clock menu more-arrow no yes
Bela Lugosi in 'Dracula.'
Bela Lugosi in 'Dracula.'
Wikimedia Commons

Touring Bela Lugosi's Los Angeles haunts and hangouts

View as Map
Bela Lugosi in 'Dracula.'
| Wikimedia Commons

Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugosi helped usher in a golden age of horror films and rode the wave for as long as he could. He arrived in Los Angeles by way of New York, where he picked up enough English to get roles (small ones) onstage.

His biggest break came in a stage production of Dracula, where his accent and general Hungarianness worked in his favor, and he was later tapped to play the blood-sucking count in Tod Browning's 1931 Dracula film. Lugosi, like so many actors, came to Los Angeles to make it big, but the path to his now legendary status was tumultuous and ultimately tragic.

What came after Lugosi's brief success as Dracula was a decades-long ebb and flow of interest in his acting skills. Lugosi wanted roles other than scary vampires, or scary vampire-like characters, but he also always needed money, and was often obliged to take whatever part he was offered. (The biography The Immortal Count: The Life and Films of Bela Lugosi and other sources suggest that Lugosi's money troubles were well-known in Hollywood and, because it was known he'd come cheap, he was chronically underpaid.) As a result of these money troubles, and sometimes as a cause of them, Lugosi famously moved all over town, living in a handful of houses and apartments across the city.

Below is a guide to many of the Los Angeles locations where Lugosi worked, played, lived, and suffered.

Read More

1. Biltmore Theater

Copy Link
520 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
The stage production of Dracula, fresh off Broadway in New York, opened here in 1928, with Lugosi as Dracula. (A second production followed in 1929, this time at the Music Box Theater.) He got rave reviews and, through the play's success and multiple runs, caught the eye of MGM director Tod Browning, who would go on to direct Lugosi in the film version of Dracula. The Biltmore Theater was demolished in 1964. Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

2. Ambassador Hotel

Copy Link
3400 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010
While Lugosi was playing Dracula in stage productions, he lived at the Ambassador Hotel. During the time that he was in residence there, he reportedly made good use of its many luxurious amenities, like "a golf course, tennis courts, and a swimming pool with a real sand 'beach.'" The massive hotel was demolished in 2005 to make way for a massive school complex. Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

3. Hollywood Athletic Club

Copy Link
6525 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
When he signed his contract with Universal Pictures and received the final script for the film version of Dracula, Lugosi was calling the architecturally exciting Hollywood Athletic Club home. The 1924 building was built by Grauman's Chinese Theater architects Meyer & Holler. Today it's an event space and filming location. [Image via

4. 2227 Outpost Drive

Copy Link
2227 Outpost Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90068
According to the book The Immortal Count, Lugosi bought this house in the high-end Outpost Estates subdivision in 1935 for $30,000, during a time when he was rolling high, financially. Here Lugosi had a "swimming pool, guesthouse, servants, and a yard where his beloved dogs could run." The house was built as a model home by the developer of Outpost Estates, Charles E. Toberman, and was "immediately purchased" by Lugosi. It was said to be made of "all steel" and, as such, was fire-proof, termite-proof, and earthquake-proof. The estate was so nice, Toberman later lived there himself.

5. 2835 Westshire

Copy Link
2835 Westshire Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90068
According to Lugosi: His Life in Films, on Stage, and in the Hearts of Horror Lovers, Lugosi and his wife Lillian moved into this Beachwood Canyon house soon after he appeared in the 1934 film The Black Cat, though other sources say he lived here from 1936 to 1937. Lugosi moved around a lot, so it's hard to keep track, but this house has done a really good job of trumping up its Dracula history. It sold in December 2014 for $3.775 million.

6. Hollywood Sign

Copy Link
Mount Lee Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 258-4338
Lugosi's "greatest enjoyment" in his peak years were the "nature hikes" he'd take up to the Hollywood Sign (then the Hollywoodland sign) or to the Mullholland Dam. His fourth wife, Lillian, is quoted in The Immortal Count describing their routine: Lugosi would hike up to the sign while she'd wait in the car with their Great Danes. When he would give her a signal, she'd let the dogs loose "so they could run up to him," and then she'd bring up the rear. Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

7. 3714 Lankershim Boulevard

Copy Link
3714 Lankershim Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90068
In 1937, Lugosi's fortunes had turned and not for the better. He was hurting for cash, the bank was about to take his house, and his wife Lillian was pregnant. In the end, the bank repossessed the house and he and Lillian moved to this one on Lankershim Drive. (A pretty nice place for a broke guy.) They were still living there by most accounts in 1938, when his son, Bela Lugosi Jr., was born. According to The Immortal Count, money was so short, Lugosi couldn't even pay the hospital bills, and had to apply to the Motion Picture Relief Fund for help.

8. 10841 Whipple Street

Copy Link
10841 Whipple St
North Hollywood, CA 91602
Lugosi's house here was reportedly his favorite of the many places he lived. It's since been replaced by a collection of apartments.

