Just off the top of my head (alphabetical by last name):
Patrick Bergin Stephen Billington Gerard Butler David Carradine John Carradine Lon Chaney Jr. Denholm Elliott John Forbes-Robertson Jamie Gillis Lorne Greene George Hamilton Rutger Hauer Louis Jourdan Atif Kaptan Udo Kier Klaus Kinski Frank Langella Francis Lederer Christopher Lee Bela Lugosi Charles MacCauley Paul Naschy Leslie Nielsen David Niven Michael Nouri Miles O'Keeffe Gary Oldman Jack Palance Henry Polic II Duncan Regehr Richard Roxburgh Max Shreck Howard Vernon Carlos Villerias Zandor Vorkov Marc Warren Norman Welsh Zhang Wei-Qiang
Here's a partial list from an IMDB character search for Dracula:
Jeffrey Smithers - Night on Bare Mountain Allen Swift (voice) - Mad Monster Party Dante Rivero (voice) - Batman Fights Dracula Alexander d'Arcy - Blood of Dracula's Castle Aldo Monti - El Santo en el Tesoro de Dracula Ferdy Mayne - The Vampire Happening Cesar Romero - Night Gallery episode "A Matter of Semantics" Jack Palance - Dracula (1973 TV movie) Narciso Ibanez Menta - La Saga de los Dracula Dan Meaden - Son of Dracula (1974) Morgan Freeman - The Electric Company Stephen Boyd - Lady Dracula Michael Pataki - Zoltan, Hound of Dracula Judd Hirsch - The Halloween that Almost Wasn't Christopher Bernau - Passion of Dracula (1980 TV movie) Russell Friend - Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula Andrew Bryniarski - Dracula's Guest
I had Jack Palance on my original list. I can't believe I missed Alex Darcy and Narcisco Ibanez Menta, though! Blood of Dracula's Castle and The Dracula Saga are both demented late-night classics! Good catch.
Also, I knew Christopher Bernau (an alumnus of the original Dark Shadows) had done The Passion of Dracula on stage. I never knew it had been filmed!
How about Rudolf Martin, who played Dracula in the Buffy episode entitled Buffy vs. Dracula? I kept hoping he'd come back for another episode! Plus, he also starred in a made-for-TV movie about Vlad Dracula.
Christopher Lee also probably played the part in more films than any other actor. Funny to think that Bela Lugosi, who is so famous for the role, only played the Count on film twice (in the 1931 Dracula and in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)!
It's true about Bela Lugosi only playing Dracula twice (not including his consistent stage appearances as the character), although he did play a lot of psuedo-Draculas in films like RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE and even MOTHER RILEY MEETS THE VAMPIRE.
I believe the reason Lugosi only played the character twice onscreen has to do with both censorship and copyright. There was a big outcry against horror movies in the early-to-mid 1930s, and this caused both Boris Karloff and Lugosi to have trouble getting cast in major films (which both the Universal DRACULA and FRANKENSTEIN were), with Lugosi in particular ending up in a lot of substandard B-movies.
The character Dracula, meanwhile was under copyright--in the U.S. thanks to the stageplay Universal adapted for the Lugosi feature; in Europe I believe both as a play and a book (Bram Stoker's novel was never copyrighted in America).
So Lugosi couldn't play Dracula without Universal Studios' backing, and they were experimenting with a more suave and contemporary version of the character by casting a very low key John Carradine in the late monster rally titles HOUSE OF DRACULA and HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN.
Hammer Films even had to cut a deal with Universal to make HORROR OF DRACULA, the first Lee Dracula movie (U.S. title) in order to get the film released in America, and they were not allowed to call the film DRACULA in America, because the Lugosi film was still being revived for horror matinees well into the 1950s.
Those rereleases plus the Lugosi DRACULA's constant appearances on early TV secured Lugosi's "lock" on the character.
Wow - what a great list - when I first saw the title of the discussion I think I only thought of 4 off the top of my head.
I know this isn't a TV or movie, but I recently came across an audio CD edition of an old-time radio production from the 30's with the Mercury Theatre players starring of course - Orson Welles - thought that might be of interest to you. it's adapted for a certain time span in radio, so it's a sort of edited version but what a treasure.
A worthy mention, even if not a film portrayal, L. I have heard the Orson Welles radio Dracula, and it is truly a treasure, as you say!
Thank you for the well-written and informative capsule on the Hammer Dracula, R.H Greene. I am inspired to seek out your book.
In the early days, Hammer was indeed walking a fine line, with Universal's team of lawyers watching their every move ready to pounce at the slightest sign of copyright infringement. If Hammer had not made their first Dracula with Universal's approval, they might even have been sued into non-existance for having the Count wear a cape!
Take a gander at DRACULA IN VISUAL MEDIA. It is, I hope, the definitive Dracula reference guide, covering both domestic and international titles, short and feature-length, as well as animations, documentaries, television, adult titles, video games, comic books, and dramatizations.
It took me five years to compile it all; and by the time I made myself stop writing and submit the manuscript to the publisher, it was already outdated, in addition to the older entries that continue to pop up here and there.
Go ahead, ask me a title and I'll tell you whether we documented it or not.
Yes, indeed, Mr. Malin! We covered Brides of Dracula, as not only is it a "Draxploitstion" title (ie "Dracula" in the title but not in the narrative [eg Countess Dracula]), but Dracula is mentioned in the narrative, as Mr. Morrison pointed out, and the Baron is what I would refer to as a "Dracula-type" character (ie someone who adopts many of Dracula's familiar, recognizable tropes without assuming Dracula's name).