TEN OF MY FAVOURITE HORROR ACTORS

Over the years I have watched many movies of various genres, with horror being my preferred diet. One of my earliest memories is hiding behind the sofa getting scared witless by the Wolfman.

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Listed below are some of my favourite horror actors in no particular order :-

01.  BELA LUGOSI

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Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (20 October 1882 – 16 August 1956), commonly known as Bela Lugosi, was a Hungarian actor of stage and screen. He was best known for having played Count Dracula.

At the age of 12, Lugosi dropped out of school. He began his acting career probably in 1901 or 1902. His earliest known performances are from provincial theatres in the 1903–1904 season, playing small roles in several plays and operettas. He went on to Shakespeare plays and other major roles. Moving to Budapest in 1911, he played dozens of roles with the National Theatre of Hungary in the period 1913–1919.

During World War I, he served as an infantry lieutenant in the Austro-Hungarian Army from 1914 to 1916. There he rose to the rank of captain in the ski patrol and was awarded a medal for being wounded at the Russian front.

Due to his activism in the actors' union in Hungary during the time of the Hungarian Revolution of 1919, he was forced to flee his homeland. He first went to Vienna, Austria, and then settled in Berlin, Germany, in the Langestrasse where he continued acting. Eventually, he travelled to New Orleans, Louisiana, United States as a crewman aboard a merchant ship. He made his way to New York and was legally inspected for immigration at Ellis Island in March 1921. He declared his intention to become a U.S. citizen in 1928, and on June 26, 1931, he was naturalized.

On his arrival in America, Béla worked for some time as a laborer, then entered the theater in New York City's Hungarian immigrant colony. He acted in his first Broadway play, The Red Poppy, in 1922. His first American film role came in the 1923 melodrama The Silent Command. Several more silent roles followed, as villains or continental types, all in productions made in the New York area.

Lugosi was approached in the summer of 1927 to star in a Broadway production of Dracula adapted by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston from Bram Stoker's novel. The Horace Liveright production was successful, running 261 performances before touring. He was soon called to Hollywood for character parts in early talkies.

Despite his critically acclaimed performance on stage, Lugosi was not Universal Pictures’ first choice for the role of Dracula when the company optioned the rights to the Deane play and began production in 1930. A persistent rumor asserts that director Tod Browning's long-time collaborator, Lon Chaney, was Universal's first choice for the role, and that Lugosi was chosen only due to Chaney's death shortly before production. This is questionable, because Chaney had been under long-term contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer since 1925, and had negotiated a lucrative new contract just before his death.

Through his association with Dracula (in which he appeared with minimal makeup, using his natural, heavily accented voice), Lugosi found himself typecast as a horror villain in such movies as Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Raven, and Son of Frankenstein for Universal, and the independent White Zombie. His accent, while a part of his image, limited the roles he could play.

Ostensibly due to injuries received during military service, Lugosi developed severe, chronic sciatica. The growth of his dependence on pain-killers, particularly morphine and methadone, was directly proportional to the dwindling of screen offers. In 1943, he finally played the role of Frankenstein's monster in Universal's Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, which this time contained dialogue (Lugosi's voice had been dubbed over that of Lon Chaney, Jr., from line readings at the end of 1942's The Ghost of Frankenstein because Ygor's brain had been transplanted into the Monster). Lugosi continued to play the Monster with Ygor's consciousness but with groping gestures because the Monster was now blind. Ultimately, all of the Monster's dialogue and all references to his sightlessness were edited out of the released film, leaving a strange, maimed performance characterized by unexplained gestures and lip movements with no words coming out. He also came to recreate the role of Dracula a second and last time on film in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948. By this time, Lugosi's drug use was so notorious that the producers were not even aware that Lugosi was still alive, and had penciled in actor Ian Keith for the role.

Late in his life, Bela Lugosi again received star billing in movies when filmmaker Ed Wood, a fan of Lugosi, found him living in obscurity and near-poverty and offered him roles in his films, such as an anonymous narrator in Glen or Glenda and a Dr. Frankenstein-like mad scientist in Bride of the Monster. During post-production of the latter, Lugosi decided to seek treatment for his drug addiction, and the premiere of the film was said to be intended to help pay for his hospital expenses. According to Kitty Kelley's biography of Frank Sinatra, when the entertainer heard of Lugosi's problems, he helped with expenses and visited at the hospital. Lugosi would recall his amazement, since he did not even know Sinatra.

Bela married five times

In 1917, Lugosi married Ilona Szmick. The couple divorced in 1920, reputedly over political differences with her parents.

