The Best Vampires in Film and Television (Updated)
No matter how trendy vampires seem, the undead creatures have always had the power to mesmerize audiences within the seductive weaving of imaginative and sometimes frightening tales told by various tellers. I don’t think that will ever change except for how the stories will be told. A couple years ago, I posted an article about the Top 20 Vampire TV Shows (Read Here ) in which I go more into detail about the brief history of vampire folklore in storytelling from oral tales and ancient legends to filmmaking in the modern day. This week, I want to do something slightly different as I consider the best vampire characters in both television and film. Of course, the choices to choose from are much more extensive because there have been way more films made about vampires than I have been able to see (particularly about Dracula), including some of the gorier and also science fiction versions (very few vampires were chosen from films with extreme gore as I am not a huge fan).
Revisiting the beginnings of vampire cinema, the vampire goes as far back as 1913 with a short film called The Vampire. At first, the films (including this one) were more about femme fatale vampires, dangerous women that lead men astray with their powers of seduction. In 1915, a film( inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem) called A Fool There Was focuses on these foolish men. Now in the public domain, this film is free and available to watch by checking its IMDB listing Here.
Even before the infamous 1922 film Nosferatu that influenced vampire lore forevermore were other lesser-known foreign films from A Night of Horror in 1916 and the Hungarian movie, The Death of Dracula in 1921 (now lost) among several others. But it was Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of Dracula in 1931 that captivated the world with his Hungarian accent and now conventional characteristics such as the sweeping of his cape. Since then, the character of Dracula has been revisited time and time again with fabulous performances by Christopher Lee, Frank Langella, and many more. But outside of Dracula, what other great characters influenced by vampire lore have hit the big and small screens?
In the spirit of Halloween, I give you my now updated list of the top 50 vampires in film and television (this used to be 35). Out of time, I only selected my personal favorite Dracula performances along with several of my other favorite vampires.
At the end of the article, be sure to first check out our polls (so you can vote for your own favorite vampire) and then check out our fan video to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals!
Top 50 Vampires in Film and Television
(With Some Great Vampire Quotes)
#50: Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries
Caroline Forbes: So now I have magnified jealousy issues too?
#49: Eli from Let the Right One In
Eli: I’m twelve. But I’ve been twelve for a long time.
#48: Hayley Marshall from The Originals
Hayley: Well, every good story needs a wicked witch. It’ll be all the more satisfying when we melt her.
#47: Claire and Dylan Radcliff from The Gates
Claire: Love is about compromise.
#46: David from The Lost Boys
David: Now you know what we are, now you know what you are. You’ll never grow old, Michael, and you’ll never die.
#45: Alexandra Serris from Kindred The Embraced
Alexandra: I am not a beast. I was once a woman.
#44: Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries
Elena: That’s what love should be. You should love the person that makes you glad to be alive.
#43: Darla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
Darla: Oh, I love children. I could just… eat ’em up.
#42: Marcel Gerard from The Originals
Marcel: I know I make this look easy, but I still have an empire to run.
#41: Alice and Jasper from the Twilight Film Series
Alice: I’ve decided to throw a party.
Jasper: After all, how many times are we going to graduate high school?
#40: Godric from True Blood
Godric: A human with me at the end and human tears. Two-thousand years… and I can still be surprised. In this, I see God.
#39: Lissa from Vampire Academy
Lissa Dragomir: Blood is family. Blood is pain. And blood is death.
#38: Katherine Pierce from The Vampire Diaries
Katherine: The three of us together, just like old times. The brother who loved me too much and the one that didn’t love me enough.
#37: Hal Yorke from Being Human UK
Hal: I’m a vampire, he’s a werewolf. Any questions?
#36: Bill Compton from True Blood
Bill: She will never be yours and there’s nothing you can do. In this, you are powerless. Accept it.
#35: Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries
Stefan: Yes, being a 150-year-old teenager has been the height of my happiness.
#34: Herrick from Being Human UK
Herrick: A vampire is the only truly free man. All his darkness, all his excesses, they can run amok.
#33: Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy
Rose Hathaway: My seventeen-year-old foolishness, that was the past.
Dimitri Belikov: It was an hour ago.
#32: Dracula played by Frank Langella in Dracula (1979)
Count Dracula: You fools! Do you think with your crosses and your wafers you can destroy me? Me! You do not know how many men have come against me. I am the *king* of my kind! You have accomplished nothing, Van Helsing. Time is on my side. In a century, when you are dust, I shall wake and call Lucy, my queen, from her grave. I have in my time had many brides, Mr. Harker. But I shall set Lucy above them all.
#31: Barnabas Collins from Dark Shadows
Barnabas: If the imminent doctor has done anything to impair my relations with Vicki, she has just signed her own death certificate.
#30: Aidan Waite from Being Human US
Aidan: We’re all hiding something, aren’t we? From the moment we wake, look in that mirror, all we do is spin our little lies.