DEAR BORIS: The Life of William Henry Pratt a.k.a. Boris Karloff by Cynthia Lindsay

DEAR BORIS: The Life of William Henry Pratt a.k.a. Boris Karloff

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The late, great Ghoul fondly remembered by ""a close and beloved friend of thirty-six years."" Ne in Dulwich, England in 1887, Billy Pratt decided to become an actor at the age of nine. Having emigrated to Canada in his early twenties, he dug ditches and shoveled coal before working in repertories in Canada and the States. Fifteen years as a Hollywood extra and bit player preceded his first big role as the Monster in Frankenstein (1931). Karloff was a top horror--he preferred the word ""terror""--figure ever since--what with The Mask of Fu Manchu; The Mummy; The Raven; The Body Snatcher; Isle of the Dead and Targets in addition to occasional Broadway stints in Arsenic and Old Lace; Peter Pan and The Lark. The actor is portrayed here as the antithesis of his screen image--a considerate, kind and witty gentleman fond of gardening, literature and cricket. The fact that he was ""a most secret man"" who ""deliberately covered his own tracks"" makes for some mysterious gaps in his past. Still, this is an affectionately entertaining testimonial to a man who truly loved to curl your toes.

Pub Date: Nov. 25th, 1975
ISBN: 0879101067
Publisher: Knopf