In 1929, Lugosi took his place in Hollywood society and scandal when he married wealthy San Francisco widow Beatrice Weeks, but she filed for divorce four months later. Weeks cited actress Clara Bow as the "other woman".

In 1933 he married 19-year-old Lillian Arch, the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. They had a child, Bela G. Lugosi, in 1938.

Lillian and Béla divorced in 1953, at least partially because of Béla's jealousy over Lillian taking a full-time job as an assistant to Brian Donlevy on the sets and studios for Donlevy's radio and television series Dangerous Assignment — Lillian eventually did marry Brian Donlevy, in 1966.

Lugosi married Hope Lininger, his fifth wife, in 1955. She had been a fan of his, writing letters to him when he was in hospital recovering from addiction to Demerol. She would sign her letters 'A dash of Hope'.

Lugosi died of a heart attack on August 16, 1956, while lying on a couch in his Los Angeles home. He was 73. 

Lugosi was buried wearing one of the Dracula Cape costumes, per the request of his son and fourth wife, in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California. Contrary to popular belief, Lugosi never requested to be buried in his cloak; Bela G. Lugosi confirmed on numerous occasions that he and his mother, Lillian, actually made the decision but believed that it is what his father would have wanted.

02.  CHRISTOPHER LEE
 
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Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ (born 27 May 1922) is an English actor and dancer. Lee initially portrayed villains and became famous for his role as Count Dracula in a string of Hammer Horror films. Other notable roles include Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003), and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (2002, 2005). He has collaborated with director Tim Burton in five films, most recently with Dark Shadows(2012).
 
He considers his best role to be that of Lord Summerisle in the British cult classic The Wicker Man (1973), which he also believes to be his best film. Lee is well known for his deep, strong voice and imposing height. He has performed roles in 275 films since 1946 making him the Guinness World Record holder for most film acting roles ever.He was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009, and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011.
 

Lee was born in Belgravia, Westminster, as the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Trollope Lee, of the 60th King's Royal Rifle Corps, and his wife, Contessa Estelle Marie (née Carandini di Sarzano).His parents separated when he was very young, and his mother took him and his sister to Switzerland. After enrolling in Miss Fisher's Academy in Wengen, he played his first villainous role as Rumpelstiltskin. The family returned to London, where Lee attended Wagner's private school, and spent some time at Summer Fields School.

Lee volunteered to fight for the Finnish forces during the Winter War against the Soviet Union in 1939; however, he along with other British volunteers were kept away from actual fighting, although he was issued winter gear and was posted on guard duty a safe distance from the frontlines. He went on to serve in the Royal Air Force and intelligence services during World War II, including serving as an Intelligence officer with the Long Range Desert Group. He trained in South Africa as a pilot, but eyesight problems forced him to drop out. He eventually ended up in North Africa as Cipher Officer for No. 260 Squadron RAF and was with it through Sicily and Italy. Additionally, serving in Special Operations Executive. Lee retired from the RAF after the end of the war with the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

In 1946, Lee gained a seven-year contract with the Rank Organisation after discussing his interest in acting with his mother's second cousin Nicolò Carandini, the Italian Ambassador. Carandini related to Lee that performance was in his blood, as his great-grandmother Marie Carandini had been a successful opera singer, a fact of which Lee was unaware. He made his film debut in Terence Young's Gothic romance Corridor of Mirrors in 1947.He was a student at the Rank "charm school".

Lee's first film for Hammer was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), in which he played Frankenstein's monster, with Peter Cushing as the Baron.A little later, Lee co-starred with Boris Karloff in the film Corridors of Blood (1958), but Lee's own appearance as Frankenstein's monster led to his first appearance as the Transylvanian vampire in the 1958 film Dracula.

Lee returned to the role of Dracula in Hammer's Dracula Prince of Darkness in 1965.Lee's performance is notable in that he has no lines, merely hissing his way through the film. This film set the standard for most of the Dracula sequels in the sense that half the film's running time was spent on telling the story of Dracula's resurrection and the character's appearances were brief. Lee has gone on record to state that he was virtually "blackmailed" by Hammer into starring in the subsequent films; unable or unwilling to pay him his going rate, they would resort to reminding him of how many people he would put out of work if he did not take part.

His roles in the films Dracula Has Risen From The Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), and Scars of Dracula (1970) all gave the Count very little to do, but were all commercially successful. Although Lee may not have liked what Hammer was doing with the character, worldwide audiences embraced the films, which are now considered classics of the genre. Lee starred in two further Dracula films for Hammer in the early 1970s, both of which attempted to bring the character into the modern-day era. These were not commercially successful.

