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1 Legendary Actor Almost Played All The Classic Univeral Monsters

1 Legendary Actor Almost Played All The Classic Univeral Monsters

While many actors have played more than one classic horror monster, only one legendary actor came very close to playing all of them.

Universal’s classic monsters have been adapted to various movies for decades, and though there have been actors who have played more than one, only one legendary actor came very close to almost playing all the monsters. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Universal Pictures released a series of horror movies based on different monsters. The success of the films and the popularity of the characters led Universal to market them under the brand name Universal Studios Monsters, and these movies saw some of the most iconic performances in the history of horror movies.

The first movie from this brand was Dracula, released in 1931 and starring Bela Lugosi as the famous Count Dracula. Dracula was followed by monsters like Frankenstein’s creature, the Mummy, the Wolf Man, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Universal’s classic monster movies were key in boosting the careers of now iconic horror actors, such as Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, but only one of them came very close to almost playing all the monsters: Lon Chaney Jr.

Lon Chaney Jr. Played Four Of Universal’s Classic Monsters

Lon Chaney Jr as Wolf Man

Lon Chaney Jr’s career began in 1922, but he found success in Universal’s classic monster movies, starting in 1941 with The Wolf Man. Chaney Jr. played Larry Talbot, who after being bitten on the chest by a wolf, becomes the title Wolf Man. Chaney Jr. reprised his role of Wolf Man in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (with Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein’s monster), House of Frankenstein (with Glenn Strange as the monster), House of Dracula (with John Carradine as the Count), and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.

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In 1942, Chaney Jr. played Frankenstein’s monster in The Ghost of Frankenstein, and that same year, he starred in The Mummy’s Tomb as Kharis, the title mummy. Chaney Jr. played the mummy again in The Mummy’s Ghost, in 1944, and again that same year in The Mummy’s Curse. In 1943, Chaney Jr. played Alucard in Son of Dracula, who was actually Count Dracula, though that reveal came in the third act of the story. In total, Lon Chaney Jr. played four of the six classic monsters from Universal, and almost followed in his father’s footsteps – the also legendary Lon Chaney, known as “The Man of a Thousand Faces” – as he screen-tested for the role of Quasimodo for the 1939 remake of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, one of his father’s most famous horror roles along with The Phantom in 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera.


Christopher Lee & Boris Karloff Also Played More Than One Classic Monster

Christopher Lee as Frankenstein's monster

Boris Karloff also played more than one monster in Universal’s classic monster movies, starting with Frankenstein’s monster in 1931’s Frankenstein. Karloff reprised his role as the monster in Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein, and in 1932, he played Imhotep/the mummy in the original version of The Mummy. Though not considered as one of Universal’s classic monsters, in 1953 Karloff played Dr. Henry Jekyll in Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Although not part of Universal’s classic monster movies, Christopher Lee also played three of the classic monsters. First, Lee played Frankenstein’s monster in 1957’s The Curse of Frankenstein, and the following year, he starred as Count Dracula in Dracula. Lee reprised his role as the most famous vampire of all nine times between 1966 and 1976. In 1959, Lee played Kharis/the mummy in The Mummy, but he never played that role again. So far, no actor has played all six classic monsters, and Lon Chaney Jr.’s record will be hard (though not impossible) to break.

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