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Blood count

Happy 75th birthday, Count Dracula! My, isn't the icing on the cake a particularly tasty-looking shade of red.

It might seem odd to assign an age to someone so famously undead. But Feb. 12, 1931, was the premiere of ''Dracula," with Bela Lugosi in the title role (right). It's easily the most famous of the many films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel about a certain cape-wearing Transylvanian with idiosyncratic ideas about blood transfusion.

Dracula is one of those rare characters, like Sherlock Holmes or Frankenstein, who takes on a life (an undeath?) all his own. So long as the sun has set, and there is no garlic, wolfsbane, or crucifix to be seen, the good count can be found all over.


10 other actors who've played Dracula

John Carradine, ''House of Frankenstein," 1944
Christopher Lee, ''Dracula," 1958 (and at least eight other movies)
Jack Palance, ''Dracula," 1973
David Niven, ''Vampira," 1974
Udo Kier, ''Andy Warhol's Dracula," 1974
George Hamilton, ''Love at First Bite," 1979
Frank Langella, ''Dracula," 1979
Gary Oldman, ''Bram Stoker's Dracula," 1992
Leslie Nielsen, ''Dracula: Dead and Loving It," 1995
Richard Roxburgh, ''Van Helsing," 2004

5 Lugosi movies in which he doesn't play Dracula
''Murders in the Rue Morgue," 1932
''International House" (with W.C. Fields!), 1933
''Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man,"1943
''Glen or Glenda," 1953

Actors who might want to consider the part

Christopher Walken, John Malkovich, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie

Music to watch 'Dracula' by

''Blues for Dracula," 1958 Philly Joe Jones album
''Ballad of Dwight Fry," track on 1971 Alice Cooper album ''Love It to Death" (Dwight Frye, who used an ''e," played Renfield, the estate agent driven insane by Lugosi in ''Dracula")
''Songs for Drella," Lou Reed-John Cale song cycle in honor of Andy Warhol (whose nickname, ''Drella," combined ''Dracula" and ''Cinderella")
Specially commissioned Philip Glass score to the Lugosi ''Dracula," 1998

10 non-Dracula vampire movies
''Nosferatu," 1922
''Vampyr," 1932
''The Fearless Vampire Killers," 1967
''Blacula," 1972
''The Hunger," 1983
''Innocent Blood," 1992
''Interview With the Vampire," 1994
''Blade," 1998
''Shadow of the Vampire," 2000
''Underworld," 2003

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