Lee's other work for Hammer included The Mummy (1959). Lee portrayed Rasputin in Rasputin, the Mad Monk (Lee apparently met Rasputin's assassin Felix Yussupov when he was a child) and Sir Henry Baskerville (to Cushing's Sherlock Holmes) in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). Lee later played Holmes himself in 1962's Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace.

He was responsible for bringing acclaimed occult author Dennis Wheatley to Hammer. The company made two films from Wheatley's novels, both starring Lee. The first, The Devil Rides Out (1967), is generally considered to be one of Hammer's crowning achievements. According to Lee, Wheatley was so pleased with it that he offered the actor the film rights to his remaining black magic novels free of charge. However, the second film, To The Devil a Daughter (1976), was fraught with production difficulties and was disowned by its author. Although financially successful, it was Hammer's last horror film and marked the end of Lee's long association with the studio that brought him fame.

Lee also appeared in horror films for other companies during the 20-year period from 1957 to 1977. Other films in which Lee performed include the series of Fu Manchu films made between 1965 and 1969, in which he starred as the villain in heavy oriental make-up; I, Monster (1971), in which he played Jekyll and Hyde; The Creeping Flesh (1972); and his personal favourite, The Wicker Man (1973), in which he played Lord Summerisle.

He has been married to the Danish model Birgit "Gitte" Kroencke Lee since 1961. They have a daughter named Christina Erika Carandini Lee, 

On his 90th Birthday (27th of May 2012) he announced the release of his first heavy metal single "Let Legend Mark Me As the King". The single is from his upcoming album "Charlemagne: The Omens of Death". The music was arranged by Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest) and features World Guitar Idol Champion, Hedras Ramos.

03.  PETER CUSHING
 
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Peter Wilton Cushing, OBE (26 May 1913 – 11 August 1994) was an English actor, known for his many appearances in Hammer Films, in which he played the distinguished-looking but sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing, amongst many other roles, often appearing opposite Christopher Lee, and occasionally Vincent Price. His most famous roles outside of "Hammer Horror" include his many appearances as Sherlock Holmes, as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars (1977) and as the mysterious Doctor in Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. in 1965 and 1966, two cinema films based on the television series Doctor Who.
 
Cushing was born in Kenley, Surrey, and was brought up in Kenley and in Dulwich, South London. Cushing left his first job as a surveyor's assistant to take a scholarship at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After working in repertory theatre in Worthing, Sussex,he left for Hollywood in 1939, debuting in The Man in the Iron Mask, then returned in 1941 after roles in several films.
 
His first appearances in his two most famous roles were in Terence Fisher's films The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958). Cushing is closely associated with playing Baron Victor Frankenstein and Van Helsing in a long string of horror films produced by Hammer Film Productions. He later said that career decisions for him meant choosing roles where he knew the audience would accept him. "Who wants to see me as Hamlet? Very few. But millions want to see me as Frankenstein so that's the one I do."
 
In the mid-1960s, he played the Doctor in two films (Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.) based on the television series Doctor Who. He decided to play the part as a lovable, avuncular figure to escape from his image as a "horror" actor. "I do get terribly tired with the neighbourhood kids telling me 'My mum says she wouldn't want to meet you in a dark alley'." he said in an interview in 1966.
 
Cushing played Sherlock Holmes many times, starting with Hammer's The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959), the first Holmes film made in colour. Cushing seemed a natural for the part and he played the part with great fidelity to the written character - that of a man who is not always easy to live with or be around - which had not been done up to that point. He followed this up with a performance in 16 episodes of the BBC series Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes (1968), of which only six episodes remain. Finally, Cushing played the detective in old age, in The Masks of Death (1984) for Channel 4.
 
In 1971, Cushing withdrew from the film Blood from the Mummy's Tomb when his wife died. He and actress Helen Beck (8 February 1905 – 14 January 1971) had been married since 1943. The following year, he was quoted in the Radio Times as saying, "Since Helen passed on I can't find anything; the heart, quite simply, has gone out of everything. Time is interminable, the loneliness is almost unbearable and the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that my dear Helen and I will be reunited again some day. To join Helen is my only ambition. You have my permission to publish that... really, you know dear boy, it's all just killing time. Please say that."
 
In his autobiography, he implies that he attempted suicide the night that his wife died, by running up and down stairs in the vain hope that it would induce a heart attack. He later stated that this was a hysterical reaction to his wife's death, and that he was not consciously trying to end his life - a poem left by his wife urged him not to end his life until he had lived it to the full, and thus he felt that ending his life would have been letting his wife down. Though he didn't consider himself religious he also had strong ethical beliefs.
 
