Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Princess and the Late Bloomer

Happy Birthday to you.
Right back at ya'.

William (Teutonic for protector) meets Sara (Hebrew for princess). It's not an exceedingly rare occurence, but it is a lovely serendipitous one when father and daughter share a birthday. Born in 1887, Boris Karloff would meet his daughter in 1938 when he was 51 years old. Talk about your late bloomer!

Well, that's the way it is with the Sagittarius. They love their independence. They love to learn, valuing knowledge above all else. Those, like Sara and her dad, born on the cusp of Scorpio and Sagitarius have a stubborn streak that simply won't let them give up on a dream or an idea.

Actors are a little crazy to begin with. Surely the diplomatic career Bill Pratt's family had mapped out for him would have appealed to his intellectual curiosity and his interest in all sorts of people. However, when the theatre bug bites there is no known cure. Joining a Canadian troupe, it would be a long tough road to success, but it's unlikely Boris even looked at it from that point of view. Living the life of his own choosing probably made him feel like a success. You can spot him as an Indian in The Last of the Mohicans from 1920. The Sagittarius will work determinedly on any project. A determined actor would grab hold of Frankenstein's Monster and create a character that transcends his own lifetime. Surely an unimagined success worth the cost.

Whatever the role, Boris Karloff is a part of our lives. Do you stay up late on Hallowe'en to watch The Mummy for the thousandth time? Does your obsessive-about-his-movies (where does he get it?) autistic son watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas until it's coming out your pores? Are you convinced no one else should ever attempt to narrate Peter and the Wolf?

As Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) once opined on The Honeymooners: "Boris Karloff singing and dancing on The Red Skelton Show - that's not the real Boris Karloff. Frankenstein - now, that's the real Boris Karloff." The audience laughed then and laugh now because we appreciate the actor who created the characters, along with appreciating the characters who took on a life of their own.

The Actor

Sara has said in interviews that her father could point with pride and joy to the many facets of career, and as fans may well note, he always brought a level of professionalism to every project. Sometimes enjoying the same level of commitment from his creative comrades and sometimes dragging the rest of them along with him. Personal challenges are bread and butter to the Sagittarius.

Her Highness

Sara Karloff exhibits those traits of leadership and enthusiasm. As a youngster, she may not have been aware of her father's cinematic legacy, but as an adult she has resourcefully and adventurously kept her father's name and work in the spotlight with her website and appearances at fan conventions. Next autumn on October 23rd, Sara is involved in a mystery cruise abord the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's "Explorer of the Seas". Wouldn't you want to be the one to save her from a stalker?

Sara is a special torch bearer to fans. Fans who acknowledge that as long as film, television and recordings live - as long as imagination flourishes, Boris Karloff is an actor for the ages.

Someone else's birthday - October, 2008

For me?
Children are so cynical these days.

Frankensteinia hosts The Boris Karloff blogathon running from November 23rd - 29th.


  1. Great post. I had no idea his daughter was such a fond promoter of her father's public memory. Good on her.

  2. Along with the Chaney family and Lugosi's son, Sara was front and centre when the US Postal Service dedicated a series to the Universal Monsters.

    It does make the heart glow to think of the affection in these families.



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