Pencils on paper 42×30 cm

William Henry Pratt (23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969), better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor. Karloff is best remembered for his roles in horror films and his portrayal of Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939), which resulted in his immense popularity. His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). He also had a memorable role in the original Scarface (1932). Once Karloff arrived in Hollywood, he made dozens of silent films, but work was sporadic, and he often had to take up manual labour such as digging ditches or delivering construction plaster to earn a living.His role as Frankenstein’s monster in Frankenstein (1931) made Karloff a star. The bulky costume with four inch platform boots made it an arduous role but the costume and torturously administered makeup produced the classic image. The costume was a job in itself for Karloff with the shoes weighing 11 pounds (5 kg) each. Universal Studios was quick to acquire ownership of the copyright to the makeup format for the Frankenstein monster that Jack P. Pierce had designed. Karloff was lucky to get the part, as it had been originally cast with Bela Lugosi as the monster. A disastrous screen test, made for the producer Carl Laemmle Jr who reportedly laughed at the sight of Lugosi in the makeup, forced the change. A year later, Karloff played another iconic character, Imhotep in The Mummy. The Old Dark House (with Charles Laughton) and the starring role in The Mask of Fu Manchu quickly followed. These films all confirmed Karloff’s new-found stardom. Despite his terrifying roles, in private life he was very shy and polite.

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