George Zuccos 126th Birthday passed last Wednesday with little to no recognition. Which is kinda a bummer I think because this guy is one of the great horror icons, undoubtedly up there with Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. He not only was a staple in Horror films he performed in a wide variety of cinema and played in such movies as The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes were he played one of the best Professor Moriarty`s (if you ask me I think his image of Moriarty had an influence on this past Decembers Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows, just my opinion though). He also played the Governor in one of my favorite swashbuckler pirate movies from the 50s The Black Swan. As well as having a supporting role in the 1939 version of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. Then his role in the 1947 thriller Lured is one of the best performances of any actor i`ve ever seen.
Anyways the movie that made me realize that George Zucco was a awesome horror actor was when I watched 1943`s Dead Men Walk for the first time, that movie is a highly over looked vampire movie that has Zucco playing two roles (twin brothers) and costars Dwight Frye. In the way Boris Karloff and Lionel Atwill were to the Universal Frankenstein series was what George Zucco was to the Universal Mummy series. He was three of the Mummy movies including the second one The Mummy's Hand were his villiones portray of Professor Andoheb has laid the groundwork for just about ever antagonist in any Mummy movie since. Though he also had a brief but memorable role in 1944s House Of Frankenstein were he played Bruno Lampini (the guy who had Dracula's skeleton).
Of course he was in share of super B-Horror movies such as Voodoo Man, and The Flying Serpent both very low budget but none the less fun and very enjoyable to watch. Overall George Zucco was a phenomenal actor who truly left a mark on Horror.
notice how much that guy resembles George Zuccos character in
The Mummy's Hand.