If you are a fan of horror movies and literature, you will most certainly know the name Van Helsing. Van Helsing is the legendary vampire hunter who is called upon to defeat Dracula and others who crave blood. While Van Helsing is traditionally a male character, recent times have shown the ladies can hunt vampires just as well as the men. Let us meet the ladies who have re-invented the name Van Helsing.
Our first leading lady is Kate Beckinsale, who starred as Anna Valerious opposite Hugh Jackman in Universal Studios’s 2004 film, Van Helsing. Kate’s full name is Katharin Romary and she was born on July 26, 1973 in Chiswick, London, England. Beckinsale made her acting debut in the 1993 film Much Ado About Nothing starring Kenneth Branagh and Denzel Washington. She starred in British films before breaking out with such movies as Pearl Harbor opposite Ben Affleck and Serendipity opposite John Cusack. In 2003, she would land one of her most famous roles, the vampire heroine Selene in Underworld. The movie was a hit spawning three more films (Underworld: Evolution, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, and Underworld: Awakening) and production on a fifth (Underworld: Next Generation). Beckinsale has starred in three of the first four movies and will star in the fifth. Even with great success in the horror-action genre, Beckinsale has appeared in comedies such as 2006’s Click and suspense films such as 2009’s White Out.
Our next leading lady is not an actress but a comic book character, Liesel Van Helsing from the comic series Van Helsing vs. Dracula. She is a product of Zenescope Entertainment and her story is written by Pat Shand. Liesel is the daughter of Abraham Van Helsing who is murdered by Dracula. She is determined to destroy Dracula and avenge her father with the help of her boyfriend Hades and her friend Jonathan Harker who is trying to save his fiance Mina. She has also appeared in such Zenescope titles as Robyn Hood, Hellchild, Ascension, Realm Knights and Grimm Fairy Tales among others.
Back in February, we broke the news that Syfy channel will be premiering a new series this Fall called Van Helsing, starring Kelly Overton. Before the series debuts, let’s get to know more about our final leading lady who will take on the name of Van Helsing. Kelly Overton was born on August 28, 1978 in Wilbraham, Massachusetts and is of Cherokee descent. In school, she excelled at sports and won various awards in soccer, basketball and track. She studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC after high school. Overton is well-known in the television world with regular roles in such shows as All My Children, Beauty and the Beast and True Blood, where she also fought vampires but as a werewolf named Rikki Naylor.
Each incarnation of the character or story has its own unique style and tone, setting each one apart from the other. The one thing they all have in common is a strong female character taking charge and even rescuing the men for a change. The vampire world will never know what hit it.
(Joe Grodensky – @JoeGrodensky)