Botis Karloff

Boris Karloff 1887-1965

Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff: More Than A Monster by Stephen Jacobs

Boris Karloff
More Than a Monster

By Stephen Jacobs

Available from Amazon

William Henry Pratt

Born 23 November 1887 at Camberwell, London
Died 2 February 1969 Midhurst, Sussex

He was from of a large family and they moved in 1892 to Chase Green Avenue, Enfield. Subsequent he moved to Slades Hill, followed by 38 Uplands Park Road. He had seven brothers, a sister and a half-sister. Most of the brothers were in the civil service (and quite a bit older than him - the oldest having been born in 1865). Billy’s brother George was an actor for a time, using the stage name George Marlowe. He (George) also joined an amateur dramatics group – the Enfield Amateur Dramatic Society – acting, writing & producing. They staged one show a year at the Enfield Cricket Club.

Each Christmas, for two nights, a parish play, or pantomime, was produced and staged at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church Hall. Billy took to the stage for the first time (probably in December 1896) as the Demon King in a production of Cinderella.

“When I was nine I played the Demon King in Cinderella and it launched me on a long and happy life of being a monster.”

He attended Dr Starkey’s School, then Enfield Grammar, before going to Merchant Taylor’s in London. Following 3 years at Uppingham, in Rutland, he had a short stint at Kings College at the University of London. He emigrated to Canada in 1909 and worked as a manual labourer before finding work in the theatre. He made his way to Los Angeles and began appearing in pictures in 1919.

Many thanks to Stephen Jacobs who supplied the information and picture of Boris Karloff.

William Pratt
William Pratt in 1907
William Pratt with Alice
William Pratt with Alice

Boris Karloff 1887-1965

William Henry Pratt

Born 23 November 1887 at Camberwell, London
Died 2 February 1969 Midhurst, Sussex

He was from of a large family and they moved in 1892 to Chase Green Avenue, Enfield. Subsequent he moved to Slades Hill, followed by 38 Uplands Park Road. He had seven brothers, a sister and a half-sister. Most of the brothers were in the civil service (and quite a bit older than him - the oldest having been born in 1865). Billy’s brother George was an actor for a time, using the stage name George Marlowe. He (George) also joined an amateur dramatics group – the Enfield Amateur Dramatic Society – acting, writing & producing. They staged one show a year at the Enfield Cricket Club.

Each Christmas, for two nights, a parish play, or pantomime, was produced and staged at St. Mary Magdalene’s Church Hall. Billy took to the stage for the first time (probably in December 1896) as the Demon King in a production of Cinderella.

“When I was nine I played the Demon King in Cinderella and it launched me on a long and happy life of being a monster.”

He attended Dr Starkey’s School, then Enfield Grammar, before going to Merchant Taylor’s in London. Following 3 years at Uppingham, in Rutland, he had a short stint at Kings College at the University of London. He emigrated to Canada in 1909 and worked as a manual labourer before finding work in the theatre. He made his way to Los Angeles and began appearing in pictures in 1919.

Many thanks to Stephen Jacobs who supplied the information and picture of Boris Karloff.

William Pratt
William Pratt in 1907
William Pratt with Alice
William Pratt with Alice
Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff
Boris Karloff: More Than A Monster by Stephen Jacobs

Boris Karloff
More Than a Monster

By Stephen Jacobs

Available from Amazon

Sara Karloff visit

On Tuesday October 9th 2012 Sara Karloff came to visit the stage and hall where her father Boris Karloff first performed.

We were delighted to welcome Sara Karloff to visit the Hall and stage where her father first trod the boards, when aged ten in 1897, he played the Demon King in a production of Cinderella.

107 years later, she travelled to England from California, and with friends from Dusseldorf and Stephen Jacobs, biographer of Karloff, visited the Hall and the newly restored chancel. They also visited Enfield Grammar School and the house in Uplands Park Road where he had lived. Janet Reed, who was baptised at St Mary Magdalene’s 79 years ago this very day happened to be around, and on meeting Sara recalled how she remembered Jeremy, Boris’ nephew.

On seeing the newly restored chancel paintings, it was realised that Boris would have remembered them being painted, as he worshipped regularly in the Church during the period of the paintings’ creation, during the period of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897.

Sara Karloff
Sara Karloff and the stage where Boris made his debut.
Sara, Stephen Jacobs and Janet Reed (Chairman of St Mary Magdalene Drama Group)
Sara, Stephen Jacobs and Janet Reed (Chairman of St Mary Magdalene Drama Group)
Sara and the Vicar in the newly restored Chancel, which the young William Pratt would have seen being painted.
Sara and the Vicar in the newly restored Chancel, which the young William Pratt would have seen being painted.
Sara Karloff
Sara Karloff and the stage where Boris made his debut.
Sara, Stephen Jacobs and Janet Reed (Chairman of St Mary Magdalene Drama Group)
Sara, Stephen Jacobs and Janet Reed (Chairman of St Mary Magdalene Drama Group)
Sara and the Vicar in the newly restored Chancel, which the young William Pratt would have seen being painted.
Sara and the Vicar in the newly restored Chancel, which the young William Pratt would have seen being painted.