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Boris Karloff –

Karloff in THE MUMMY.

About Boris Karloff (1887 – 1969)

William Henry Pratt (23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969), better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was born on 23 November 1887 at 36 Forest Hill Road, Camberwell, London, England. His parents were Edward John Pratt, Jr. and Eliza Sarah Millard. His maternal grandparents were James Millard and Eliza Julia Edwards, a sister of Anna Leonowens (whose tales about life in the royal court of Siam (now Thailand) were the basis of the musical The King and I). The two sisters may have had some Anglo-Indian ancestry.

Pratt spent his childhood years in Enfield, in the County of Middlesex. He was the youngest of nine children, and following his mother's death was brought up by his elder siblings. He received his early education at Enfield Grammar School, and later at the private schools of Uppingham School and Merchant Taylors' School. After this he attended King's College London where he took studies aimed at a career with the British Government's Consular Service. However, in 1909 he left university without graduating and drifted, departing England for Canada, where he worked as a farm laborer and did various odd itinerant jobs until happening into acting. His brother, Sir John Thomas Pratt, became a distinguished British diplomat.

He was bow-legged, had a lisp, and stuttered as a young boy. He conquered his stutter, but not his lisp, which was noticeable all through his following career.

In Canada he began appearing in theatrical performances, and it was during this period that he adopted the professional name of "Boris Karloff". Some have theorized that he took the stage name from a mad scientist character in the novel The Drums of Jeopardy called "Boris Karlov". However, the novel was not published until 1920, at least eight years after Karloff had been using the name on stage and in silent films (Warner Oland played "Boris Karlov" in a film version in 1931). Another possible influence was thought to be a character in the Edgar Rice Burroughs fantasy novel H. R. H. The Rider which features a "Prince Boris of Karlova", but as the novel was not published until 1915, the influence may be backward, that Burroughs saw Karloff in a play and adapted the name for the character. Karloff always claimed he chose the first name "Boris" because it sounded foreign and exotic, and that "Karloff" was a family name (from Karlov – in Cyrillic, Карлов – a name found in several Slavic countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria). However, his daughter Sara Karloff publicly denied any knowledge of Slavic forebears, "Karloff" or otherwise. One reason for the name change was to prevent embarrassment to his family. Whether or not his brothers (all dignified members of the British foreign service) actually considered young William the "black sheep of the family" for having become an actor, Karloff apparently worried they felt that way. He did not reunite with his family until he returned to Britain to make The Ghoul (1933), extremely worried that his siblings would disapprove of his new, macabre claim to world fame. Instead, his brothers jostled for position around him and happily posed for publicity photographs. After the photo was taken, Karloff’s brothers immediately started asking about getting a copy of their own of it. The story of the photo became one of Karloff’s favorites.

Karloff joined the Jeanne Russell Company in 1911 and performed in towns like Kamloops, British Columbia, and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. After the devastating tornado in Regina on 30 June 1912, Karloff and other performers helped with clean-up efforts. He later took a job as a railway baggage handler and joined the Harry St. Clair Co. that performed in Minot, North Dakota, for a year in an opera house above a hardware store.

Due to the years of difficult manual labour that Karloff had had to perform in Canada and the US to make ends meet whilst he was trying to establish his acting career, he was left with back problems from which he suffered for the rest of his life. Because of his health, he did not fight in the First World War.

Once Karloff arrived in Hollywood, he made dozens of silent films, but work was sporadic, and he often had to take up manual labour such as digging ditches or delivering construction plaster to earn a living. A number of his early major roles were in film serials, such as The Masked Rider (1919), in Chapter 2 of which he can be glimpsed onscreen for the first time, The Hope Diamond Mystery (1920) and King of the Wild (1930). In these early roles he was often cast as an exotic Arabian or Indian villain. A key film which brought Karloff recognition was The Criminal Code (1931), a prison drama in which he reprised a dramatic part he had played on stage. Another significant role in the autumn of 1931 saw Karloff play a key supporting part as an unethical newspaper reporter in Five Star Final, a film about tabloid journalism which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.

His role as Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931) made Karloff a star. The bulky costume with four inch platform boots made it an arduous role but the costume and extensive makeup produced the classic image. The costume was a job in itself for Karloff with the shoes weighing 11 pounds (5 kg) each. Universal Studios was quick to acquire ownership of the copyright to the makeup format for the Frankenstein monster that Jack P. Pierce had designed. A year later, Karloff played another iconic character, Imhotep in The Mummy. The Old Dark House (with Charles Laughton) and the starring role in The Mask of Fu Manchu quickly followed. These films all confirmed Karloff's new-found stardom.

