In a tip of the hat to a Haligonian who made it big in Hollywood, and who had his own run in with a silver-screen vampire, I named the lead character in Eternal Kiss after the real-life David Manners, who played Jonathan Harker in the classic 1931 production of Dracula.
Manners (who was born Rauff de Ryther Daun Acklom in 1900 in Halifax), made his way to Hollywood at the beginning of the talking films revolution. Between 1930 and 1936 made 38 feature films, beginning with Journey's End, the film that also launched the careers of James Whale and Colin Clive. He is best remembered today for his work in Dracula, The Mummy, and The Black Cat.
Manners, an iconoclast if ever there was one, walked away from Hollywood at the height of his fame in 1936, and never made another film. He moved to New York, where he continued to act in plays until the 1950s. After he retired from acting, he spent the remainder of his life in private pursuits, such as painting and writing. Several of his novels sold over 100,000 copies each. His reflections on philosophy were put forth in Look Through: An Evidence of Self Discovery, published in 1971.
David Manners passed away in 1998 at his home in Santa Barbara, California. There's a wonderful interview with him done in 1997 that you can read here. You can tell that even at 97 he was sharp, and still had a healthy disdain for the bright lights of Hollywood. An actor's actor, he always preferred the theatre.
He had a great answer for the question, "Do you have any advice for anyone starting out?"
"No! Heavens, no! I think, to be what you are, don't take advice from other people.
Find your advice in your heart. Yes, find your advice in your heart. It's yours and you keep it. And if you think it's helpful to other people . . . then share it. I think the things we share are very important."
I think our fictional David Manners, who is going to be played by Joseph Gallaccio, shown at left, would probably feel the exact same way!