Breckenridge American (Breckenridge, Tex.), June 3, 1953
HOLLYWOOD, Calif,., June 3 (U.P.) – Film horror star Bela Lugesi, (sic) 68, the Hungarian-born movie “Dracula,” was accused by his fourth wife Wednesday of being ‘cruel and inhuman’ in their homw.
Mrs. Lillian Lugosi, 41, filed suit for divorce Tuesday, charging Lugosi had caused her “great mental pain, anguish, suffering and humiliation.” The couple married Jan. 31, 1933, in Las Vegas, Nev., and separated last month.
The Miami News, June 3, 1953
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 3, 1953
Star Of Horror Films Now Seeking Divorce
LOS ANGELES, June 2 (AP) – Bela Lugosi, star of horror movies, was sued for divorce today.
Mrs. Lugosi, the former actress Lillian Arch, charged cruelty. She and Lugosi, 68, have been married 20 years. They were estranged in 1944 but in 1945 she dropped a divorce suit. This time the separation occurred last May 1.
Mrs. Lugosi asked custody of their son, Bela George, 15, and $50 a month support for him, plus $1 a month token alimony. Her attorney said the couple is attempting to work out a property settlement.
The Evening Gazette, June 3, 1953
HOLLYWOOD, June 3 (INS) – Bela Lugosi, noted for his roles in horror movies, today faces divorce suit by former actress Lillian Arch for “cruel and inhuman conduct.”
The action brought yesterday marks the second time in recent years that Mrs. Lugosi has sought divorce. She filed similar action in 1944, but dismissed the suit a year later after a reconciliation.
In her recent suit she stated the couple separated last May 1. They have been married for 20 years.
Los Angeles Times, June 3, 1953
Barrier Miner, June 4, 1953
FILM HORROR STAR SUED
Los Angeles, Wed.: The wife of Bela Lugosi, star of many horror film, including “Dracula,” has sued for divorce on the ground of cruelty. Mrs. Lugosi, the former actress Lillian Arch, and Lugosi (68) have been married 20 years.
Spokane Daily Chronicle, July 18, 1953
LOS ANGELES, July 18. (AP) – Actor Bela Lugosi, portrayer of horror roles in the movies, was pictured as jealous by his third wife when she obtained a divorce yesterday.“He kept me under his thumb 24 hours a day,” testified Lillian Arch Lugosi, 41, former actress. “He checked up on me when I went to the dentist’s office; he charged me with infidelity.” They were married 20 years ago and have a 15-year-old son, whose custody was given to the mother.
The Sunday Herald, July 19, 1953
Bela Lugosi Divorced
LOS ANGELES, July 18 (A.A.P.) – Lillian Arch Lugosi, 41, the third wife of “horror” actor Bela Lugosi, 68, won a divorce yesterday on the ground of cruelty.
She said that he was jealous and listened in on his mother-in-law’s telephone calls.
“He kept me under his thumb 24 hours a day,” Mrs. Lugosi said. “He also checked up on me when I went to the dentist. He charged me with infidelity.”
Mrs. Lugosi filed an earlier divorce suit in 1944, but withdrew it after a reconciliation.
The Lugosis were married 20 years ago and have a son, Bela junior, aged 15.
Sunday Times (Perth), July 19, 1953
Los Angeles, Sat.: Third wife of “horror” actor Bela Lugosi, 68, won a divorce today, testifying he was jealous and had even listened in on his mother-in-law’s telephone calls. “He kept me under his thumb 24 hours a day,” said former actress, Lillian Arch Lugosi, 41. “He also checked up on me when I went to the dentist. He charged me with infidelity.” She charged cruelty. Once before, in 1944, she filed a divorce suit, but withdrew it when they were reconciled a year later. Lugosis were married 20 years ago and have a son, Bela jnr., aged 15.
The Canberra Times, July 20, 1953
Odd Stories On World News Front
LOS ANGELES: The third wife of “horror” actor Bela Lugosi, aged 68, won a divorce here after testifying he was jealous and even listened in on his mother-in-law’s telephone calls. “He kept me under his thumb 24 hours a day,” said former actress, Lillian Lugosi, 41. “He also checked up on me when I went to the dentist.” The Lugosis were married 20 years ago and have a son, Bela junior, aged 15. Mrs. Lugosi won her divorce after charging cruelty. Once before, in 1944, she filed a divorce suit, but withdrew it when they were reconciled a year later.
