Happy birthday, Bela!

Today marks Bela Lugosi‘s 130th birthday. His was a career marked with major ups and downs, but he seems to have retained a positive outlook, for the most part.

The interview below was conducted in 1950 (or perhaps ’51) when Lugosi returned to the United States after eight months in London filming a picture he refers to as Vampire Over London (it was also known as Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire and My Son the Vampire).

Oddly, Bela seems unclear whether the picture was a comedy, but given that it was an Old Mother Riley vehicle—Old Mother Riley, an Irish cleaning lady, was a popular comical music hall character created and played for twenty years by Arthur Lucan (and then portrayed by Roy Rolland for another twenty years), it should have been obvious.

Lucan made 16 Mother Riley pictures, of which …Meets the Vampire was the last.

Bela, bless his heart, would make just five more pictures before his passing in 1956, and three of those were Ed Wood Jr. pictures—not the stellar finish to his career one might have hoped for, but he was in there plugging till the end.

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