Greek American Basil Gogos, Who Painted Monsters With Love, Dies at 88

Basil Gogos, who painted penetrating and chilling color portraits of movie monsters like Dracula, the Wolf Man and the Phantom of the Opera, and imbued Frankenstein’s monster with notable compassion, died on Sept. 13 at a hospital in Manhattan. He was 88.

Linda Touby; his wife and only immediate survivor, said the cause was probably a coronary.

Mr. Gogos produced dozens of covers for the horror magazine “Famous Monsters of Filmland”, for over more than 20 years.  Many looked as if Mr. Gogos had invited the monsters into his studio, where he meticulously lighted them and bathed them in brilliant hues.


Portraits of, from left, Peter Cushing as Van Helsing in the 1958 “Dracula,” Vincent Price in “Madhouse” and Christopher Lee as Dracula in the 1958 film.

Mr. Gogos was born on March 12, 1929, in Alexandria, Egypt, to parents of Greek ancestry who had also been born in Egypt.  His father, Steve, was a railroad worker, and his mother, Maria, was a fashion designer.  After living in Boston and Washington, they moved to Manhattan, where they eventually opened a clothing shop. Young Basil’s uncle was an artist who encouraged him to paint, and his grandmother painted on dishes and fabrics to help support her family.

Mr. Gogos attended art schools in Washington and then studied with Frank Reilly, an artist and illustrator, at the Art Students League in Manhattan.  While there, he made his first sale: the cover of “Pursuit,” a western novel by Lewis B. Patten.

Source: New York Times