Boris Karloff


Actor
Boris Karloff

About

Also Known As
William Henry Pratt, Karloff
Birth Place
London, England, GB
Born
November 23, 1887
Died
February 02, 1969
Cause of Death
Respiratory Disease

Biography

Arguably Hollywood's most celebrated and enduring screen horror icon, Boris Karloff embodied legendary movie monsters and madmen in such films as "Frankenstein" (1931), "The Mummy" (1931), "The Mask of Fu Manchu" (1932), "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), "Isle of the Dead" (1945) and "The Body Snatcher" (1945) over the course of a four-decade career. He began as an obscure background p...

Photos & Videos

The Lost Patrol - Movie Poster
Behind the Mask - Movie Posters
Behind the Mask - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Helen Vivian Soule
Wife
Married in 1924; divorced in 1928.
Dorothy Stine
Wife
Married in 1930; divorced in 1945.
Evelyn Helmore
Wife
Married in 1946 until his death.

Bibliography

"Karloff and Lugosi: The Story of a Haunting Collaboration"
Gregory William Mank, McFarland (1989)

Biography

Arguably Hollywood's most celebrated and enduring screen horror icon, Boris Karloff embodied legendary movie monsters and madmen in such films as "Frankenstein" (1931), "The Mummy" (1931), "The Mask of Fu Manchu" (1932), "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), "Isle of the Dead" (1945) and "The Body Snatcher" (1945) over the course of a four-decade career. He began as an obscure background player, essaying exotic types in silent films and serials until 1931, when his sympathetic turn as the Monster in "Frankenstein" made him an international star. For the next two decades, Karloff was the undisputed king of movie horror, while cultivating a lively presence in more dramatic and even comic fare on television and stage. He remained exceptionally popular into his seventh decade, especially among young viewers, who were entranced by his avuncular narration for "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!" (CBS, 1966). A beloved figure both on and off-screen, Karloff's performances - both chilling and charming - remained the gold standard by which all subsequent horror actors were measured.

Born William Henry Pratt on Nov. 23, 1887 in the London district of East Dulwich, England, Boris Karloff was the youngest of nine children by Edward John Pratt, Jr., Commissioner of Custom Salt and Opium for the Indian Salt Revenue Service, and a distant relative of Anna Leonowens, whose stories about life in the royal court of Thailand served as the basis for the musical "The King and I." He attended Kings College in London in anticipation of following his brothers into the diplomatic field, but Karloff dropped out in 1909 to travel across Canada, where he worked as an itinerant laborer, which caused him to develop back problems that persisted throughout his life. He eventually fell in with an Ontario-based touring company of actors with whom he would crisscross the United States for the next decade. At this point in his life, Karloff adopted his stage name, which he frequently cited as a combination of a family surname and a first name chosen for its exotic sound. However, scholars have cited the possibility that Karloff assumed the moniker to avoid embarrassing his siblings with his chosen profession, all of whom had become members of the British Foreign Service.

He eventually arrived in Hollywood, broke and desperate for work. He soon found bit player gigs in countless silent films and serials, many of which utilized his dark complexion - the result of Anglo-Indian blood in his family tree - and saturnine, heavy-lidded features to play mystics, high priests, American Indian warriors and foreign heels of every stripe. He made his first foray into supernatural-themed films with "The Bells" (1925) as a mesmerist whose alleged mental powers helped to root out a murderer. But Karloff was soon back to bit parts, and supplemented his income by working as a truck driver. He earned notice for his turn as a vengeful ex-con on the trail of a fellow former prisoner in Howard Hawks' gritty "The Criminal Code" (1931). The film was one of 15 pictures he made that year, but all were overshadowed by "Frankenstein," director James Whale's take on the classic Mary Shelley novel of science gone wrong. Buried under layers of Jack Pierce's iconic, flat-topped makeup and a brace that forced him to walk in a stiff, corpse-like gait, Karloff nevertheless projected pathos, terror and vengeful fury without a full line of dialogue - or billing in the film's opening credits, which listed him as "?" A considerable success for Universal Studios, "Frankenstein" instantly minted the 44-year-old Karloff as a horror star on par with Bela Lugosi of "Dracula" fame (1931), who would become his frequent onscreen nemesis in subsequent years.