In 1986 Cushing appeared on the BBC TV show Jim'll Fix It, his wish being to have a strain of rose named after his late wife Helen Cushing.
 
The effects of Helen's death proved physical as well. For his role in Dracula AD 1972, Cushing had been intended to play the father of Stephanie Beacham's character, but had visibly aged so much and lost so much weight that the script was hastily rewritten to make him her grandfather. In a quiet tribute to Helen, a shot of Van Helsing's desk shows a photo of her.
 
In 1976, he was cast in Star Wars, which was shooting at Elstree Studios, Borehamwood. He appeared as Grand Moff Tarkin, despite having originally been considered for the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Cushing found accepting the role in a science fiction fantasy easy. "My criterion for accepting a role isn't based on what I would like to do. I try to consider what the audience would like to see me do and I thought kids would adore Star Wars."
 
After Star Wars, Cushing continued appearing in films and television sporadically, as his health allowed. In 1982, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, but managed to survive for the remaining 12 years up to his death without surgery,though his health was precarious.

In 1989, Cushing was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, though his close friend Christopher Lee publicly opined that this was "too little, too late." He retired to Whitstable, on the Kent coast, where he had bought a seafront home in 1959, and continued his hobby of birdwatching, and to write two autobiographies. Cushing worked as a painter, specialising in watercolours, and wrote and illustrated a children's book of Lewis Carroll-style humour, The Bois Saga.

His final professional engagement was as co-narrator of Flesh and Blood, the Hammer Heritage of Horror, produced by American writer/director Ted Newsom. His narration was recorded in Canterbury near his home. The show was first broadcast in 1994, the week before his death.

Cushing died of prostate cancer on 11 August 1994, aged 81 in Whitstable, Kent, where he was well known as a local celebrity resident and had a local beauty spot named after him,"Cushing's View". In an interview on the DVD release of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Christopher Lee remarked on his friend's death: "I don't want to sound gloomy, but, at some point of your lives, every one of you will notice that you have in your life one person, one friend whom you love and care for very much. That person is so close to you that you are able to share some things only with him. For example, you can call that friend, and from the very first maniacal laugh or some other joke you will know who is at the other end of that line. We used to do that with him so often. And then when that person is gone, there will be nothing like that in your life ever again".

04.  VINCENT PRICE

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Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993) was an American actor, well known for his distinctive voice and serio-comic performances in a series of horror films made in the latter part of his career.
 
Price was born in St. Louis, Missouri, His grandfather, Vincent Clarence Price, invented "Dr. Price's Baking Powder," the first cream of tartar baking powder, and secured the family's fortune.

Price attended St. Louis Country Day School. He was further educated at Yale in art history and fine art. He was a member of the Courtauld Institute, London. He became interested in the theatre during the 1930s, appearing professionally on stage for the first time in 1935.

Price's first venture into the horror genre was in the 1939 Boris Karloff film Tower of London 

In the 1950s, he moved into more horror films, with a role in House of Wax (1953), the first 3-D film to land in the year's top ten at the North American box office, then The Mad Magician (1954), and then the monster movie The Fly (1958) and its sequel Return of the Fly (1959). Price also starred in the original House on Haunted Hill (1959) as the eccentric millionaire Fredrick Loren. He played Dr. Warren Chapin, in The Tingler, a 1959 horror-thriller film by the American producer and director William Castle. 

In the 1960s, Price had a number of low-budget successes with Roger Corman and American International Pictures (AIP) including the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Tales of Terror (1962), The Comedy of Terrors (1963), The Raven (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), and The Tomb of Ligeia (1965). He starred in The Last Man on Earth (1964), the first adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend. In 1968 Price portrayed witchhunter Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General.

He appeared in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), its sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), and Theatre of Blood (1973), in which he portrayed a pair of campy serial killers.

Price's voiceover is heard on Alice Cooper's first solo album, Welcome to My Nightmare from 1975, and he also appeared in the corresponding TV special Alice Cooper: The Nightmare.

In 1982, Price provided the narrator's voice in Vincent, Tim Burton's six-minute film about a young boy who flashes from reality into a fantasy where he is Vincent Price. That same year, he performed a sinister monologue on the title track of Michael Jackson's Thriller album.

In 1983 he appeared in the film House of the Long Shadows, which teamed him with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and John Carradine. While Price had worked with each one of them at least once in the prior decade, this was the first teaming of all of them together.

His last significant film work was as the inventor in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990).

