EXPIRED: – Paul Naschy, 75, drank blood. He proudly howled at the moon, swathed himself in bandages, and didn’t let a hunched back deter his dreams. Because of this, he was presented with one of Spain’s most prestigious awards and Spaniards just loved him.
Ok, well, that’s all technically true but not exactly honest.
Naschy (born Jacinto Molina Alvarez), was an actor, director and screenwriter and had one of the most recognizable faces in Spanish horror film. All that blood drinking and howling he did was during his extensive film career, in which he portrayed (to name a few) Dracula, The Mummy, Frankenstein, Fu Manchu, the Hunchback and his incredibly famous tortured werewolf, Waldemar Daninsky, from the Hombre Lobo series.
Daninsky, who Naschy portrayed in 12 different films, is considered his most famous character. Naschy holds, in fact, the record for playing a werewolf the most number of times, beating out the great Lon Chaney, Jr. who played a werewolf only 7 times during his career.
Known as the “Boris Karloff of Spain,” horror genre buffs consider some of his classics to be “Panic Beats,” “Night of the Werewolf,” “Rojo Sangre,” “The Hunchback of the Morgue,” “Crimson,” “Vengeance of the Zombies,” “Horror Rises from the Tomb,” “Count Dracula’s Great Love” and “Werewolf vs. The Vampire Woman.”
In 2000, Fangoria Magazine entered Naschy into its “Hall of Fame,” an honor that is based on votes received from horror fans worldwide. In 2001, King Juan Carlos I presented Naschy with Spain’s Gold Medal Award for Fine Arts in recognition of his prolific career and in honor of his work. Interestingly, it all started when Naschy, who started out writing Western novels, made his first appearance as an extra in Nicholas Ray’s 1960 “King of Kings.”
While his most productive period was in Spain during the 1970s, he travelled to Hollywood in 2003 to appear in on “Countess Dracula’s Orgy of Blood” and “Tomb of the Werewolf.” He couldn’t pass up a good horror script.
But his recognition and fan base couldn’t protect him from a real monster: pancreatic cancer. He fought the attack as best he could, eventually succumbing to it after just a year. He is survived by his wife, fittingly named Elvira, and 2 offspring.