By 1932, Karloff was Universal's monster-in-resident, tackling a host of infamous figures in what would become a roster of classic horror films. He was a terrifying, inhuman butler in Whale's offbeat "The Old Dark House" (1932), then essayed Sax Rohmer's fiendish villain in "The Mask of Fun Manchu" (1932) before donning even more intensive makeup to play an undead Egyptian priest in Karl Freund's "The Mummy" (1932). His rogues' gallery soon came to encompass a religious fanatic in John Ford's "The Lost Patrol" (1932), a perverse Satanist in Edgar G. Ulmer's macabre "The Black Cat" (1934), a scientist transformed into a killing machine by his own invention in "The Invisible Ray" (1936) and a sadistic, club-footed executioner in "The Tower of London" (1939). Karloff also played Chinese detective Mr. Wong in three features during this period, as well as a heroic doctor wrongly imprisoned on "Devil's Island" (1939), among countless other films during this period.

But he was best known as the Monster, whom he would refer to as "the best friend [he] ever had," and whom he would twice reprise on film in the 1930s. His lonely, lovelorn creature was spurned by a feral Mate (Elsa Lanchester) in Whale's dizzyingly surreal "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935), then as a dull sidekick to Bela Lugosi's ripe performance as the crippled shepherd, Ygor, in "Son of Frankenstein" (1939). But the series soon descended into B-movie territory, and Karloff would turn over the Monster to other actors for sequels, including Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Glenn Strange, none of whom could equal the humanity of his classic performance.

Cut loose from the role that made him a star, Karloff began the 1940s in a string of low-budget potboilers like "The Ape" (1940), a grotty chiller about a scientist who impersonated an escaped circus ape in order to obtain human spinal fluid for his clandestine experiments. He found greater rewards on the Broadway stage, where he appeared in the original production of "Arsenic and Old Lace" (1941) as a killer whose recent plastic surgery transformed him into a lookalike for. Boris Karloff. The actor was also a staple on radio dramas and comedies, for which he gamely spoofed his King of Horror image. Off-screen, he helped to form the Screen Actors Guild, and often spoke out about grueling conditions on sets like the ones he experienced in the early stages of his career. He was also a dedicated contributor to charities, especially those involving children, and frequently dressed as Santa Claus to deliver presents to hospitalized kids during the holidays.

In 1945, he left Universal to sign a three-picture deal with producer Val Lewton at RKO. Their resulting collaboration produced three of Karloff's best horror films since the early '30s: "Isle of the Dead" (1945), with Karloff as a Greek general on a plague-ridden island; "The Body Snatcher" (1945), which reunited Karloff and Lugosi in a story of 19th century grave robbing; and "Bedlam" (1946), with Karloff as the cruel head of a 18th century asylum. All three were critically acclaimed, if not financially successful, and restored Karloff's faith in a genre with which he would remain forever entwined.

The 1950s saw Karloff lend more of his time to television and stage, though he would also remain a consistent presence in horror films throughout the decade. His feature output during this period was consistently lightweight fare; there was a reunion with Abbott and Costello for "Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1953) and agreeable programmers like "The Haunted Strangler" (1958) and "Corridors of Blood" (1958), which co-starred Christopher Lee, a horror star on the rise. In "Frankenstein 1970" (1958), an absurd updated take on the Monster and its maker, he played Baron von Frankenstein, who used atomic energy to animate his creature, which was revealed to have its creator's face in the final frames - an awkward if well-intentional nod to Karloff's star-making role. On television, he enjoyed a greater range of roles, including turns as King Arthur, Don Quixote and Joseph Conrad's Kurtz from "Heart of Darkness," as well as countless turns on anthology dramas and suspense/supernatural programs. The stage was also a frequent destination, where Karloff earned a Tony nomination for "The Lark" (1952) as the bishop who orchestrated the execution of Joan of Arc. He also made an ideal Captain Hook in a 1950 musical production of "Peter Pan" with songs by Leonard Bernstein.