Price was married three times and fathered a son, Vincent Barrett Price, with his first wife, former actress Edith Barrett. Price and his second wife, Mary Grant Price, donated hundreds of works of art and a large amount of money to East Los Angeles College in the early 1960s in order to endow the Vincent and Mary Price Gallery there. The Vincent Price Art Museum was built to house art works and present exhibits. Their daughter, Mary Victoria Price, was born in 1962. Price's last marriage was to the Australian actress Coral Browne, who appeared with him (as one of his victims) in Theatre of Blood (1973). He converted to Catholicism to marry her, and she became a U.S. citizen for him.

Price was a lifelong smoker. He suffered from emphysema and Parkinson's disease; his symptoms were especially severe during the filming of Edward Scissorhands, making it necessary to cut his filming schedule short.

He died of lung cancer on October 25, 1993, at UCLA Medical Center at the age of 82. He was cremated and his ashes scattered off Point Dume in Malibu, California.

05.  ANTHONY PERKINS

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Anthony Perkins (April 4, 1932 – September 12, 1992) was an American actor. He is best known for playing Norman Bates in Psycho.

Perkins was born in New York City, son of stage and film actor Osgood Perkins and his wife Janet Rane. He was five when his father died. Perkins was a descendant of a Mayflower passenger, John Howland. He attended The Brooks School, The Browne & Nichols School, Columbia University and Rollins College, having moved to Boston in 1942.

Perkins made his film debut in The Actress (1953). He received the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his second film, Friendly Persuasion (1956).

He released three pop music albums in 1957 and 1958  as "Tony Perkins". His single "Moon-Light Swim" was a hit in the United States, peaking at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1957.

Perkins was cast as Norman Bates in the Alfred Hitchcock-directed film Psycho (1960). The film was a critical and commercial success, and gained Perkins international fame for his performance as the homicidal owner of the Bates Motel. Perkins' performance would garner him the Best Actor Award from the International Board of Motion Picture Reviewers.

Perkins reprised the role of Norman Bates in three sequels to Psycho. The first, Psycho II (1983), was a box office success more than 20 years after the original film. He then starred in and directed Psycho III (for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Actor) in 1986, but refused to reprise his role as Bates in the failed television pilot Bates Motel, famously boycotting the project in a very ardent, and well-received, oppositional public campaign. He did play Bates in the following made-for-cable Psycho IV: The Beginning in 1990, over which he had much creative control although he was turned down for director.

Perkins has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an honor he received for his influential and exceptional contributions to the motion picture industry.

Although he was fighting AIDS, the actor appeared in eight television productions between 1990 and 1992, including Daughter of Darkness (1990) with Mia Sara and The Naked Target (1992) with Roddy McDowall. He made his final appearance in In Deep Woods (1992) with Rosanna Arquette.

Perkins married photographer Berinthia "Berry" Berenson On August 9, 1973. They had two sons: actor Oz Perkins (b. February 2, 1974), and musician Elvis Perkins (b. February 9, 1976).

Perkins died on September 12, 1992, from complications of AIDS.He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family. His widow, Berry Berenson, was killed on American Airlines Flight 11 during the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

06.  DOUG BRADLEY

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Douglas William "Doug" Bradley (born 7 September 1954) is an English actor best known for his role as Pinhead in the Hellraiser film series.
 
Bradley was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England. He attended Quarry Bank High School.
 

He is well known for playing the role of the Cenobite Pinhead in eight Hellraiser films (the only exception being the hastily assembled Hellraiser: Revelations), as well as the character of Captain Elliot Spencer in two of the films Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) and Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992). He is one of only five actors to play the same horror character at least six consecutive times, the others being Sir Christopher Lee who portrayed Count Dracula at least seven consecutive times, Robert Englund who portrayed Freddy Krueger eight consecutive times, Warwick Davis who portrayed the Leprechaun six consecutive times and Tobin Bell who portrayed Jigsaw in all seven Saw films.

He has performed narrations on several songs by Cradle of Filth, an English extreme metal band. The first was 2000s "Her Ghost in the Fog".

His last to date was Cradle of Filth's 2008 album, Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder, on most songs. He is playing the role of Gilles de Rais, the person on which the album's concept is based.

2008 brought his return to the Clive Barker cinematic universe by way of a featured appearance in Book of Blood. He also did a small guest star appearance in the 2008 black comic horror "The Cottage". In 2010 he stars also in the Anglo-Spanish horror film Exorcismus and in March 2010 joined Shaun Robert Smith's Nazi Zombie horror The 4th Reich.

In April, 2012 it was announced that Bradley would be joining the cast of Wrong Turn 5 which is set to be released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 23, 2012.

