Our Favorite Vampiresby IMDb-Editors | last updated - 9 months ago
Depictions of vampires have long been a feature of popular culture. When it comes to the movies, the first on-screen vampire as we know it appeared in Nosferatu (1922). And since then, these mythical bloodsuckers have been constant sources of fascination for movie and TV audiences.
Horror fans have plenty of undead company to last all year long. Here's a look at some of our favorite on-screen vampires over the years. These icons will help you while away the long, spooky nights — whether you like your vamps classic and cloaked or bleached-blond. — Arno Kazarian
James Marsters as Spike
Flashback scenes in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" showed us that Spike, played with singular flair by James Marsters, was a Billy Idol-style punk in '70s New York City. In any era, he was a charismatic bad boy, one with style and wit and a sense of humor that eventually endeared him to the love of his life, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar).
Alexander Skarsgård as Eric Northman
Does it get any sexier than a tall, Viking vampire? Cold-hearted "True Blood" killer Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård) showed a soft side when his memory was wiped by a vengeful witch. But whether Eric was being nice or naughty, he was welcome to glamour us anytime.
Salma Hayek as Santanico Pandemonium
When Santanico Pandemonium (Salma Hayek), dramatically draped with a snake, makes her entrance in From Dusk Till Dawn, a hush falls over the lust-struck crowd at the dive bar. Of course, she's not the lovely dancer she appears to be. Sadly, for the bar patrons, it's dinner time.
Juliet Landau as Drusilla
Drusilla (Juliet Landau) appeared on both "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and its spin-off "Angel." Landau's style, penchant for camp, and slightly-off Cockney accent made Dru an integral part of both shows, and her origin story — she was a young psychic in Victorian London who was driven insane by Angel (David Boreanaz) before being turned into a vampire — made her one of the most tragic characters in this Joss Whedon universe.
Barbara Steele as Katia Vajda/Princess Asa Vajda
Sorceress. Witch. Vampire. In Black Sunday, Mario Bava's classic gothic horror movie with a storied history, Barbara Steele delivers a commanding dual-role performance as Katia Vajda and Princess Asa Vajda, featuring one of the most memorable introductions to a character in movie history. Long live the princess!
Ingrid Pitt as Marcilla / Carmilla / Mircalla Karnstein
Ingrid Pitt starred in The Vampire Lovers, one of the edgiest movies ever made by Hammer Film Productions and the first movie in a series that would come to be known as the Karnstein Trilogy. Unfortunately, Marcilla didn't survive the first film — one reason why the second and third movies aren't as enduring. Due to Pitt's physicality and undeniable sexuality, horror-movie buffs tend to call her the "female Dracula."
Song Kang-ho as Priest Sang-hyeon
Song Kang-ho plays a priest turned vampire in Thirst, Park Chan-wook's thriller that reaches Shakespearean heights of drama and tragedy as Sang-hyeon tries to contend with his new bodily desires as well as his love for a married woman. The film contains one of the best ending scenes, as well.
Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins
No list would be complete without the inclusion of Barnabas Collins, the soap-opera vampire played by Jonathan Frid in nearly 600 episodes of the influential "Dark Shadows." A cruel and quick cancellation robbed fans of ever knowing his fate. So, for us he lives on — as one does.