The 5'11" brown-eyed Karloff played a wide variety of roles in other genres besides horror. He was memorably gunned down in a bowling alley in the 1932 film Scarface. He played a religious First World War soldier in the 1934 John Ford epic The Lost Patrol.

Horror had become Karloff's primary genre, and he gave a string of lauded performances in 1930s Universal horror films, including several with Bela Lugosi, his main rival as heir to Lon Chaney's status as the top horror film star. Karloff reprised the role of Frankenstein's monster in two other films, Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939), the latter also featuring Lugosi. Karloff revisited the Frankenstein mythos in several later films as well, taking the starring role of the villainous Dr. Niemann in House of Frankenstein (1944), in which the monster was played by Glenn Strange. He reprised the role of the "mad scientist" in 1958's Frankenstein 1970 as Baron Victor von Frankenstein II, the grandson of the original creator. The finale reveals that the crippled Baron has given his own face (i. e., Karloff's) to the monster.

Between 1938 and 1940, Karloff appeared in five films for Monogram Pictures. Directed by William Nigh, Karloff portrayed character James Lee Wong, a Chinese detective. More commonly referred to as Mr. Wong, Karloff's portrayal of the character is an example of Hollywood's use of yellowface and its portrayal of East Asians in the earlier half of the 20th century.

Karloff appeared at a celebrity baseball game as Frankenstein's monster in 1940, hitting a gag home run and making catcher Buster Keaton fall into an acrobatic dead faint as the monster stomped into home plate. Norman Z. McLeod filmed a sequence in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty with Karloff in the Frankenstein monster make-up, but it was deleted from the finished film. However, Karloff still appeared in that film in a brief but starring role as Dr. Hollingshead. Karloff donned the monster make-up for the last time in 1962 for a Halloween episode of the TV series Route 66.

While the long, creative partnership between Karloff and Bela Lugosi never led to a close friendship, it produced some of the actors' most revered and enduring productions, beginning with The Black Cat (1934). Follow-ups included Gift of Gab (1934), The Raven (1935), The Invisible Ray (1936), Black Friday (1940), You'll Find Out (also 1940), and The Body Snatcher (1945). During this period, he also starred with Basil Rathbone in Tower of London (1939) as the murderous henchman of King Richard III.

From 1945 to 1946, he appeared in three films for RKO produced by Val Lewton: Isle of the Dead, The Body Snatcher, and Bedlam. In a 1946 interview with Louis Berg of the Los Angeles Times, Karloff discussed his three-picture deal with RKO, his reasons for leaving Universal Pictures and working with producer Lewton. Karloff left Universal because he thought the Frankenstein franchise had run its course. The last installment in which he appeared—House of Frankenstein—was what he called a "'monster clambake,' with everything thrown in—Frankenstein, Dracula, a hunchback, and a 'man-beast' that howled in the night. It was too much. Karloff thought it was ridiculous and said so." Berg continues, "Mr. Karloff has great love and respect for Mr. Lewton as the man who rescued him from the living dead and restored, so to speak, his soul."

During this period, Karloff was also a frequent guest on radio programmes, whether it was starring in Arch Oboler's Chicago-based Lights Out productions (most notably the episode "Cat Wife") or spoofing his horror image with Fred Allen or Jack Benny. In 1949, he was the host and star of Starring Boris Karloff, a radio and television anthology series for the ABC broadcasting network.

An enthusiastic performer, he returned to the Broadway stage in the original production of Arsenic and Old Lace in 1941, in which he played a homicidal gangster enraged to be frequently mistaken for Karloff. Although Frank Capra cast Raymond Massey in the 1944 film, which was shot in 1941, while Karloff was still appearing in the role on Broadway, Karloff reprised the role on television with Tony Randall and Tom Bosley in a 1962 production on the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Somewhat less successful was his work in J. B. Priestley's play The Linden Tree. He also appeared as Captain Hook in the play Peter Pan with Jean Arthur. He was nominated for a Tony Award for his work opposite Julie Harris in The Lark, by the French playwright Jean Anouilh, about Joan of Arc, which was reprised on Hallmark Hall of Fame.