Bradley lives in London. He is a longtime close friend of horror/fantasy novelist Clive Barker, the two having met when they attended secondary school, and has worked with Barker in various capacities (from a theatre group to the Hellraiser films) since the early 1970s. Contrary to his roles in many religiously themed films, such as The Prophecy: Uprising and the Hellraiser franchise, Bradley is a confirmed atheist.

07.  KLAUS KINSKI

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Klaus Kinski (born Klaus Günter Karl Nakszynski18 October 1926 – 23 November 1991) was a German actor. He appeared in more than 130 films, and is perhaps best-remembered as a leading role actor in the films of Werner Herzog, including: Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979).
 
Klaus Kinski was born to German parents in Zoppot, Poland, in the Free City of Danzig. Because of the Great Depression, the family was unable to make a living in Danzig and moved to Berlin in 1931.They settled in a flat in the Wartburgstraße 3, in the district of Schöneberg, and took German citizenship. From 1936 on, Kinski attended the Prinz-Heinrich-Gymnasium in Schöneberg.
 

Kinski was conscripted into the German Wehrmacht sometime in 1943, serving in the army.He saw no action until the winter of 1944, when his unit was transferred to the Netherlands.His obituary in Variety Magazine states that there he was wounded and captured by the British on the second day of combat, but Kinski's autobiography claims he made a conscious decision to desert.He further claims that after being captured by the Germans, court-martialed as a deserter and sentenced to death, Kinski subsequently escaped, hid in the woods and finally surrendered to a British patrol which first had wounded him on the arm.

After being treated for his injuries and interrogated, Kinski was transferred to the prisoner of war "Camp 186" in Berechurch Hall in Colchester, Essex. The ship transporting him to England was torpedoed by a German U-Boat, but managed to arrive safely to its destination.

At the POW camp Kinski played his first theatre roles on stage, taking part in shows intended to maintain morale among the prisoners.Following the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, the German POWs were anxious to return home. Kinski had heard that sick prisoners were to be returned first, and tried to qualify to this category by standing outside naked during the nights, drinking urine and eating cigarettes.He, however, remained healthy and was finally allowed to return to Germany in 1946, after spending a year and four months in captivity.Arriving in Berlin, he saw how the once modern city had been reduced to ruins and was now occupied by Allied troops. Kinski learned his father had died during the war and his mother had been killed in an Allied air attack.

Returning to Germany, and without having ever attended any professional training Kinski started out as an actor, first at a small touring company in Offenburg and already using his new name Klaus Kinski. In 1946, he was hired by the renowned Schlosspark-Theater in Berlin, but was fired by the manager in 1947 due to his unpredictable behavior.

Other companies followed, but his already wild and unconventional behavior regularly got him into trouble.In 1950, Kinski stayed in a psychiatric hospital for three days; medical records from the period listed a preliminary diagnosis of schizophrenia.Around this time he became unable to secure film roles, and in 1955 Kinski twice tried to commit suicide.

Living jobless in Vienna, and without any prospects for his future, Kinski reinvented himself as a monologist and spoken word artist. He presented the prose and verse of François Villon, William Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde among others. Thus he managed to establish himself as a well-known actor touring Austria, Germany, and Switzerland with his shows.

Kinski's first film role was a small part in the 1948 film Morituri.

During the 1960s and 70s, Kinski appeared in various European exploitation film genres, as well as more acclaimed works such as Doctor Zhivago (1965), in which he played an Anarchist prisoner on his way to the Gulag. He relocated to Italy during the late 1960s, and had roles in numerous spaghetti westerns, including For a Few Dollars More (1965), A Bullet for the General (1966), The Great Silence (1968), and A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe (1975). He turned down a role in Raiders of the Lost Ark,describing the script as "moronically shitty".

Eventually, his collaborations with director Werner Herzog brought him to international recognition. In all, they made five films together: Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972), Woyzeck (1978), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982), and finally Cobra Verde (1987).

His last film (which he also wrote and directed) was Kinski Paganini (1989), in which he played the legendary violinist Niccolò Paganini.

Kinski died 23 November 1991 of a heart attack in Lagunitas, California at age 65. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.He was survived by his daughters, Nastassja and Pola, and his son, Nikolai. Nikolai was reportedly the only one of the three to attend his father's funeral.

Noteable horror films include Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Crawlspace (1986) and Vampire in Venice (1988)

08.  BRUCE CAMPBELL

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Bruce Lorne Campbell (born June 22, 1958) is an American film and television actor, director, writer, producer and author. As a cult film actor, Campbell is best known for his role as Ashley J. "Ash" Williams in Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series of films and he has starred in many low-budget cult films such as Maniac Cop, Bubba Ho-tep, Escape From L.A. and Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat. He would later spoof his B-movie career in My Name Is Bruce, in which he starred and directed. In television, Campbell is known for his portrayal of Autolycus (the King of Thieves) in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess.

