13 Great Pop-Culture Vampires

BILL COMPTON (Stephen Moyer)
True Blood (2008-present)

”Made vampire” during the Civil War, Bill is an ageless creature determined to live as human an existence as possible. Difficult to accomplish in a community of telepaths, shape-shifters, and fellow bloodsuckers.

FAVORITE PREY: He’s not like that.

EDWARD CULLEN (Robert Pattinson)
Twilight (2008)

Judging by the mass hysteria around Twilight — both the book series and the film trilogy (the second of which, New Moon, is currently in production) — Edward is going to be in the hearts, minds, and fever dreams of fans for years to come.

FAVORITE PREY: As a ”vegetarian vampire” he doesn’t prey on humans — but if he did, he’d dig on attractive, melancholy young women like Bella.

SELENE (Kate Beckinsale)
Underworld (2003) and Underworld: Evolution (2006)

For centuries, Selene has been pouring herself into skin-tight outfits to do battle with the Lycans — fancy slang for werewolves. Of course, she was bound to fall in love with one.

FAVORITE PREY: Werewolves, duh.

SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM (Salma Hayek)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Jaws went slack when Hayek made her grand entrance, in a teensy bikini with a massive snake around her neck. What began as the sexiest burlesque in horror history turned bloody, as Hayek and her brood of south-of-the-border bloodsuckers chowed on a bar full of road-weary travelers.

FAVORITE PREY: Horny truckers

BLACULA (William Marshall)
Blacula (1972)

In this blaxploitation hybrid, an African prince who was bitten by Dracula (naturally) way, way back in the day, is resurrected in L.A. Aside from some awkward facial hair, Marshall’s pretty imposing as ”the black avenger.”

FAVORITE PREY: The Man. And groovy chicks.

DAVID (Kiefer Sutherland)
The Lost Boys (1987)

As the leader of a roving pack of motorcycle vampires, the totally rad David would’ve had his way with the teenagers of Santa Clara — if it wasn’t for those meddling kids (Jason Patric and the Coreys).

FAVORITE PREY: The young and the restless

COUNT VON COUNT (Jerry Nelson)
Sesame Street

Vampires have never been as soft and cuddly — literally — as this numerically obsessed Muppet.

FAVORITE PREY: Numbers!

BARNABAS COLLINS (Jonathan Frid)
Dark Shadows (1967-1971)

The star of his own daytime soap opera, Barnabas Collins was a guilt-ridden, aristocratic bloodsucker from overseas who brought the supernatural to the rich Collins family. Maine was never the same.

FAVORITE PREY: Whomever he can get his hands on. Small-town Maine isn’t big on variety.

MIRIAM BLAYLOCK (Catherine Deneuve)
The Hunger (1983)

Miriam is a chew-them-up-and-stick-them-in-a-coffin kind of vamp. Knocking around since the pharaohs ruled, Miriam meets her match in a young doctor (Susan Sarandon)…after some vamp-on-tramp action.

FAVORITE PREY: Waify, androgynous dudes like David Bowie

LESTAT DE LIONCOURT (Tom Cruise)
Interview With a Vampire (1994)

Anne Rice’s most captivating character made his big screen debut with Tom Cruise doing the honors. And while even Rice was a little put off by his casting, Cruise brought just the right amount of playful, venal insouciance to this immortal brat prince of darkness.

FAVORITE PREY: Though only hinted at in the film, it’s Louis (Brad Pitt).

ANGEL/ANGELUS (David Boreanaz)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003) and Angel (1999-2004)

The vampire with a soul. For most of high school and a decent chunk of college, Angel was the demon that haunted the Slayer. Tall, dark, and handsome, he’s the prototypical bad-boy-boyfriend, until he experiences a moment of true happiness; then he’s your worst nightmare. So, yeah, don’t give it up on ANY date.

FAVORITE PREY: Buffy Summers. Or pre-packaged bags of plasma. When he’s being a good boy.

COUNT GRAF ORLOK (Max Schreck)
Nosferatu (1922)

Yes, this film is pretty much an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but Max Schreck’s vampire isn’t the suave aristo that Bela Lugosi would introduce a decade later. He’s a shriveled, bald, rodent-looking man, with razor-like talons. A walking primordial nightmare.

FAVORITE PREY: Ellen Hutter. Okay, we’ll just call her Mina.

DRACULA (Gary Oldman)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Say what you will about Keanu Reeves as Jonathan Harker — and we all have — there’s no denying that Oldman’s take on good ol’ Vlad the Impaler was both movingly romantic and majestically creepy.

FAVORITE PREY: Mina Harker (Winona Ryder), but any pretty young thing will do in a pinch.