The Hall of Hams #6: Boris Karloff

The Hall of Hams is my series on some of my favorite actors who have brought the art of melodramatic acting into the modern era.

Today is the birthday of 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 films for a number of years. Frankenstein (1931) was the making of him, made him such a superstar in fact that for a short time he was billed only as “Karloff”. 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 his horror films go here. 


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