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Film

Professor Edward C. Burke is a character from the 1927 horror-comedy London After Midnight directed by Tod Browning, where he was portrayed by Lon Chaney Sr. London After Midnight was based off of a short story by Browning himself called "The Hypnotist" and it was remade in 1935 as Mark of the Vampire, again directed by Browning. All known copies of the original 1927 film were destroyed in a vault fire in the late 60's, although film historians hope that a copy exists somewhere despite many hoaxes. The script and many photos still exist however, and a "reconstruction" of the film was made in 2002 as a slideshow.

Character Biography

In the film, Burke is a Scotland Yard inspector and psychiatrist who disguises himself as a vampire in order to trick a superstitious murderer into confessing to the murder of a businessman named Roger Balfour. He is not actually the villain of the film. His vampire guise is referred to in the film as "The Man in the Beaver Hat". In the 1935 remake, the Burke character hires an actor to play the vampire role for him.

Despite the film being lost and his vampire costume being only a disguise, the image of the made-up Burke has become a horror icon, and "The Man in the Beaver Hat" was frequently depicted in comics such as Mad and Famous Monsters of Filmland whenever cartoonists depicted gatherings of famous vampires.

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