Though age and illness slowed Karloff physically in the 1960s, he remained remarkably busy throughout the decade. He enjoyed renewed popularity as the host of "Thriller" (NBC, 1960-1962), one of the best horror anthology series ever produced for television. And he became a horror icon in residence for the low-budget studio American International Pictures (AIP), which also counted Vincent Price and Peter Lorre among its resident boogeymen. Karloff teamed with both actors for "The Raven" (1963), a comic tale of warring sorcerers for director Roger Corman, who re-used the film's sets for "The Terror" (1963), a low-budget ghost story with Karloff and a pre-fame Jack Nicholson. AIP would cast Karloff in a string of features during the '60s, including the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation "Die, Monster, Die!" (1965), "The Curse of the Crimson Altar" (1968) with Lee and Barbara Steele, and even a pair of its beach party movies. These appearances made Karloff a popular figure among young moviegoers, many of whom had not been born when he appeared in "Frankenstein." He subsequently boosted his youth appeal tenfold by narrating "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas!" an animated adaptation of the children's book by Dr. Seuss about a surly creature (voiced by Karloff) who schemed to disrupt a community's Christmas celebration. Karloff also narrated the story for a 1966 soundtrack LP that earned him a Grammy nomination. The special eventually became a holiday television perennial that introduced new viewers to Karloff with each passing year.

Karloff's healthy declined dramatically in the 1960s; emphysema and other physical ailments robbed him of the ability to stand for long periods of time or breathe without an oxygen tank. Yet he continued to act, summoning his strength for the duration of a take before collapsing into an off-camera wheelchair. Most of his work during his final years was forgettable, including a string of incomprehensible horror films made in Mexico. But in 1968, he gave one of his final performances in "Targets," a low-budget thriller by Peter Bogdanovich which juxtaposed the final days of an aging screen horror icon (Karloff) with the dawn of a new kind of terror: a seemingly all-American young man (Tim O'Kelley) on an inexplicable shooting spree. "Targets" provided Karloff with a dignified coda for one of Hollywood's most legendary careers.

Karloff's final years were spent at his cottage in the village of Bramshott, England. He was hospitalized with pneumonia in 1969, and succumbed to the illness on Feb. 2, 1969. However, Karloff remained a star, even in death. His four Mexican films eventually saw release in the early 1970s, and episodes of an unreleased anthology series called "The Veil" (1958) were assembled into feature films that surfaced on late night television. An illustrated likeness of Karloff also continued to serve as the elegant but sinister host of a comic book series, initially titled "Thriller" but later changed to "Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery," which ran for two decades after his death. In 1997, his depictions of the Monster and the Mummy were commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp series celebrating classic movie creatures.

