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Boris Karloff Bio

Born 1887boris karloff

81 Years Old



Actor/Horror Icon


1887- born on November 23rd in Honor Oak, London, England, UK

1918- appeared in 15 chapter serial film The Lightning Raider

1919- had bit part in The Prince and Betty

1922- appeared in The Infidel

1927- appeared in Tarzan and the Golden Lion

1929- appeared in Charlie Chan film Behind that Curtain, Karloff’s first sound film

1931- played the Monster for the first time in Frankenstein

1932- appeared in the original Scarface

1932- appeared in The Old Dark House, another Universal Horror film, director by Frankenstein director James Whale

1932- played Dr. Fu Manchu in The Mask of Fu Manchu

1932- played starring role of Imhotep in The Mummy, another Universal Horror film

1933- further established his status as a horror icon in The Ghoul

1934- starred in The Black Cat, which also starred horror legend Bela Lugosi

1935- starred as the Monster for second time in Bride of Frankenstein, considered to be not only the greatest of the Universal Monster films but one of the greatest films ever made

1935- starred in The Raven

1936- had supporting role in another Charlie Chan film, Charlie Chan at the Opera

1938- starred as private investigator character James Wong for first time in Mr. Wong, Detective

1939- starred as the Monster for third and final time in Son of Frankenstein

1939- played Detective Wong for second time in The Mystery of Mr. Wong

1939- starred in Mr. Wong in Chinatown as Wong for third time

1940- played Wong for fourth time in The Fatal Hour

1940- played Wong yet again in Doomed to Die

1945- teamed up again with Lugosi in The Body Snatcher

1949- starred in box office smash Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff

1953- starred with Abbott and Costello again in Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as the titular characters

1963- starred in The Terror alongside Jack Nicolson, a Roger Corman directed film

1964- starred alongside Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone in The Comedy of Terrors

1966- voiced the Grinch in seminal Christmas animated film How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, based on the Dr. Seuss book of the same name

1968- starred in House of Evil


In addition to his large body of work in the film industry, Karloff also made a successful foray into the world of television, having narrated the highly regarded horror anthology show Thriller. Not only did Karloff narrate the show, he starred in many of the program’s highest rated episodes.


As a horror icon, Karloff’s real life persona was often at odds with this dastardly image. He was known by his co-stars as a very sweet man and gave to many children’s charities during the course of his life. Even as far back as 1940, Karloff dressed up as Father Christmas to hand out presents to disabled children at  Baltimore hospital.