Edward Van Sloan

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Edward Van Sloan
Van Sloan as Van Helsing in Dracula's Daughter (1936)
Born (1882-11-01)November 1, 1882
New Trier, Minnesota, U.S.
Died March 6, 1964(1964-03-06) (aged 81)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
Resting place Boehm Cemetery, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Occupation Actor
Years active 1916–1950
Spouse(s) Myra Jackson (1911-1960) (her death) 1 child

Edward Van Sloan (November 1, 1882 – March 6, 1964)[1][2][3][4][5] was an American film character actor best remembered for his roles in Universal Studios horror films such as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), and The Mummy (1932).


Van Sloan's roles date from the 1930s, including Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931) and The Mummy (1932). In the first of these, he played Abraham Van Helsing, the famous vampire-hunter, a role he had first taken in the successful touring production of Dracula by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston. He played essentially the same role, this time as Dr. Muller, an occultist, in The Mummy. He again played Van Helsing in the 1936 film Dracula's Daughter. In Frankenstein, he played the character of Dr. Waldman, and he also stepped in front of a curtain before the film's opening credits to warn audience members that they now had a chance to escape the theatre if they were too squeamish to endure the film.

Personal life[edit]

Van Sloan (father: Martin Van Sloun) was born of Dutch stock in New Trier, Minnesota, on November 1, 1882. His widowed mother, Mrs. Theresa (Breher) Van Sloun, settled in San Francisco where young Edward resided with his siblings (artist Frank J., Mary D., Leonora M., Alma K.,Josephine) and mother as he launched his acting career in theaters. In 1911, while employed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he married Myra Jackson, with whom he had one child, Paul (born Feb 21, 1911, Pennsylvania). During the 1920s, Van Sloan appeared in several plays at the 48th Street Theater in Broadway including the 1924 stage adaptation of Dracula before accepting an offer in late 1930 for a part in the acclaimed Tod Browning-directed screen production. Van Sloan had a style of playing horror roles that was unmistakably his, speaking his lines in a slow, exaggerated style of elocution with rolling Rs.

Partial filmography[edit]


  1. ^ 1885 Minnesota Census, County of Carver, p. 182, line 40.
  2. ^ 1910 U.S. Census, State of California, County of San Francisco, enumeration district 163, p. 12-A, line 2.
  3. ^ 1920 U.S. Census, State of New York, County of New York, enumeration district 955, p. 14-B, line 74.
  4. ^ Edward P. Vansloun, in: California Death Index, 1940-1997.
  5. ^ Edward Vansloun, in: Social Security Death Index.

External links[edit]