Monday, June 9, 2014
AN OPEN LETTER TO BORIS KARLOFF
Eugene Chrisman's column in Fawcett's Hollywood magazine was in a clever "open letter' format, where he would ask a selected actor or actress questions that, should they care to answer, would reveal personal information about themselves. No doubt the letters were a set-up and the chosen individual received the questions in advance. No matter. It was a novel way to allow fans insight into their screen star favorites.
The January 1935 issue of Hollywood included a response to the previous month's questions posed to enormously popular child star, Shirley Temple. But the lead was "An Open Letter to Boris Karloff".
Chrisman lauds the work of Karloff, and in a kindly tongue-in-cheek manner, thanks him for ending his insomnia by giving him nightmares from his role as The Monster in Frankenstein. He goes on to compare his enduring makeups to that of the late Lon Chaney. While we know that Chaney applied his own makeup and Karloff's monstrous visages were the work of Jack Pierce, it does not diminish the fact that some of these makeups were quite uncomfortable and it would not be unreasonable to say that they suffered under them on more than one occasion.
More importantly, however, Chrisman acknowledges Karloff's early career struggles, rising from "the slime of ditches" to earn five dollars day. He astutely adds, "It had been a long, hard road, and now, at last you were there, because of a talent you never suspected, the flare [sic] for horror roles."
Would Karloff reply to Chrisman's request to tell fans more about himself? Find out in tomorrow's post right here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD!