Tall, Dark and Gruesome is the title of one of Sir Christopher Lee’s autobiographies, and it couldn’t be more accurate. The English actor, best known for his role as Dracula for Hammer Films, passed away last week at 93. He was one of cinema’s greatest villains, but the army vet with the operatic voice did it all — including having a successful career as a symphonic heavy metal vocalist. Still, Lee will always be remembered as the Count in a cape with fangs — a role he grew to resent, but one his fans can’t get enough of. In honor of the decorated actor, we decided to rank cinema’s best Draculas. See if your favorite fanged fiend made the cut.
1. Christopher Lee
At the start of his long career, Christopher Lee was told he was too tall to be in cinema. But the English actor’s imposing height worked to his advantage in the role of the dark, handsome Count Dracula for Hammer Films. The first movie featuring Lee as the titular vampire, 1958’s Horror of Dracula, portrayed the vamp with a brooding sexuality. Lee would often cringe when the bloodsucker was brought up in interviews, feeling the studio emotionally blackmailed him to playing the part for far too many films. “There is a lot of misunderstanding about me in that role. It had never been played properly before that. With me it was all about the power of suggestion to make the unbelievable believable,” the actor said in an interview with the Telegraph.