Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. Though this blog has been discontinued, you can get your Maysville Kentucky fix over at Ken Downing's Mason County Kentucky Blog @ http://masoncountyky.blogspot.com

Comments: The Bela Lugosi Connection

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Jeremy said...

I have a list of Maysville Kentucky actors and actresses up at:

http://maysvillexplorer.com/blog/1/entries/40/2005-12-Maysville-Kentucky-Actors-and-Actresses

and Ken reminded me of Henry Wadsworth. I was a bit surprised at the connection as I love classic horror films.

7:53 PM
Ron said...

Ha !!! That's pretty impressive detective work Jeremy !

7:21 AM

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The Post:

The Bela Lugosi Connection


Film actor Bela Lugosi, best known as Bram Stoker's Dracula
Long before any of the Clooneys set out west to Hollywood, and really just as the motion picture industry was getting its footing, two Maysville Kentucky natives made their mark in film. Lorimer Johnston (1858 - 1941) and Henry Wadsworth (1897 - 1974) both had long careers in Hollywood. Johnston was a actor, writer, and director between the 1910s and 1940s, and Wadsworth was an actor through the 1930s and 1940s. Neither had a break-out role that made them super-famous like George, Rosemary, or Nick Clooney, but their careers were remarkable nonetheless.

The two men were born almost forty-years apart and I couldn't find any sources that said the two men were friends or even knew each other. And yet, they have a surprising connection that ties the classic horror film genre to our very own Maysville Kentucky. Both men starred in Bela Lugosi films.

Bela Lugosi was the stage name of actor Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (1882 - 1956). You know him as Dracula. He was the actor who played the starring role in the 1931 classic vampire movie Dracula by Bram Stoker. Oddly Lugosi was born in what is now Romania, the setting for the classic vampire story. After Dracula, Lugosi found himself typecast as a horror villain and went on to make dozens of other horror and sci-fi films until his death in 1956. It's a huge body of work. He even appeared post-mortem in Ed Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space that featured a clip of him filmed a short time before he died.

Back to our Maysville stars: Lorimer Johnston starred with Bela Lugosi in the 1939 film Son of Frankenstein (we've mentioned that before at this blog). Henry Wadsworth starred with Bela Lugosi as well, four years earlier in the 1935 film Mark of the Vampire.

So now, in addition to the George Clooney six degrees of separation between Maysville Kentucky and Kevin Bacon (George is from Maysville, starred in Ocean's Eleven with Brad Pitt, who starred in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon), we now have a more historical connection. Henry Wadsworth starred in Mark of the Vampire with Lionel Barrymore, who is the great-uncle of Drew Barrymore, who starred in Charlie's Angels II with Demi Moore, who starred in A Few Good Men with... Kevin Bacon.