Carroll Borland co-starred with Bela Lugosi in Mark of the Vampire (1935), in which she played Luna Mora, daughter of Lugosi’s character Count Mora. Despite having only one line (Lugosi had only three) and about 10 minutes of screen time, Borland’s characterization became an iconic vampire image that was often imitated (Vampira and Lily Munster to name two), but never surpassed.
Borland’s accounts of her relationship with Bela Lugosi were often contradictory and sometimes inaccurate. However what was irrefutable, was her lifelong fascination with Lugosi. Her admiration for the man was clear when Operator 13’s Mark Gilman and Dave Stuckey interviewed her for Lugosi: The Forgotten King. Stuckey recalls: “When she talked about Lugosi, she lit up like the teenager she was when she met him. Just glowing.”
Borland came to the project through her good friend Forest J Ackerman. In fact, much of the original Lugosi: The Forgotten King footage, including Ackerman’s narration and the John Carradine and Carroll Borland interviews, was shot in one grueling 14-hour day at Forry’s “Ackermansion.”
Ms. Borland retired from acting in 1953, but briefly resurfaced in the mid 1980s. In addition to her appearance in Lugosi: The Forgotten King, she acted in two films: Scalps (1983) and Biohazard (1985). Her novel Countess Dracula was published in March of 1994. She died one month later from pneumonia.
Fun Fact: According to Forry, the chair that Carroll Borland is sitting in during her interview in Lugosi: The Forgotten King once belonged to Abraham Lincoln.