By Paul Gaita

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

A Masque of Madness (2014)
Transylvania Twist (1989)
Himself (Archival Footage)
Transylvania Twist (1989)
Himself
Madhouse (1974)
Himself
Cauldron of Blood (1971)
[Charles] Badulescu
The Crimson Cult (1970)
Professor Marsh
Mad Monster Party (1969)
Targets (1968)
Byron Orlok
The Sorcerers (1967)
Professor Monserrat
Mondo balordo (1967)
Narrator
The Venetian Affair (1967)
Dr. Pierre Vaugiroud
The Daydreamer (1966)
The Rat
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)
Hiram Stokely, the corpse
Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
Nahum Witley
Black Sabbath (1964)
Gorca
Bikini Beach (1964)
Art dealer
Corridors of Blood (1963)
Dr. Bolton
The Terror (1963)
Baron von Leppe
The Raven (1963)
Dr. Scarabus
The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
Amos Hinchley
Frankenstein--1970 (1958)
Baron Victor Von Frankenstein
The Haunted Strangler (1958)
Voodoo Island (1957)
Phillip Knight
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
Dr. [Henry] Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Black Castle (1952)
Dr. Meissen
The Strange Door (1951)
Voltan
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer: Boris Karloff (1949)
Swami Talpur
Tap Roots (1948)
Tishomingo
Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947)
Gruesome
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
Dr. [Hugo] Hollingshead
Lured (1947)
Artist
Unconquered (1947)
Guyasuta, Chief of the Senecas
Bedlam (1946)
George Sims
Isle of the Dead (1945)
General Ferides
The Body Snatcher (1945)
John Gray
House of Frankenstein (1945)
Dr. Niemann
The Climax (1944)
Dr. [Frederick] Hohner
The Boogie Man Will Get You (1942)
Professor Nathaniel Billings
The Devil Commands (1941)
Dr. Julian Blair
Doomed to Die (1940)
James Lee Wong
The Fatal Hour (1940)
James Lee Wong
Before I Hang (1940)
Dr. John Garth
British Intelligence (1940)
Valdar [also known as Franz Shindler]
Black Friday (1940)
Dr. Ernest Sovac
The Man with Nine Lives (1940)
Dr. Leon Kravaal
The Ape (1940)
Dr. Bernard Adrian
You'll Find Out (1940)
Judge Mainwaring
Son of Frankenstein (1939)
The Monster
Tower of London (1939)
Mord
The Mystery of Mr. Wong (1939)
Mr. Wong
Mr. Wong in Chinatown (1939)
James Lee Wong
The Man They Could Not Hang (1939)
Dr. Henryk Savaard
Devil's Island (1939)
Dr. Charles Gaudet
The Invisible Menace (1938)
Jevries [previously known as Dolman]
Mr. Wong, Detective (1938)
Mr. James Lee Wong
Charlie Chan at the Opera (1937)
Gravelle
Night Key (1937)
Dave Mallory
West of Shanghai (1937)
Wu Yen Fang
The Walking Dead (1936)
John Elman
The Man Who Lived Again (1936)
Dr. Laurience
Juggernaut (1936)
The Black Room (1935)
Anton/Gregor
The Raven (1935)
Edmond Bateman
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
The Monster
Hollywood Hobbies (1935)
The House of Rothschild (1934)
Count Ledrantz
The Lost Patrol (1934)
Sanders
The Black Cat (1934)
Hjalmar Poelzig
The Ghoul (1933)
Professor Morlant
Alias the Doctor (1932)
Autopsy surgeon
Business and Pleasure (1932)
Sheik
The Miracle Man (1932)
Nikko
Scarface (1932)
Gaffney
The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
Dr. Fu Manchu
The Mummy (1932)
Imhotep [also known as Ardeth Bey]
The Old Dark House (1932)
Morgan
Night World (1932)
"Happy" MacDonald
Behind the Mask (1932)
Henderson
The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood (1932)
Smart Money (1931)
Sport Williams
The Yellow Ticket (1931)
Orderly
The Mad Genius (1931)
Fedor's father
Public Defender (1931)
"Professor"
Tonight or Never (1931)
The waiter
Cracked Nuts (1931)
Revolutionist
I Like Your Nerve (1931)
Luigi
Young Donovan's Kid (1931)
Cokey Joe
Frankenstein (1931)
The Monster
Graft (1931)
Terry
The Criminal Code (1931)
Galloway
The Guilty Generation (1931)
Tony Ricca
Five Star Final (1931)
T. Vernon Isopod
King of the Wild (1931)
Pardon Us (1931)
The Utah Kid (1930)
Baxter
The Sea Bat (1930)
Corsican
The Unholy Night (1929)
Abdoul
Two Sisters (1929)
Cecil
Behind That Curtain (1929)
Soudanese servant
Devil's Chaplain (1929)
Boris
Burning the Wind (1929)
Pug Doran
The Phantom of the North (1929)
Jules Gregg
The Fatal Warning (1929)
King of the Kongo (1929)
The Little Wild Girl (1928)
Maurice Kent
Vultures of the Sea (1928)
Two Arabian Knights (1927)
Purser
Soft Cushions (1927)
The Chief Conspirator
Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1927)
Owaza
The Love Mart (1927)
Fleming
The Meddlin' Stranger (1927)
Al Meggs
The Princess from Hoboken (1927)
Pavel
The Phantom Buster (1927)
Ramon
Flames (1926)
Blackie Blanchette
Her Honor the Governor (1926)
Snipe Collins
The Bells (1926)
Mesmerist
The Golden Web (1926)
Dave Sinclair
Flaming Fury (1926)
Gaspard
Old Ironsides (1926)
A Saracen guard
The Greater Glory (1926)
Scissors grinder
The Nickel Hopper (1926)
The Prairie Wife (1925)
Diego
Parisian Nights (1925)
Pierre
Forbidden Cargo (1925)
Pietro Castillano
Lady Robinhood (1925)
Cabraza
Dynamite Dan (1924)
Tony
The Prisoner (1923)
Prince Kapolski
Omar the Tentmaker (1922)
Imam Mowaffak
The Altar Stairs (1922)
Hugo
The Woman Conquers (1922)
Raoul Maris
The Man From Downing Street (1922)
Maharajah Jehan
The Infidel (1922)
The Nabob
Cheated Hearts (1921)
Nli Hamed
The Cave Girl (1921)
Baptiste
Without Benefit of Clergy (1921)
Ahmed Khan
The Hope Diamond Mystery (1921)
The Deadlier Sex (1920)
Jules Borney
The Courage of Marge O'Doone (1920)
Tavish
The Prince and Betty (1919)

