'Dracula' Star's Iconic Cape Added to Auction
Before the glittering vampires of Twilight and the sex-obsesssed bloodsuckers of True Blood, there was Bela Lugosi’s Dracula.
The iconic cape worn by Hungarian-born actor in 1931’s Dracula film will be available at auction, among other items owned by Lugosi’s family.
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Lugosi’s starring role in Dracula led him to a carreer of horror roles, including “Ygor” in Son of Frankenstein (1939); “Dr. Mirakle” in Murders In the Rue Morgue (1932); “’Murder’ Legendre” in White Zombie (1932); “Sayer of the Law” in Island of Lost Souls (1932) and “Frankenstein Monster” in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man in 1943.
But he will always be remembered for playing the vampire that started it all. And now one lucky – and wealthy – person will become the owner of his signature cape.
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Prior to his death in 1956, Bela Lugosi gave the cape to his wife of 20 years, Lillian Lugosi, and the mother of Bela Jr., telling her that it was the cape from the film and to keep the cape for his son. Upon Lugosi's death in 1956, the family decided that he should be buried in his Dracula costume. Given Bela Lugosi’s wish that his son should have the cape, the family dressed the body in a lighter weight version of the cape he used when making personal appearances. Lillian retained the original 1931 cape and left it, along with her other possessions, to Bela Jr. upon her death in 1981. The auction pre-sale estimate is $1,500,000 - $2,000,000.
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The “Icons of Hollywood Auction” will include the cape, along with other items that belonged to the horror film star including Bela's own near mint Dracula jumbo lobby card, The Return of the Vampire original U.S. title-card, a U.S. title card from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, and a selection of vintage photographs from the Lugosi family album, amongst others.
The “Icons of Hollywood” auction, which is set for Dec. 15-17, will also feature a pair of screen used Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz, the DeLorean from Back to the Future III, and Marilyn Monroe's wedding ring from her marriage to Joe DiMaggio.