Calendar of Cool: Boris Karloff Born

On November 23, 1887, William Henry Pratt was born. You may never have heard of him, but you almost certainly know his stage name: Boris Karloff.

Karloff, who initially came to America for a diplomatic career, starred in hundreds of productions in several genres. His best-known role was that of the monster in the 1931 film Frankenstein.


Following this film, Karloff was typecast in horror films for many years. He was widely praised for bringing such great humanity to Frankenstein’s monster – making him both fearsome and relatable. This was a very important part of the novel Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. In her tale, the creature is strong, but scared and alone, meant to reflect humanity’s own journey through the world.

A man who could bring a monster to life on screen, and make us feel for him? Super cool.