Film Production - Construction/Set (Feature Film)

An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)
Construction

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Transylvania Twist (1989)
Other

Cast (Special)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1962)
Jonathan Brewster
The Paradine Case (1962)
Sir Simon Flaquer
Hollywood Sings (1960)
Host
Shirley Temple's Storybook: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1958)
Narrator
The Lark (1957)
Cauchon
A Connecticut Yankee (1955)
King Arthur

Cast (Short)

Information Please No. 8 (1941)
Information Please No. 12 (1941)
Breakdowns of 1937 (1937)
Himself
Cinema Circus (1937)
Himself

Misc. Crew (Short)

The Mesmerist (2003)
Archival Footage

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Narrator
Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966)
Voice

Life Events

1909

Immigrated to Canada

1910

Joined Ray Brandon Players

1910

Adopted name Boris Karloff (date approximate)

1912

Joined Harry St. Claire Players

1919

Moved to Hollywood

1931

Achieved star status with his appearance as the monster in James Whale's "Frankenstein"

1932

First starring role with spoken dialogue, "Mask of Fu Manchu", in the title role

1939

Played the Frankenstein monster for the third and final time in "Son of Frankenstein"

1943

Enjoyed considerable Broadway success as the villainous Jonathan in the comedy "Arsenic and Old Lace"

1966

Narrated and provided the voice of the Grinch for the Christmas TV favorite, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", based on the Dr. Suess story

1969

Acted in final film, "The Curse of the Crimson Altar"

Photo Collections

The Lost Patrol - Movie Poster
The Lost Patrol - Movie Poster
Behind the Mask - Movie Posters
Behind the Mask - Movie Posters
Behind the Mask - Scene Stills
Behind the Mask - Scene Stills
Behind the Mask - Lobby Cards
Behind the Mask - Lobby Cards
The Criminal Code - Publicity Stills
The Criminal Code - Publicity Stills
The Criminal Code - Scene Stills
The Criminal Code - Scene Stills
Isle of the Dead - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from RKO's Isle of the Dead (1945), starring Boris Karloff, directed by Mark Robson, and produced by Val Lewton.
Frankenstein - Lobby Cards
Here are several Lobby Cards from Universal's Frankenstein (1931), starring Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, and Boris Karloff. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Lured - Movie Poster
Here is an original-release insert movie poster for Lured (1947), starring Lucille Ball. Inserts measured 14x36 inches.
The Bride of Frankenstein - Publicity Stills
Here are a few photos taken to help publicize Universal's The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), starring Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The Terror - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Roger Corman's The Terror (1963). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Bedlam - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from Val Lewton's Bedlam (1946), starring Boris Karloff and Anna Lee. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Isle of the Dead - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from RKO's Isle of the Dead (1945), produced by Val Lewton and starring Boris Karloff..
The Devil Commands - Movie Posters
Here are a few original movie posters from Columbia Pictures' The Devil Commands (1941), starring Boris Karloff and directed by Edward Dmytryk.
The Old Dark House - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from the Universal horror film The Old Dark House (1932), directed by James Whale. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Body Snatcher - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster from The Body Snatcher (1945). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
The Ghoul - Movie Poster
Here is a rare movie poster from the British Gaumont feature The Ghoul (1933), starring Boris Karloff. This poster is a large format British 3-Sheet, and is from the 1938 reissue of the film.
The Sorcerers - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for The Sorcerers (1967), starring Boris Karloff. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Tower of London - Title Lobby Card
Here is the Title Lobby Card from Tower of London (1939). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Bedlam - Lobby Card
Here is a lobby card from RKO's Bedlam (1946), produced by Val Lewton and starring Boris Karloff. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Voodoo Island - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Voodoo Island (1957), starring Boris Karloff. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.