Townsville Daily Bulletin (Queensland), July 22, 1953
LOS ANGELES, July 21. – Horror actor, Bela Lugosi, 68, was so jealous he eavesdropped when his wife telephoned her mother.
His third wife, Lillian, said this in the Divorce Court. She won her case on cruelty grounds.
Mrs. Lugosi said, “He kept me under his thumb 24 hours a day. He also checked up on me when I went to the dentist, and charged me with infidelity.”
She filed a divorce suit in 1944, but withdrew it when they were reconciled a year later.
Lugosis were married 20 years ago. They have a son, Bela jnr., 15.
The Portsmouth Times, August 15, 1953
So They Say
He kept me under his thumb 24 hours a day. – Mrs Lillian Lugosi divorces Bela (Dracula) Lugosi.
Reading Eagle, October 30, 1953
By BOB THOMAS
Hollywood, Oct. 30 (AP) – Tonight being the night before Halloween and all that, I decided to pay a call on that famed menace, Bela Lugosi.
As I approached his residence, I thought I recognized the place. It was a dark old house of the kind you see in Charles Addams’ cartoons. But I was doomed to disappointment. Lugosi lived next door in a modern apartment.
I rang the bell and Lugosi answered. Another disappointment. No cloak, no devilish appearance. In fact, he was amazingly handsome for his 65 years. He was attired in a dressing robe and puffed a cigar. He ushered me into the apartment, just like inner sanctum.
“Hey, what are you going to do Halloween?” I asked eagerly.
“I have no plans,” he replied wearily. “I told my agent to find me a TV job, but I haven’t heard from him. I’m open to suggestions – if there is money involved.”
“How about the house next door? It looks nice for haunting.”
“Oh, yes, that.”
“What about holding a wake with Boris Karloff? Are you two on spooking terms?”
Friend of Karloff
“I haven’t seen Boris for two or three years. Yes, we are friends. I started him out on his career as a boogeyman. After I did ‘Dracula’ at Universal, they wanted me to do the monster in ‘Frankenstein.’
“But when I tested the makeup, it was heavy and painful. Then I read the script. I didn’t have a word of dialog. I got out of the role by having my doctor say it would be bad for me. I suggested Karloff for the role. You might say I created my own Frankenstein monster – competition for horror roles.”
“But you’ve been able to scare up a good living, haven’t you?”
“I’ve managed to get by. But it is tough being typed only as a boogeyman. Ever since I did ‘Dracula’ on the New York stage in 1927, I have been able to do nothing else but menace. Yet I played romantic leads before that. I was the John Barrymore of Hungary.
“Alas, producers cannot see me in anything but horror roles. They say they know I can do other things, but they fear the public will not accept me as anything different.”
Some of Lugosi’s worldly goods went at public auction a couple of days ago, fittingly enough in Halloween week. I asked him about this.
“As you know, I was divorced a few weeks ago,” he explained. “My wife took what belongings she wanted, and I took enough for this three-room apartment. I auctioned the rest.”
Nothing Spooky in Apartment
His belongings were strewn about the apartment, into which he had just moved. There was nothing spooky about them at all. There were many paintings, including a willow nude and a life-size portrait of Lugosi as a young actor.
“I’m sorry I can’t offer you a drink,” he remarked. “I’m a member of A.A. You know – alcoholics anonymous. No, I was never a problem drinker; I never missed a performance or got involved with the police. But I found drinking was bad for my health.
“So I joined A.A. to find help through God. I attend meetings three or four times a week and get a great deal of benefit from them: You’d be surprised how many well-known actors, producers and directors attend, too.
“I tried to give up drinking three or four times before, but I never succeeded. Now I’m free of it. And I’ve thrown out all my medicine and dismissed my doctor.”
Lugosi added that the horror circuit is on the upbeat. His future films include “The Atomic Monster,” “The Vampire’s Tomb” and “The Ghoul Goes West.” Say – I like that last one.