Born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó in Lugos, Banat, Austria-Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania), the man we remember as Bela Lugosi (1882–1956), was the youngest of four children of a banker. Just after the turn of the century, he started his career on the stage in mostly secondary roles in Hungary. When World War I broke out, he became an infantry and ski-patrol officer on the Carpathian Front for the Austro-Hungarian Army. Bela was wounded three times and decorated for his service on the Russian front.
He also lost his first wife during the war. In 1919, after finding himself on the losing side of the Hungarian Revolution, he moved to Germany to perform in postwar German cinema. Following the death of his second wife, he emigrated to the U.S. Between acting gigs, while working as a laborer, Bela was spotted for the lead in a stage version of Dracula. His memorable career as a film icon soon followed. I found an interesting video archive of of interviews he conducted over the years HERE.