Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Accompanied by a photograph by Roman Freulich of Boris Karloff from his latest film, Hollywood magazine writer J. Eugene Chrisman provides readers with an insight into the private life of the horror film actor.

The article entitled, "Please Scare Us, Mr. Karloff!!" appeared in the July 1934 issue, just two months after the release of The Black Cat (7 May) which paired Karloff with Bela Lugosi for the first time at Universal.

Mr. Chrisman explains to fans that Karloff's offscreen persona is very different from the monsters he portrays. For instance, "He refuses to have a fly swatter in the house because he does not believe in taking life, even that of a fly". Chrisman also tells of Karloff's earlier years, as he struggled to make ends meet by "digging ditches, sleeping on park benches, hoisting heavy barrels of nails, and driving a truck". Using the name, Charles Edward Pratt, Chrisman states that the Karloff name comes from "a Russian ancestor somewhere on the feminine side of his family." He goes on to say that Karloff has a "distinctly Mongolian or Tartar complexion which increases his mystery and makes people wonder."

Embellishments aside, Chrisman paints a very respectable picture of Karloff in this early interview of an actor who would later become the venerable icon of classic screen horror.

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