Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, John L. Balderston!

Journalist, playwright, screenwriter, script doctor John L. Balderston was born on October 22, 1889 in Philadelphia.  

He is, or should be at least, remembered by horror fans for his work on the films:  "Dracula", "Frankenstein", "The Mummy", "Bride of Frankenstein" and "Dracula's Daughter".  

He was a war correspondent in WWI and a journalist for several publications including The New York World, for which he covered the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922.  

He was already a successful playwright (Berkeley Square) when producer Horace Liveright hired him in 1927 to revise Hamilton Deane's play version of the novel Dracula.  Deane's work had already been enormously successful in England, but Liveright felt it needed an overhaul for New York.  Balderston completed the job, the play opened in October of 1927 starring a little known Hungarian actor named Bela Lugosi.  The rest is horror history.

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