Mina Holmwood is based upon the character of Wilhelmina "Mina" Murray who was one of the provincial characters featured in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula. Mina has appeared in nearly every adaptation of the Dracula story and has been portrayed by such actresses as Helen Chandler, Melissa Stribling, Penelope Horner, Judi Bowker, Martje Grohmann, Jan Francis, Wynona Ryder, Amy Yabeck, Stefania Rocca and Stephanie Leonidas.
In Dracula (1958) she is portrayed by Melissa Stribling.
Mina Holmwood was the wife of Arthur Holmwood and lived with him at their manor in the town of Klausenburg in the late 1800s. Along with her housekeeper, Gerda, Mina tended to the wellbeing of her ill sister-in-law Lucy who, unbeknownst at the time, had fallen prey to the vampire Count Dracula. In May of 1885, Mina contacted family physician Jack Seward to diagnose Mina's condition. Unable to gain satisfactory advice from him, she then sought out scholar Professor Van Helsing for a second opinion. Van Helsing recognized Lucy's anemic condition and had Mina decorate her room with garlic flowers, though he did not give her any indication as to why this was so important. Unfortunately, the housekeeper removed the flowers, thereby allowing Dracula access to Lucy's room. The vampire fed from her, and ultimately turned her into a vampire.
A short time later, Dracula set his sights on Mina and began secretly feeding from her while Van Helsing and her husband scoured Kleisenberg in search of him. She concealed the wounds on her neck with a heavy scarf, and it was some time before her husband learned what had been happening to her. When they discovered her weakened body the following night, Professor Van Helsing performed a blood transfusion, using Mina's husband as a donor.
When Dracula discovered that Arthur and Van Helsing were close to finding him, he abducted Mina and raced back to his castle. He bit for a third time, knowing that she would soon die and rise as a vampire. As the sun was beginning to rise, Dracula cast her unconscious body into a shallow grave. Fortunately, Van Helsing and Arthur Holmwood were able to destroy Dracula in time to save Mina.
This version of Mina differs greatly from the one presented in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula as well as the 1931 adaptation of Dracula produced by Universal Pictures. In this film, Mina is a wealthy socialite and not a working class school teacher. She is also presented as the wife of Arthur Holmwood, whereas Stoker's Mina (full name, Mina Murray), was engaged to marry solicitor Jonathan Harker at the beginning of the novel. The one similarity between this version of Mina and previous incarnations is that she had gained the attention of, and later became a victim to the vampire Dracula. Most versions of Mina, including this one, survive her ordeal with the Transylvanian count.
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