In later years, he hosted and acted in a number of television series, most notably Thriller, Out Of This World, and The Veil, but the last of these was never actually broadcast, and only came to light in the 1990s. In the 1960s, Karloff appeared in several films for American International Pictures, including The Comedy of Terrors, The Raven, and The Terror, the latter two directed by Roger Corman, and Die, Monster, Die! He also starred in Michael Reeves's second feature film, The Sorcerers, in 1966.

During the 1950s, he appeared on British television in the series Colonel March of Scotland Yard, in which he portrayed John Dickson Carr's fictional detective Colonel March, who was known for solving apparently impossible crimes.

Karloff, along with H. V. Kaltenborn, was a regular panelist on the NBC game show, Who Said That?, which aired between 1948 and 1955. Later, as a guest on NBC's The Gisele MacKenzie Show, Karloff sang "Those Were the Good Old Days" from Damn Yankees, while Gisele MacKenzie performed the solo, "Give Me the Simple Life". On The Red Skelton Show, Karloff guest starred along with horror actor Vincent Price in a parody of Frankenstein, with Red Skelton as "Klem Kadiddle Monster." In 1966, Karloff also appeared with Robert Vaughn and Stefanie Powers in the spy series The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., in the episode "The Mother Muffin Affair," Karloff performed in drag as the titular character. That same year, he also played an Indian Maharajah on the installment of the adventure series The Wild Wild West titled "The Night of the Golden Cobra". In 1967, he played an eccentric Spanish professor who believes himself to be Don Quixote in a whimsical episode of I Spy titled "Mainly on the Plains."

In the mid-1960s, he gained a late-career surge of American popularity when he narrated the made-for-television animated film of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and also provided the voice of the Grinch, although the song "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" was sung by the American voice actor Thurl Ravenscroft. The film was first broadcast on CBS-TV in 1966. Karloff later received a Grammy Award for "Best Recording For Children" after the story was released as a record. Because Ravenscroft (who never met Karloff in the course of their work on the show) was uncredited for his contribution to How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, his performance of the song was often mistakenly attributed to Karloff.

In 1968, he starred in Targets, a film directed by Peter Bogdanovich, featuring two separate stories that converge into one. In one, a disturbed young man kills his family, then embarks on a killing spree. In the other, a famous horror-film actor contemplates then confirms his retirement, agreeing to one last appearance at a drive-in cinema. Karloff starred as the retired horror film actor, Byron Orlok, a thinly disguised version of himself; Orlok was facing an end of life crisis, which he resolved through a confrontation with the gunman at the drive-in cinema.

In 1968, he played occult expert Professor Marsh in a British production titled The Crimson Cult (Curse of the Crimson Altar), which was the last Karloff film to be released during his lifetime.

He ended his career by appearing in four low-budget Mexican horror films: The Snake People, The Incredible Invasion, Fear Chamber, and House of Evil. This was a package deal with Mexican producer Luis Enrique Vergara. Karloff's scenes were directed by Jack Hill and shot back-to-back in Los Angeles in the spring of 1968. The films were then completed in Mexico. All four were released posthumously, with the last, The Incredible Invasion, not released until 1971, two years after Karloff's death.

Cauldron of Blood, shot in Spain in 1967 and co-starring Viveca Lindfors, was also released after Karloff's death.

While shooting his final films, Karloff had only one half of one lung and required oxygen between takes.

Beginning in 1940, Karloff dressed as Father Christmas every Christmas to hand out presents to physically disabled children in a Baltimore hospital.

Despite living and working in the United States for many years, he never became a naturalized American citizen and never legally changed his name to "Boris Karloff." He signed official documents "William H. Pratt, a.k.a. Boris Karloff."

He was a charter member of the Screen Actors Guild, and was especially outspoken regarding working conditions on sets that actors were expected to deal with in the mid-1930s, some of which were extremely hazardous. In 1931, Boris Karloff took out insurance against premature aging that might be caused by his fright make-up.

He married five times and had one child, daughter Sara Karloff, by his fourth wife. At the time of his daughter's birth he was filming Son of Frankenstein, and reportedly rushed from the film set to the hospital while still in full makeup. Little is otherwise known of Boris's private life.