9. Metropolitan State Hospital

Copy Link
11400 Norwalk Blvd
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
In April 1955, Lugosi, divorced from Lillian and ravaged by a drug habit (morphine, methadone), checked himself into the "psychopathic" ward at Los Angeles General Hospital. He ended up being sent to the Metropolitan State Hospital for rehab, and there he stayed until early August of that same year. Less than a month after his release, he "married his fifth wife, an obsessed fan who reportedly sent him a letter every day he was in the hospital." Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

10. 5620 Harold Way

Copy Link
5620 Harold Way
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Lugosi, married for a fifth time, moved into an apartment here sometime after getting out of the state hospital on August 5, 1955. A year had barely passed when he died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956.

11. Holy Cross Cemetery

Copy Link
5835 W Slauson Ave
Culver City, CA 90230
Bela Lugosi's final real estate is here, at the Holy Cross Cemetery. He was supposedly buried in his Dracula costume. Image via IllaZilla

1. Biltmore Theater

520 W 5th St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
The stage production of Dracula, fresh off Broadway in New York, opened here in 1928, with Lugosi as Dracula. (A second production followed in 1929, this time at the Music Box Theater.) He got rave reviews and, through the play's success and multiple runs, caught the eye of MGM director Tod Browning, who would go on to direct Lugosi in the film version of Dracula. The Biltmore Theater was demolished in 1964. Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
520 W 5th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

2. Ambassador Hotel

3400 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90010
While Lugosi was playing Dracula in stage productions, he lived at the Ambassador Hotel. During the time that he was in residence there, he reportedly made good use of its many luxurious amenities, like "a golf course, tennis courts, and a swimming pool with a real sand 'beach.'" The massive hotel was demolished in 2005 to make way for a massive school complex. Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
3400 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90010

3. Hollywood Athletic Club

6525 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
When he signed his contract with Universal Pictures and received the final script for the film version of Dracula, Lugosi was calling the architecturally exciting Hollywood Athletic Club home. The 1924 building was built by Grauman's Chinese Theater architects Meyer & Holler. Today it's an event space and filming location. [Image via
6525 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028

4. 2227 Outpost Drive

2227 Outpost Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
According to the book The Immortal Count, Lugosi bought this house in the high-end Outpost Estates subdivision in 1935 for $30,000, during a time when he was rolling high, financially. Here Lugosi had a "swimming pool, guesthouse, servants, and a yard where his beloved dogs could run." The house was built as a model home by the developer of Outpost Estates, Charles E. Toberman, and was "immediately purchased" by Lugosi. It was said to be made of "all steel" and, as such, was fire-proof, termite-proof, and earthquake-proof. The estate was so nice, Toberman later lived there himself.
2227 Outpost Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90068

5. 2835 Westshire

2835 Westshire Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90068
According to Lugosi: His Life in Films, on Stage, and in the Hearts of Horror Lovers, Lugosi and his wife Lillian moved into this Beachwood Canyon house soon after he appeared in the 1934 film The Black Cat, though other sources say he lived here from 1936 to 1937. Lugosi moved around a lot, so it's hard to keep track, but this house has done a really good job of trumping up its Dracula history. It sold in December 2014 for $3.775 million.
2835 Westshire Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90068

6. Hollywood Sign

Mount Lee Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90068
Lugosi's "greatest enjoyment" in his peak years were the "nature hikes" he'd take up to the Hollywood Sign (then the Hollywoodland sign) or to the Mullholland Dam. His fourth wife, Lillian, is quoted in The Immortal Count describing their routine: Lugosi would hike up to the sign while she'd wait in the car with their Great Danes. When he would give her a signal, she'd let the dogs loose "so they could run up to him," and then she'd bring up the rear. Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Mount Lee Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90068

7. 3714 Lankershim Boulevard

3714 Lankershim Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90068
In 1937, Lugosi's fortunes had turned and not for the better. He was hurting for cash, the bank was about to take his house, and his wife Lillian was pregnant. In the end, the bank repossessed the house and he and Lillian moved to this one on Lankershim Drive. (A pretty nice place for a broke guy.) They were still living there by most accounts in 1938, when his son, Bela Lugosi Jr., was born. According to The Immortal Count, money was so short, Lugosi couldn't even pay the hospital bills, and had to apply to the Motion Picture Relief Fund for help.
3714 Lankershim Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90068

8. 10841 Whipple Street

10841 Whipple St, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Lugosi's house here was reportedly his favorite of the many places he lived. It's since been replaced by a collection of apartments.
10841 Whipple St
North Hollywood, CA 91602

9. Metropolitan State Hospital

11400 Norwalk Blvd, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
In April 1955, Lugosi, divorced from Lillian and ravaged by a drug habit (morphine, methadone), checked himself into the "psychopathic" ward at Los Angeles General Hospital. He ended up being sent to the Metropolitan State Hospital for rehab, and there he stayed until early August of that same year. Less than a month after his release, he "married his fifth wife, an obsessed fan who reportedly sent him a letter every day he was in the hospital." Image via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
11400 Norwalk Blvd
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

10. 5620 Harold Way

5620 Harold Way, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Lugosi, married for a fifth time, moved into an apartment here sometime after getting out of the state hospital on August 5, 1955. A year had barely passed when he died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956.
5620 Harold Way
Los Angeles, CA 90028

11. Holy Cross Cemetery

5835 W Slauson Ave, Culver City, CA 90230
Bela Lugosi's final real estate is here, at the Holy Cross Cemetery. He was supposedly buried in his Dracula costume. Image via IllaZilla
5835 W Slauson Ave
Culver City, CA 90230