgh also did his own wire work stunts.

 

The Actors who Played Dracula - Bela Lugosi - 1931
Dominic Purcell

Dominic Purcell – 2004

The third Blade film, Blade: Trinity (2004), featured Dominic Purcell as Dracula alongside Wesley Snipes as the titular anti-hero. The production was so troubled due to studio interference that Snipes appeared to have had some sort of mental breakdown and refused to do many scene, or speak dialogue on set. Dominic did all of his stunts in the sword fight sequence against Blade.

 

Keith-Lee Castle
Keith-Lee Castle

Keith-Lee Castle – 2006/2014

Keith-Lee Castle is best known for playing the role of Count Dracula, a single father of two in the CBBC’s Young Dracula. The show aired from 2006 to 2014, with Castle appearing in every episode. David Bowie turned down the role of Count Dracula in the show.

 

Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Jonathan Rhys Meyers

Jonathan Rhys Meyers – 2013/2014

Jonathan Rhys Meyers played Dracula in a short-lived television series called Dracula, a reimagining of Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. The was cancelled after a single season of ten episodes.

 

Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler - The 19 Most Memorable Actors Who Played Dracula In Film & TV

Adam Sandler – 2012

Better known for his live action comedy films, Adam Sandler voiced Count Dracula for the animated movie Hotel Transylvania in 2012. The film stars Sandler as a more friendlier Dracula who builds a resort in Transylvania to help other monsters to hide from humans. Dracula’s wife and the infant version of Mavis are voiced by Sandler’s wife and daughter.

 

Thomas Kretschmann
Thomas Kretschmann

Thomas Kretschmann – 2012

Thomas Kretschmann played the fanged menace in Dracula 3D, Dario Argento’s sexy spin on the classic tale about the sharp-toothed count. This was not Kretschmann’s the first vampire rodeo, he played a vampire Overlord Eli Damaskinos in Blade ll (2002). He also went on to play Professor Abraham Van Helsing ion the short lived Dracula (2013) TV series.

 

The Actors who Played Dracula - Bela Lugosi - 1931
Luke Evans - The 19 Most Memorable Actors Who Played Dracula In Film & TV

Luke Evans – 2014

In Universal very first attempt at creating a shared universe, Luke Evans stepped into the shoes of Dracula for the 2014 film Dracula Untold, which chronicled Dracula’s turn from man to monster. Once again, the character is depicted as Vlad Tepes and shows his transformation in order to protect his kingdom.

 

Claes Bang
Claes Bang

Claes Bang (2020)

Claes Kasper Bang is a Danish actor and musician who stepped into the role of Dracula for an ambitious modern take on the legend for the BBC. Created by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat, the film follows Dracula who awakes from a deep underwater sleep, to find himself in modern day London. To prepare for the role, Bang watched as many Dracula interpretations as he could.

 

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