His retirement was spent in England at his country cottage named Roundabout in the Hampshire village of Bramshott. He contracted pneumonia and died at the King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, in Sussex, on 2 February 1969 at the age of 81. His body was cremated following a requested modest service at Guildford Crematorium, Godalming, Surrey, where he is commemorated by a plaque in the Garden of Remembrance. A memorial service was held at St Paul's, Covent Garden (the Actors' Church), London, where there is also a plaque.

During the run of Thriller, Karloff lent his name and likeness to a comic book for Gold Key Comics based upon the series. After Thriller was cancelled, the comic was retitled Boris Karloff's Tales of Mystery. An illustrated likeness of Karloff continued to introduce each issue of this publication for nearly a decade after the real Karloff died; the comic lasted until the early 1980s. Starting in 2009, Dark Horse Comics started to reprint Tales of Mystery in a hard bound archive.

For his contribution to film and television, Boris Karloff was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1737 Vine Street for motion pictures, and 6664 Hollywood Boulevard for television.

Karloff was featured by the U.S. Postal Service as Frankenstein's Monster and the Mummy in its series "Classic Monster Movie Stamps" issued in September 1997.

In November 2014, Randy Bowser debuted his one-man play Karloff at the Level B Theater Pub in Salem, Oregon. Using material culled from five different Boris Karloff biographies and being granted the authorization of daughter Sara Karloff (who attended the opening weekend of the show), Bowser crafted the play to be about more than Karloff as a monster film actor. He told the Statesman Journal, "You really don't have to be a Boris Karloff fan to enjoy the show. It's not a monster show; it's about a man."

Boris Karloff's movie credits include...

