Béla Lugosi is well known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the classic 1931 film Dracula, but many do not know that Lugosi wasn't his original surname. He was born as Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó on 20 Oct 1882 and baptized nine days later on 29 Oct 1882, in the Roman Catholic parish of Lugos, in the former county of Krassó-Szörény, Hungary. Lugos is today known as Lugoj in Timiș county, Romania. He was the legitimate son of István Blaskó, a bank director of Nyitra, and his wife Paulina Vojnits, who were residents of Lugos in house number 6. Béla's godparents appear to have been Ferenc Bayer, a municipal deputy judge, and Vilma Küszer. He was baptized by the assistant parish priest, Albin Teppé, and was delivered by the midwife Róza Perisutti.
Information was later recorded in the 'Observationes' column which mentioned his marriage to Ilona Szmik on 25 Jun 1919 in the Roman Catholic parish of Szent-Anna in Budapest. Their civil registration marriage record was entered on the same day in District II of Budapest, which also states that the couple were divorced a year later. The 'Observationes' column of Béla's baptismal record further states that he changed his surname to Lugosi in the same year of his marriage. It's clear from his civil registration marriage record that his surname change occurred prior to his marriage. He took on the surname of Lugosi because of his place of birth, with Lugosi literally meaning 'of Lugos' in Hungarian.
Béla later had to emigrate Hungary because of his involvement in the failed Hungarian Communist Revolution of 1919, due to his actions on 21 Mar 1919 which resulted in criminal lawsuits for his violations of personal freedom, charges against military affairs, and also prosecution for his actions taken against actors' union leaders. He moved around Europe for a year before finally leaving his last permanent residence in Trieste, Italy, arriving in New Orleans on December 4, 1920 aboard the ship Graf Tisza Istvan.