A tribute today to William Henry Pratt (1887-1969), a.k.a Boris Karloff. A native of Enfield, England, he dropped out of college in 1909 to follow his dream of becoming an actor, working for years as a manual laborer and regional trouper in Canada. After a decade of this he came to Hollywood where he had small roles in silent and early talkie films for a number of years (including 1931’s Cracked Nuts with Wheeler and Woolsey!).
Frankenstein (1931) was the making of Pratt/Karloff, made him such a superstar in fact that for a short time he was billed only by his assumed surname: “Karloff”. He thus became a star at the relatively mature age of 44. There followed a long list of horror classics for almost four decades (although, as in 1932’s Scarface he occasionally got a decent role in a non-horror film.)
For my full explication of all of Karloff’s horror films go here.
For my post on his radio work go here.
For my post on his TV show Thriller go here.