Bela Lugosi’s Post-Rehab Interview

Bela Lugosi’s battle with drug addiction is well known throughout horror fandom. Lugosi developed sciatica due to leg injuries he received in the first World War. As his leg pains grew worse and worse, he was eventually prescribed painkillers like morphine, Demerol, and methadone. Like many (but not all) people who are given such drugs, he became addicted. The fact that methadone could be obtained without a prescription didn’t help matters. Although his (then) wife was able to wean him off drugs in 1953, he relapsed after she divorced him and took custody of their son. Two years later, a private sanitarium advised Lugosi to get help, which led to him checking into the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norfolk, CA for a three month stay. The following video shows Lugosi’s interview with the press given right after he left the hospital. Although celebrities going into rehab is common these days, such things were unheard of back then.

For more on Bela Lugosi, be sure to check out this classic Gravedigger’s Local 16 article.

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