Vampires are among the most beloved folktales and characters in movies and television. From well-known vampires like Dracula to lesser-known (but equally as fantastic) vampires like Cain – the media is rich with vampire stories to suit viewers of all ages. There are even children’s shows like Vampirina that bring vampire lore to the youngest viewers.
Vampires are often portrayed as having ghostly white skin. But there have actually been some amazing Black vampires to grace television and movies. If you love vampires and haven’t seen these characters, schedule a binge session!
Top 7 Black Vampires of All-Time
Let’s take a look at the top 7 Black vampires of all time on television and in movies.
1. William Marshall – Blacula (1972)
William Marshall was one of the first Black vampires to grace movie screens. In the 1972 movie, Blacula, Marshall played the role of Mamuwalde, an African prince who travels to Transylvania to seek out Count Dracula’s help in stopping the slave trade. Instead of help, Mamuwalde gets bitten by Dracula and turned into a vampire. He is then locked away for centuries until his coffin is purchased by two decorators who open it and release Blacula into 1970s Los Angeles.
2. Aaliyah – Queen of the Damned (2002)
One of the most easily recognizable Black vampires is Aaliyah, who played the sultry vampire Queen Akasha in Queen of the Damned. Queen of the Damned was loosely based on a popular Anne Rice series, The Vampire Chronicles. The 2002 film features stars like Stuart Townsend, Vincent Perez, and Lena Olin. Aaliyah might go down in history as the sexiest Black vampire, as well as the most recognized. The movie also has one of the best soundtracks of recent decades.
3. Eddie Murphy – Vampire in Brooklyn (1995)
Eddie Murphy played vampire Maximillian in Vampire in Brooklyn. The horror comedy is one of the most beloved vampire films of the 90s. As Max, Eddie Murphy does an incredible job of blending his comedic flair with the folklore of the horror and vampire genres. Eddie Murphy stars alongside Angela Bassett.
4. Edi Gathegi – Twilight (2011)
Twilight is one of the best-known vampire franchises in history. Edi Gathegi stars as Laurent in the Twilight series, a Black nomadic vampire with a long history. In the films, a mischievous side gets him in trouble with his Coven mates. Edi Gathegi does an incredible job of embodying a powerful and power-hungry vampire in the modern day.
5. Cynthia Bond – Def by Temptation (1980)
Cynthia Bond played the Temptress in 1980’s Def by Temptation. The Temptress waits around bars and other areas looking to feed off of the blood of unfaithful men. After gaining their lust, the Temptress bites and feeds off the men. After a series of disappearances, a local minister played by Samuel L. Jackson is threatened by the Temptress’s beauty. If you are looking for a great movie with classic 1980’s gore, Def by Temptation is one not to miss.
6. Duane Jones – Ganja and Hess (1973)
Ganja and Hess was an experimental horror film released in 1973. The film stars Duane Jones and Marlene Clark. Both actors could be considered top Black vampires. Duane Jones plays Dr. Hess Green, an anthropologist who gets stabbed by an ancient dagger. The dagger turns him into a vampire. Dr. Green then falls in love with his assistant’s widow (Marlene Clark) and eventually turns her into a vampire as well. Together, the two embark on a journey of mayhem, seduction, and murder.
7. Wesley Snipes – Blade (1998)
One of the best-known vampire movies of the 1990s was Blade, featuring Wesley Snipes. Snipes does a great job of embodying Eric “Blade” Brooks. Brooks’ mother was killed by a vampire while pregnant with him. As half vampire, half human, Brooks takes it upon himself to exact revenge on the vampire who killed his mother. Snipes’ attitude and athleticism made him a perfect choice for the role.
Don’t Miss These Great Black Vampires
As you can see, there are quite a few Black vampires – from classic “B movies” to popular series’ like Twilight. Don’t take our word for it though, check out these movies and the fantastic work of the actors and actresses represented.