Year Movie Role
1916 The Dumb Girl of Portici Lois Weber
1918 The Lightning Raider George B. Seitz
1919 The Masked Rider Mexican roughneck in saloon (Ep. 2 only)
1919 His Majesty, the American The Spy
1919 The Prince and Betty
1920 The Deadlier Sex Jules Borney
1920 The Courage of Marge O'Doone Tavish
1920 The Last of the Mohicans
1921 The Hope Diamond Mystery Dakar / High Priest of Temple of Sita
1921 Without Benefit of Clergy Ahmed Khan
1921 Cheated Hearts Nil Horned
1921 The Cave Girl Baptiste
1922 The Man from Downing Street Edward Monckton / Maharajah Jehan Deharwar
1922 The Infidel the Nabob
1922 The Altar Stairs Hugo
1922 Omar the Tentmaker the Holy Imam Mowaffak
1922 The Woman Conquers Raoul Maris
1923 The Prisoner Prince Kapolski
1924 Riders of the Plains
1924 The Hellion Outlaw
1924 Dynamite Dan Tony Garcia
1925 Parisian Nights Pierre
1925 Forbidden Cargo Pietro Castillano
1925 The Prairie Wife Diego
1925 Perils of the Wild
1925 Never the Twain Shall Meet Villain
1925 Lady Robinhood Cabraza
1926 The Greater Glory the Scissors Grinder
1926 Her Honor, the Governor Snipe Collins
1926 The Bells Mesmerist
1926 The Nickel-Hopper Big Bohunk
1926 The Golden Web Dave Sinclair
1926 The Eagle of the Sea Pirate
1926 Flames Blackie Blanchett
1926 Old Ironsides Saracen Guard
1926 Flaming Fury Gaspard
1926 Valencia
1926 The Man in the Saddle Robber
1927 Tarzan and the Golden Lion Ozawa, Waziri Chief
1927 Let It Rain the Crooks
1927 The Meddlin' Stranger Al Meggs
1927 The Princess from Hoboken Pavel
1927 The Phantom Buster Ramón
1927 Soft Cushions The Chief Conspirator
1927 Two Arabian Knights Purser
1927 The Love Mart Fleming
1928 The Vanishing Rider The Villain
1928 Burning the Wind Pug Doran
1928 Vultures of the Sea Grouchy
1928 The Little Wild Girl Maurice Kent
1929 The Devil's Chaplain Boris
1929 The Fatal Warning Mullins
1929 The Phantom of the North Jules Gregg
1929 Two Sisters Cecil
1929 Anne Against the World
1929 Behind That Curtain Sudanese servant
1929 The King of the Kongo Macklin / Martin
1929 The Unholy Night Abdoul
1930 The Bad One Guard
1930 The Sea Bat Corsican
1930 The Utah Kid Baxter
1930 The Mother's Cry Baxter
1931 Sous les verrous ("Pardon Us" - French version) The Tiger
1931 The Criminal Code Ned Galloway
1931 King of the Wild Mustapha
1931 Cracked Nuts Revolutionary
1931 Young Donovan's Kid Cokey Joe
1931 Smart Money Sport Williams
1931 The Public Defender Professor
1931 I Like Your Nerve Luigi
1931 Graft Joe Terry
1931 Five Star Final "Reverend" Vernon Isopod
1931 The Yellow Ticket Orderly
1931 The Mad Genius Fedor's Father
1931 The Guilty Generation Tony Ricca
1931 Frankenstein The Monster
1931 Tonight or Never The Waiter
1932 Behind the Mask Jim Henderson
1932 Alias the Doctor Autopsy Surgeon
1932 Business and Pleasure Sheikh
1932 Scarface Gaffney
1932 The Miracle Man Nikko
1932 Night World "Happy" MacDonald
1932 The Old Dark House Morgan
1932 The Mask of Fu Manchu Dr. Fu Manchu
1932 The Mummy Imhotep/Ardath Bey
1933 The Ghoul Prof. Morlant
1934 The Lost Patrol Sanders
1934 The House of Rothschild Count Ledrantz
1934 The Black Cat Hjalmar Poelzig
1934 Gift of Gab Cameo Appearance (as Karloff)
1935 Bride of Frankenstein The Monster
1935 The Raven Edmond Bateman
1935 The Black Room Baron Gregor de Berghmann / Anton de Berghmann
1936 The Invisible Ray Dr. Janos Rukh
1936 The Walking Dead John Ellman
1936 Juggernaut Victor Sartorius
1936 The Man Who Changed His Mind Dr. Laurence
1936 Charlie Chan at the Opera Gravelle
1937 Night Key Dave Mallory
1937 West of Shanghai Gen. Wu Yen Fang
1938 The Invisible Menace Mr. Jevries a.k.a. Dolman
1938 Mr. Wong, Detective James Lee Wong
1939 Devil's Island Dr. Charles Gaudet
1939 Son of Frankenstein The Monster
1939 The Mystery of Mr. Wong James Lee Wong
1939 Mr. Wong in Chinatown James Lee Wong
1939 The Man They Could Not Hang Dr. Henryk Savaard
1939 Tower of London Mord the Executioner
1940 The Fatal Hour James Lee Wong
1940 British Intelligence Valdar
1940 Black Friday Dr. Ernest Sovac
1940 The Man with Nine Lives Dr. Leon Kravaal
1940 Doomed to Die James Lee Wong
1940 Before I Hang Dr. John Garth
1940 The Ape Dr. Bernard Adrian
1940 You'll Find Out Judge Mainwaring
1941 The Devil Commands Dr. Julian Blair
1942 The Boogie Man Will Get You Prof. Nathaniel Billings
1944 The Climax Dr. Hohner
1944 House of Frankenstein Dr. Gustav Niemann
1945 The Body Snatcher John Gray
1945 Isle of the Dead Gen. Nikolas Pherides
1946 Bedlam Master George Sims
1947 The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Dr. Hugo Hollingshead
1947 Lured Charles von Druten
1947 Unconquered Guyasuta, Chief of the Senecas
1947 Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome Gruesome
1948 Tap Roots Tishomingo
1948 The Emperor's Nightingale Narrator
1949 Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff Swami Talpur
1951 The Strange Door Voltan
1952 Colonel March Investigates Col. March
1952 The Black Castle Dr. Meissen
1953 Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Hyde
1954 The Island Monster
1954 The Hindu General Pollegar
1957 Voodoo Island Dr. Phillip Knight
1958 The Juggler of Our Lady Narrator
1958 The Creation of the World Narrator (USA)
1958 The Haunted Strangler James Rankin
1958 Frankenstein 1970 Baron Victor von Frankenstein
1958 Corridors of Blood Dr. Thomas Bolton
1963 Black Sabbath Gorca
1963 The Terror Baron Von Leppe
1963 The Raven Dr. Scarabus
1964 Bikini Beach Art dealer
1964 Mondo Balordo Narrator
1964 The Comedy of Terrors Amos Hinchley
1965 Die, Monster, Die!
1965 (UK: Monster of Terror) Nahum Witley
1966 The Daydreamer The Rat
1966 The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini The Corpse
1966 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Grinch and the Narrator
1967 The Venetian Affair Dr. Pierre Vaugiroud
1967 Mad Monster Party? Baron Boris von Frankenstein
1967 The Sorcerers Professor Marcus Montserrat
1968 Targets Byron Orlok
1968 Curse of the Crimson Altar Prof. Marshe
1968 Fear Chamber Dr. Carl Mandel
1968 House of Evil Mathias Morteval
1970 Cauldron of Blood (El Coleccionista de cadáveres); aka Blind Man's Bluff Franz Badulescu
1971 The Incredible Invasion Prof. John Meyer
1971 Isle of the Snake People Karl Van Molder / Damballah

