Best Known For
Boris Karloff was an English-born actor whose name became synonymous with horror movies.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
When Bela Lugosi refused to take the part, the role of the Monster in 1931's Frankenstein went to Boris Karloff. His performance received huge praise and he became an overnight sensation. His career was mostly spent in popular horror films, where he brought a pathos to the characterization. He is also well known for providing the voice to the 1966 cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
"The monster was the best friend I ever had."
Actor. Film star Boris Karloff, whose name became synonymous with the horror genre, was born William Henry Pratt in London, England, on November 23, 1887. He studied at London University, then went to Canada and the United States, aiming become a diplomat like his father, and became involved in acting.
Karloff spent 10 years in repertory companies, went to Hollywood, appearing in forty five silent films for Universal Studios, among them The Last of the Mohicans, Forbidden Cargo and an installment in the popular Tarzan series. When Bela Lugosi refused to take a role in which he would have his face hidden by makeup and have no lines, the role of The Monster in 1931's Frankenstein went to Karloff. His tender, sympathetic performance received enormous critical praise and he became an overnight sensation.
Apart from a notable performance in a World War I story, The Lost Patrol (1934), his career was mostly spent in popular horror films. His performances frequently transcended the crudity of the genre, bringing, as in Frankenstein, a depth and pathos to the characterization.
He is also well known for providing the voice to the 1966 cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Karloff was known within the film industry for his great kindness and gentleness of manner; he was also central to the foundation of the Screen Actors Guild. After battling emphysema for a number of years, Boris Karloff died at his home in England on February 2, 1969.
© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Boris Karloff profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
They can be chainsaw-wielding mainiacs, creatures from another dimension or supernatural presences. Horror film monsters frighten, haunt and shock us. They personify our biggest nightmares. And the actors that truly make those characters come to life on the big screen often give performances so convincing that—for just a minute—you forget they're only imaginary. Here are some of the actors and actresses who have given performances so real, they made viewers think twice about turning off the lights at night.
Creepy Actors 24 people in this group
Vampires prey off living creatures, stalking unsuspecting humans, sucking their blood and often turning them into vampires. Not alive but not quite dead, vampires are fictional creatures who have haunted and fascinated human populations for centuries. The notion of the fanged, transylvanian Count Dracula was first popularized in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula, but the character has seen many iterations over the years. Today's TV shows and movies portray vampires as sexy, mysterious and even sympathetic characters with meaningful relationships to humans. Here is a group of some of the most famous blood-suckers of TV and film.
Vampires 36 people in this group
Life imitates art in Hollywood, where passionate romances turn into short-lived marriages and quickie divorces. Numerous nuptials are one of the hallmarks of the celebrity lifestyle. Hollywood royalty Elizabeth Taylor married eight times—even more than real royalty King Henry VIII, who married six times. Here's a look at the famous individuals who tied the knot—and then tied it again, and again, and again.
Numerous Nuptials 37 people in this group