Videos

Movie Clip

Walking Dead (1936) - Lindbergh Heart Pretty much all tech as aides Nancy and Jimmy (Marguerite Churchill, Warren Hull) assist Dr. Beaumont (Edmund Gwenn) trying to revive wrongly executed Elman (Boris Karloff), using a device modeled on an actual (though failed) invention by aviator Charles Lindbergh, in The Walking Dead, 1936.
Mad Monster Party? (1967) - Title Song, Credits Not a bad title tune at all (by Maury Laws and director Jules Bass) and grippy vocal by Ethel Ennis but most of all an impressive opening revue of the copyrighted "Animagic" characters and settings, from the script by Mad Magazine founder Jack Kurtzman and the Rankin/Bass production team, Mad Monster Party?, 1967.
Mad Monster Party? (1967) - Open, The Secret Of Destruction! His voice alone bringing far more class than required, Boris Karloff as Baron Frankenstein opens the Rankin/Bass (the team behind the I>Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 1964 TV special) comic-horror theatrical feature from Avco Embassy, Mad Monster Party?, 1967, shot in Japan with “Animagic” stop-motion technology.
Mad Monster Party? (1967) - You Are A Masterpiece madmonsterparty_yourareamasterpiece_FCExposition as Baron Frankenstein (modeled-on and voiced by Boris Karloff) explains his plans to aide Francesca (Gale Garnett’s voice), in the Rankin/Bass “Animagic” feature Mad Monster Party?, 1967, written by Mad Magazine founder Harvey Kurtzman, shot in Japan by Tad Mochinaga.
Mad Monster Party? (1967) - One Happy Family Phyllis Diller is both the voice and the basis for the character design for the monster’s bride, as Boris Karloff is host Baron Frankenstein, Gale Garnett is Francesca, and Alan Swift everybody else, gathering for the first time in the Rankin/Bass “Animagic” feature, shot by Tad Mochinaga at MOM Productions, Tokyo, Mad Monster Party?, 1967.
Mad Monster Party? (1967) - He Seemed Nervous Alan Swift doing Jimmy Stewart for the voice of nerdy nephew Felix, visiting Baron Frankenstein (Boris Karloff) and assistant Francesca (Gale Garnett) at his Caribbean island in the Rankin/Bass “Animagic” animated monster spoof Mad Monster Party?, 1967.
You'll Find Out (1940) - College Of Musical Knowledge Introductory schtick after a couple of staged scenes with radio listeners, RKO contract players Jeff Corey and Eleanor Lawson are the contestants as bandleader Kay Kyser does his bit based on the NBC radio hit, in the comedy-musical-horror-hybrid vehicle You'll Find Out, 1940, with Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Peter Lorre.
You'll Find Out (1940) - The Spirits Are Strongly Displeased Horror cameos and lingerie, Bela Lugosi with no prologue appears in the guest room of band leader and star Kay Kyser, then Peter Lorre lurks as New York society hostess Janis (Helen Parrish) and singer Ginny Simms take turns being disrobed, in the musical-horror-comedy You’ll Find Out, 1940.
Criminal Code, The (1931) - They Framed Me Stoolie "Runch" (Clark Marshall) worried he may be the cause of the ruckus in the yard, begging inmate Bob (Phillips Holmes), much fancy montage, whereupon trusty Galloway (Boris Karloff) intervenes, in Howard Hawks' The Criminal Code, 1931.
Black Sabbath (1964) - Open, Come Closer One might do this with another actor but never with the same result, Mario Bava directs Boris Karloff addressing the audience introducing the first episode, titled A Drop Of Water, in the internationally successful Italian-made horror anthology, Black Sabbath, 1964.
Black Sabbath (1964) - We Can Say All We Like About Ghosts Boris Karloff returns for the introduction of the second story, called The Telephone, in the American release of director Mario Bava’s Italian-made horror anthology, Michele Mercier as Rosy who is, we’ll learn, a busy prostitute, in Black Sabbath, 1964.
You'll Find Out (1940) - Mysterious Struggle Between Light And Shadow On a stormy evening after Kay Kyser’s gig at the pre-wedding party, singer Ginny Simms, manager/groom Chuck (Dennis O’Keefe) and his girlfriend, the hostess Janis (Helen Parrish) get a surprise from heretofore benevolent family friend judge Mainwaring (Boris Karloff) and unexpected professor Fenninger (Peter Lorre), in the horror-comedy You’ll Find Out, 1940.