Memorable Quotes by Boris Karloff

“[on whether he resented being typed as a "horror star"] One always hears of actors complaining of being typed - if he's young, he's typed as a juvenile; if he's handsome, he's typed as a leading man. I was lucky. Whereas bootmakers have to spend millions to establish a trademark, I was handed a trademark free of charge. When an actor gets in a position to select his own roles, he's in big trouble, for he never knows what he can do best. I'm sure I'd be damn good as little Lord Fauntleroy, but who would pay ten cents to see it?”

“When I was nine, I played the demon king in "Cinderella" and it launched me on a long and happy life of being a monster.”

“My wife has good taste. She has seen very few of my movies.”

“You could heave a brick out of the window and hit ten actors who could play my parts. I just happened to be on the right corner at the right time.”

“[on his rival, Bela Lugosi] Poor old Bela, it was a strange thing. He was really a shy, sensitive, talented man who had a fine career on the classical stage in Europe, but he made a fatal mistake. He never took the trouble to learn our language. He had real problems with his speech and difficulty interpreting lines.”

“My leg in a steel brace... operating with only half a lung... why, it's a public scandal that I'm still around. But as long as the people want me, I feel an obligation to go on performing. After all, every time I act I provide employment for a fleet of doubles.”

Things You May Not Know About Boris Karloff

In contrast to the image he presented in most of his films, the private Karloff was, by every account, a quiet, bookish man off- screen. A true gentleman, he had many friends, both in and out of show business, and he was particularly fond of children. For the latter, among other things, he recorded many successful albums of children's stories.

When told by a mutual friend that Bobby Pickett, who recorded the hit song "Monster Mash", was a huge fan of his, Karloff replied, "Tell him I enjoy his record very much." Pickett still considers that the greatest compliment he has ever gotten, and Karloff eventually sang the song himself on a television special.

His first Broadway play was "Arsenic and Old Lace" in a role that was written for him. He played Jonathan Brewster, whose face has been changed by a disreputable plastic surgeon named Dr. Einstein so that he now looks like Boris Karloff. He also performed the role in the road company of this production.

When he traveled to England to shoot The Ghoul (1933), it was the first time in nearly 25 years that he returned to his home country and reunited with the surviving members of his family.

In the final years of his life, walking, and even just standing, became a painful ordeal. Some directors would change the script to place Karloff's character in a wheelchair, so that he would be more comfortable.

Was one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild. His daughter recounts that, due to the Hollywood studio chiefs' distrust of unions and their attempts to keep them from forming, he always carried a roll of dimes in his pocket. This was because he had to use pay phones when conducting union business, since he knew his home phone had been tapped.

Boris Karloff in Abbott and Costello Meet Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953).
Boris Karloff in Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949).
Karloff (right) in Arsenic and Old Lace (1944).
Karloff in Before I Hang (1940).
In Black Friday (1940).
Karloff in "The Wurdalak" episode of Black Sabbath (1963).
Karloff and Elsa Lanchester in Bride of Frankenstein (1935).
Karloff in British Intelligence (1940).
As Gravelle in Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936).
In Corridors of Blood (1958).
Karloff in the role that made him a star in Frankenstein (1931).
Karloff in The Body Snatcher (1945).
in The Devil Commands (1941).
In The Ghoul (1933), left.
In The Man They Could Not Hang (1939).
Karloff, right, in The Miracle Man (1932).
Wearing eight hours worth of makeup in The Mummy (1932).
Karloff and Gloria Stuart (whose last movie was Titanic)
in The Old Dark House (1932).
With Catherine Lacey in The Sorcerers (1967).
Boris Karloff in Tower of London (1939).