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Today is Boris Karloff day on TCM.

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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 03:53 PM
Original message
Today is Boris Karloff day on TCM.
He used to scare the pants off me when I was a kid.

Some interesting factoids courtesy of imdb.com:

Birth Name
William Henry Pratt

Nicknames
Billy
The Uncanny

Along with fellow actors Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price, Boris Karloff is recognized as one of the true icons of horror cinema, and the actor most closely identified with the general public's perception of the "monster" from the classic Mary Shelley book, "Frankenstein". William Henry Pratt was born on November 23, 1887, in Camberwell, London, England, the son of Edward John Pratt Jr., the Deputy Commissioner of Customs Salt and Opium, Northern Division, Indian Salt Revenue Service, and his third wife, Eliza Sarah Millard.

He was educated at London University in anticipation that he would pursue a diplomatic career; however, he emigrated to Canada in 1909 and joined a touring company based out of Ontario and adopted the stage name of "Boris Karloff." He toured back and forth across the USA for over ten years in a variety of low-budget theater shows and eventually ended up in Hollywood with very little money to his name. Needing cash to support himself, Karloff secured occasional acting work in the fledgling silent film industry in such pictures as The Deadlier Sex (1920), Omar the Tentmaker (1922), Dynamite Dan (1924) and Tarzan and the Golden Lion (1927), in addition to a handful of serials (the majority of which sadly haven't survived). Karloff supplemented his meager film income by working as a truck driver in Los Angeles, which allowed him enough time off to continue to pursue acting roles.

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.

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.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000472/bio
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 04:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. I recorded a few of those movies today - The Black Room was one.
Some of the older British films he did are real classics.

Happy Halloween at last.

mark
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I probably should have posted this in 'Seniors' but no one goes there.
:eyes:
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-31-09 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Some of the posts are several years old - maybe they are the seniors.
Thanks again.

mark
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Moondog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
3. I've been enjoying Boris Karloff day.
Caught a bunch of mad scientist BK flicks this afternoon. Managed to fall asleep during one, and catch a power nap. Great stuff! If it weren't close to dinner time, I'd be nuking popcorn!
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trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Charlie Chan flicks used to be my Power Nap time.
Back in the early 70s one of the Chicago channels ran 'Charlie Chan Theater' every Saturday afternoon.
I'd stretch out on the couch to watch and be cutting ZZZZZs before the first reel was over.
Them was the days.
;-)
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 05:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. A guy I used to work with, a WWII Army Air Corp vet met Boris Karloff
at the "Hollywood Canteen" when he was getting ready to ship out overseas.

He was one of the members of the audience when they filmed it.

Said Karloff was a real gentleman, and shook the hand of every soldier and sailor in the room.

Still love watching him perform; he was one of the greats from Hollywood's Golden Age.
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Callalily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-30-09 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. Oh, I would watch Karloff
films during my babysitting days, and I too was frightened.

What a great actor though.
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