Campbell was born in Royal Oak, Michigan, the son of Joanne Louise (née Pickens), and Charles Newton Campbell, an amateur actor and traveling billboard inspector. Bruce Campbell is of Scottish descent. He has an older brother, Don, and an older half-brother, Michael Rendine.

Campbell's first wife was Christine Deveau, whom he married in 1983. They had two children, Rebecca and Andy, before their divorce in 1989. Campbell currently lives in Jacksonville, Oregon, with his second wife, costume designer Ida Gearon, whom he met on the set of the movie Mindwarp.

Bruce Campbell began acting as a teenager and soon began making short Super 8 movies with friends. After meeting Sam Raimi in Wylie E. Groves High School, the two became very good friends and started making movies together. Campbell would go on to attend Western Michigan University while he continued to work on his acting career. Campbell and Raimi collaborated on a 30-minute Super 8 version of the first Evil Dead film, titled Within the Woods, which was initially used to attract investors.

A few years later, Campbell and Raimi got together with family and friends and began work on The Evil Dead. Campbell starred and worked behind the camera, receiving a "co-executive producer" credit. Raimi wrote, directed and edited, while fellow Michigander Rob Tapert was producer. Following an endorsement by horror writer Stephen King, the film slowly began to receive distribution. Four years following its original release, it became the number one movie in the UK. It then received distribution in the U.S., spawning two sequels: Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. Campbell's role as Ashley J. "Ash" Williams has since become iconic. The first two films in the series are considered horror classics and are credited with spawning the "horror comedy" genre.

He was also drawn in the Marvel Zombie comics as his character, Ash Williams. He is featured in 5 comics, all in the series Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness. In the comics he fights along side the Marvel heroes against the heroes and people who have turned into zombies (deadites) while in search of the Necronomicon (Book of the Dead).

He has appeared in many of Raimi's films outside of the Evil Dead series, notably cameo roles in the Spider-Man film series. Other roles include Escape From L.A., the sequel to John Carpenter's Escape From New York. Campbell was also the star of the Maniac Cop B-movie series.

In January 2010, he stated in an interview that his new film project is called Bruce vs. Frankenstein.The film is directed and produced by his friend Mike Richardson.

On July 13, 2011, Campbell announced that he would be producing the remake of The Evil Dead along with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert. Campbell will not act in the movie as Ash, but may still make some sort of appearance in the film.

09.  RUTGER HAUER

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Rutger Oelsen Hauer born 23 January 1944) is a Dutch stage, television and film actor. His career began in 1969 with the title role in the popular Dutch television series Floris.. His film credits include Flesh + Blood, Blind Fury, Blade Runner, The Hitcher, Ladyhawke, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Rite.

Hauer was born in Breukelen, in the Netherlands, the town lending its name to New York City's Borough Brooklyn. His parents were drama teachers Arend and Teunke. Rutger grew up in Amsterdam. Since his parents were very occupied with their careers, he and his three sisters (one older, two younger) were brought up mostly by nannies. At the age of 15, Hauer ran off to sea and spent a year scrubbing decks aboard a freighter. Returning home, he worked as an electrician and a joiner for three years while attending acting classes at night school.He went on to join an experimental troupe, with which he remained for five years before Paul Verhoeven cast him in the lead role of the very successful 1969 television series Floris a Dutch Ivanhoe-like medieval action drama. The role made him famous in his native country.

Hauer's career changed course when Paul Verhoeven cast him as the lead in Turkish Delight (1973). The movie found box-office favour abroad as well as at home, and within two years its star was invited to make his English-language debut in the British film The Wilby Conspiracy (1975).

In 1982 appeared in arguably his most famous and acclaimed role as the eccentric, violent, yet sympathetic anti-hero replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott's science fiction thriller, Blade Runner.

In 1985 he played the hardened mercenary Martin in Flesh & Blood ; and the knight paired with Michelle Pfeiffer in the Medieval romance Ladyhawke.

He continued to make an impression on audiences in The Hitcher (1986), in which he was the mysterious Hitchhiker intent on murdering C. Thomas Howell's lone motorist and anyone else who crossed his path. At the height of Hauer's fame, he was even set to be cast as RoboCop in the film directed by old friend Verhoeven, although the role ultimately went to American everyman method actor Peter Weller.

The martial arts action adventure Blind Fury (1989) followed. Hauer then returned to science fiction opposite Joan Chen with Salute of the Jugger (1990), in which he played a former champion in a post-apocalyptic world.

