In 1956, Hungarian-born actor Bela Lugusi dies of a heart attack in Los Angeles. Lon Chaney was director Tod Browning's choice for what became Lugosi's signature persona; when Chaney died, Lugosi stepped in and assumed the title role in the 1931 film Dracula. "It's a living, but it's also a curse," Lugosi once said of the character, which he played for three years on Broadway prior to the film version. "It's Dracula's curse." Towards the end of his life, he accepted any role that came his way—most of them variations on the Dracula theme. He died during the filming of Ed Wood's infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). Frank Sinatra is said to have quietly paid for the financially destitute actor's funeral.