Doctor Seward is one of the central characters introduced in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, Dracula. The character's full name is John Seward, but cinematic versions of the character have named him Jack Seward and most often simply Doctor Seward. The 1931 Universal Pictures version of Dracula is the first film to use the character. He has appeared in several, though not all, subsequent adaptations of Stoker's work. In nearly all incarnations of the character, Doctor Seward is the administrator of a mental health facility and is usually found observing the actions of a lunatic named Renfield. The character had a marginalized role in the 1958 Hammer Film Productions adaptation of Dracula where he was played by Charles Lloyd Pack. He has also been played by Paul Müller, Donald Pleasence, Richard E. Grant, Tom Burke and Harvey Korman.
Doctor Seward was the head administrator of the Seward Sanitarium in Whitby, England. In 1931, he attended the symphony with his daughter Mina, her fiancé John Harker and Mina's friend Lucy Weston. It was here that Seward first met Transylvanian nobleman Count Dracula. Though he didn't realize it at the time, Dracula was actually a vampire who had purchased Carfax Abbey, right next to Seward's sanitarium.
Seward was also a colleague of scientist/occult scholar Professor Van Helsing. Seward was present at the autopsy of Lucy Weston where Van Helsing pointed out how her body had been completely drained of blood. Van Helsing later consulted privately with Seward where he explained that Lucy had been killed by a vampire. Along with John Harker, Seward was incredulous of the notion that creatures such as vampires exist in the world, but he soon changed his attitude when his own daughter, Mina, became Dracula's next victim. When Mina began demonstrating symptoms of a vampire bite, John Harker wanted to remove her from the hospital, but Seward insisted that she should remain at the sanitarium where they would be able to protect her. Fortunately, Harker and Van Helsing were able to destroy Dracula, thus saving Mina's life.
- Actor Herbert Bunston passed away in 1935, only four years after filming Dracula.
- Doctor Seward's counterpart in the 1922 silent film, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens is named Doctor Sievers and he is played by Gustav Boz.
- Doctor Seward's counterpart in the 1931 Spanish version of Drácula is played by José Soriano Viosca.
- ↑ Date approximated based upon the age of actor Herbert Bunston.