By the 1990s his screen roles, which had increasingly involved low-budget films, including Split Second, which was set in a flooded London after global warming; Omega Doom, another post-apocalyptic story in which he plays a soldier-robot; and New World Disorder, opposite Tara FitzGerald.

From the late 1980s onwards Rutger also appeared in many television series including Merlin; The 10th Kingdom; Smallville; Alias; and Salem's Lot.

On March 4, 2011, it was announced that Hauer would play vampire hunter Van Helsing in legendary horror director Dario Argento's Dracula 3D.

Hauer married his second wife, Ineke, in 1985 (they had been together since 1968); and he has one child, actress Aysha Hauer, who was born in 1966 and who made him a grandfather in 1987.His grandson Leandro Maeder is a fashion model.

10.  CHRISTOPHER WALKEN

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Christopher Walken born March 31, 1943) is an American stage and screen actor.He has appeared in more than 100 movies and television shows, including The Deer HunterThe Prophecy trilogy, Sleepy Hollow, The Dead Zone, A View to a Kill and Pulp Fiction.

Named after actor Ronald Colman, Walken was born Ronald Walken in Astoria, Queens. His mother, Rosalie (née Russell; May 16, 1907 – March 26, 2010), was a Scottish immigrant from Glasgow, and his father, Paul Walken (1903–2001), immigrated from Germany in 1928.

Influenced by their mother's own dreams of stardom, he and his brothers Kenneth and Glenn were child actors on television in the 1950s. Walken studied at Hofstra University on Long Island, but did not graduate. Walken initially trained as a dancer in music theatre at the Washington Dance Studio, before moving on to dramatic roles in theatre and then film.
 
In 1964, he changed his first name to "Christopher" at the suggestion of a friend who believed the name suited him better than his given name.
 
Walken made his feature film debut with a small role opposite Sean Connery, in Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes. In 1972's The Mind Snatchers A.K.A. The Happiness Cage, Walken played his first starring role. In this science fiction film, which deals with mind control and normalization, he plays a sociopathic U.S. soldier stationed in Germany.
 
Walken was considered by George Lucas for the part of Han Solo in Star Wars; the part ultimately went to Harrison Ford.
 
Walken won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Michael Cimino's 1978 film The Deer Hunter. He plays a young Pennsylvania steelworker who is emotionally destroyed by the Vietnam War. To help achieve his character's gaunt appearance before the third act, Walken consumed only bananas, water, and rice for a week.
 
Walken then played schoolteacher-turned-psychic Johnny Smith in David Cronenberg's 1983 adaptation of Stephen King's The Dead Zone.
 
In 1985, Walken played a James Bond villain, Max Zorin, in A View to a Kill. Walken dyed his hair blond to befit Zorin's origins as a Nazi experiment. The character's attempts to kill Bond (played for the last time by Roger Moore) all failed, and he was finally eliminated at the end of the film when memorably falling from the Golden Gate Bridge in a fight with Bond.
 
He also played the leading role of Whitley Strieber in 1989's Communion, an autobiographical film written by Strieber based on his claims that he and his family were subject to alien abductions.
 
In 1992, Walken played a villain in Batman Returns: millionaire industrialist Max Shreck. Also in 1992, Walken appeared in Madonna's controversial coffee table book, SEX, and he played Bobby, Cassandra's manager in Wayne's World 2.
 
1994 Walken has a supporting role in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction as a Vietnam veteran giving his dead comrade's son the family's prized possession—a gold watch—while explaining in graphic detail how he had hidden it from the Vietcong by smuggling it in his rectum, after the boy's father, in whose rectum the watch had previously been concealed, had died of dysentery.
 
In 1995 he appeared in The Prophecy and the modern vampire flick The Addiction,
 
In 1998 The Prophecy II.
 
In 1999 he appeared as the Headless Horseman in Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, starring Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci.
 
Walken also starred in two music videos in the 1990s. His first video role was as the Angel of Death in Madonna's 1993 "Bad Girl". The second appearance was in Skid Row's "Breakin' Down" video.
 
2000 The Prophecy 3: The Ascent.
 
2004 The Stepford Wives.
 
Walken married Georgianne Walken (née Thon) in 1969; she is a casting director, notably for The Sopranos. They live in Wilton, Connecticut and have no children (Walken has stated in interviews that not having children is one of the reasons he has had such a prolific film career).
 
Their you have it "ten of my favourite horror actors". Of course their are many that didn't quite make the list. Though easily could have (Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Robert Englund), to name but a few. Maybe I'll do my ten favourite films someday soon.   
 


 

 

 

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