Happy Birthday William Henry Pratt (1887-1969)

Here's a Google Map View of a nice little Turkish restaurant in 36 Forest Hill Road, Camberwell, Sarf London:

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And here's a close-up of that blue plaque on the wall...

Yes, what better way to start the Boris Karloff Blogathon with a small piece on his early life?

William Henry Pratt was born on this day, the 23rd November, in 1887 at the address above (not a Turkish restaurant back then as my extensive research has revealed).

The family moved to Enfield in 1892, and stayed at several addresses, one of them being 38 Uplands Park Road.

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William's first performance - as a monster - was at St. Magdalene's Church, probably in December 1896, playing 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."

Here's a pic of Reverend George Turner (St. Magdalene's 1885-1910), who would have given William that first big break:

Unfortunately Reverend Turner passed away in 1929, a couple of years before Frankenstein and The Mummy were launched onto an unsuspecting public. I wonder what he'd have thought?


  1. Thanks for posting these - wonderful to see where Mr Karloff was born and grew up. Great introductory piece to ease us into all things Karloff.

  2. Interesting piece of history there, Mr. Keeper! Thanks for posting.

  3. I fancy visiting that restaurant, now.

  4. I'd never seen the Karloff birthplace pix until now. Nice way to open the event! (On a totally unrelated note, I love the name of this blog.)