Boris Karloff

English actor (1887–1969)

William Henry Pratt (23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969) better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor.


  • 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.
    • As quoted in "All He Needed Was a Good Scare" by Samuel Grafton, Good Housekeeping (August 1951), p. 136
  • It was a family name on my mother's side, and I thought my own name Pratt, if I ever got known in the theatre might be unfortunate.
  • The Monster was the best friend I ever had. I'd been in Hollywood for ten years and no one had heard of me except my creditors. Then in 1931 I played the monster and a career was born. I'm truly indebted to the old Ghoul.
    • As quoted in "Boris Karloff Comes Into His Own for Halloween" by Vernon Scott (U.P. Hollywood correspondent), Contra Costa Gazette (October 31, 1957), p. 6

Quotes about Boris KarloffEdit

  • My father was such a private and modest man. He did not really bring his career home or talk about other actors, and he lived a very conservative, circumspect life. He did not live the life of a movie star. He was a typical English gentleman. I really was not aware. I mean I knew what he did, but I was not aware of the magnitude of his stardom.
  • I adored making The Man Who Changed His Mind with dear Boris Karloff. He refused to do his own stunts, the mark of a true Hollywood star.
    • Anna Lee, speaking with James Bawden, c. 1980s; as quoted in Conversations with Classic Film Stars: Interviews from Hollywood's Golden Era (2016) by Bawden and Ron Miller, p. 208
  • He was a lovely man. We used to have great fun reciting poetry to each other.
    • Anna Lee, speaking with Ron Miller, summer 1983; op. cit., p. 215
  • Boris Karloff's face has always fascinated me, and I made drawings of his head, added sharp, bony ridges where I imagined the skull might be joined. His physique was weaker than I could wish, but that queer, penetrating personality of his I felt was more important than his shape, which could easily be altered.
  • James Whale, in "James Whale and Frankenstein," The New York Times (December 20, 1931), Sec. 8, p. 4

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