Trailer

Terror, The (1963) -- (Original Trailer) Only Boris Karloff is named, though Jack Nicholson and Sandra Knight (Mrs. Nicholson at the time) are featured, in the trailer for The Terror, 1963, featuring scenes directed by Francis Ford Coppola and Monte Hellman, though producer Roger Corman alone is credited.
Black Sabbath (1964) U.S. Trailer Trailer for the substantially re-worked American release by American International Pictures of Italian director Mario Bava's eventually-acclaimed horror anthology, Black Sabbath, 1964, featuring Boris Karloff.
Comedy Of Terrors, The (1964) -- Original Trailer Perhaps candid but flattering to no one, from American Internatinal Pictures, the original trailer for the horror spoof The Comedy Of Terrors, 1964, with Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and even Basil Rathbone!
Scarface (1932) - (1979 Re-issue Trailer) Al Pacino got nothin' on Paul Muni, see, as the original Scarface (1932) directed by Howard Hawks, produced by Howard Hughes.
Frankenstein 1970 - (Original Trailer) A descendent (Boris Karloff) of Baron Frankenstein unleashes an undead murderer on the crew filming his forebear's story in Frankenstein 1970 (1958).
Alias the Doctor - (Original Trailer) Brothers with different work ethics clash while attending medical school in Alias the Doctor (1932) starring Richard Barthelmess.
Devil's Island - (Original Trailer) Boris Karloff in one of his rare sympathetic roles as a doctor unjustly accused of aiding traitors and sent to Devil's Island (1940).
Targets - (Re-issue Trailer) Old horror faces new horror as the paths of a fright film veteran (Boris Karloff) and a mad sniper collide in Peter Bogdanovich's Targets (1968).
West Of Shanghai - (Original Trailer) Boris Karloff stars as a Chinese warlord who holds three fugitives prisoner in West of Shanghai (1937).
Isle of the Dead - (Original Trailer) Boris Karloff is trapped on the Isle of the Dead (1945) where visitors are felled by the plague...or is it the dread "varvoloka"?
Bride of Frankenstein - (Re-issue trailer) To save his wife, Baron Frankenstein must build a mate for his monster in Bride of Frankenstein (1935), starring Boris Karloff.
I Like Your Nerve - (Original Trailer) A bookworm (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) turns himself into a romantic adventurer in Central America. Co-starring Loretta Young.

Family

George Pratt
Brother
Actor. Elder brother who had a short stage career.
Sara Karloff
Daughter
Mother, Dorothy Stine; survived him.

Companions

Helen Vivian Soule
Wife
Married in 1924; divorced in 1928.
Dorothy Stine
Wife
Married in 1930; divorced in 1945.
Evelyn Helmore
Wife
Married in 1946 until his death.

Bibliography

"Karloff and Lugosi: The Story of a Haunting Collaboration"
Gregory William Mank, McFarland (1989)