Few actors are known simply by their last name like Gable, Olivier, Monroe and Valentino. Even less actors are known by their first name alone such as Bradley, Arnold, and Charlton. There are only a handful of actors throughout history that can be identified to by just their first name, or just their last name.
If you refer to either Boris, or Karloff, any horror fan or movie fan will have images pop in their head of that gaunt figure that entertained us in over 200 movies. When talking about horror movie icons, Boris Karloff’s name is one of the first that come to mind.
Many people will first think of Karloff’s infamous role as Dr. Frankenstein’s monster. There were many other horror roles that defined the icon. While Frankenstein (1931) did launch his career, Boris was made into a household name with a long list of great performances.
A discussion of Boris Karloff’s great performances could go on for hours. Some of his most important and influential roles outside of being Frankenstein’s monster would have to include such movies as The Mummy (1932), The Raven (1963), Die Monster Die!, and his many portrayals of Mr. Wong.
Karloff even defined what horror was for a generation of children with his portrayal of the Grinch. His creepy voice made that character one that would haunt the memories of children for decades.
Boris Karloff also hosted many shows on TV that elevated him higher into being a horror movie icon. Out of This World, Thriller, and StarringBoris Karloff kept him as busy for a few years on the small screen as he was on the big screen.’
Boris Karloof has led countless lists as being one of the greatest, if not the greatest, horror film actor and icon of all time. While always a soft-spoken and humble man, he always wondered why he received so much attention.
Karloff’s name will sometimes bring to mind that other icons of the time from the Universal Studios horror films. While Bela Lagosi and Lon Chaney Jr. did make a significant impact on the Universal Studios movies, Boris Karloff is the only one who portrayed two of the top Universal Studios horror movie creatures. Frankenstein’s monster and the Mummy will always be remembered because of Karloff.
There are many cultural references that can be pointed out about Boris Karloff, but there is not enough room provided here to list all of them. Just remember that if you want to do the Monster Mash, make sure that you, “Tell them Boris sent you!”