Boris Karloff

Birth Name: William Henry Pratt

Date of Birth: 23 November, 1887

Place of Birth: Camberwell, London, England, U.K.

Date of Death: 2 February, 1969

Place of Death: Midhurst, Sussex, England, U.K.

Ethnicity: English, possibly some Indian

Boris Karloff was a British actor. He is known for his roles in Frankenstein (1931), and its sequels Bride of Frankenstein and Son of Frankenstein, along with The Mask of Fu Manchu, The Mummy (1932), The Raven (1935 and 1963), The Black Castle, and Targets, and narrating and voicing the title role in How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). He was also billed as KARLOFF, and Karloff the Uncanny.

He was the son of Eliza Sarah (Millard) and Edward John Pratt. Edward was born in Bombay, Maharashtra, India. Eliza was born in Poona, Bombay, India.

Boris was said to have some Indian ancestry. It is not clear if this is accurate.

Boris was married to Evelyn Hope Helmore, until his death. He had a daughter with his former wife Dorothy Stine.

Boris’s maternal grandfather was James Millard (the son of David Millard and Sarah Gray). James was born in Buckinghamshire, England. David was the son of James Millard and Winifred Harman. Sarah was the daughter of Charles Gray and Elizabeth Thornbeth.

Boris’s maternal grandmother was Eliza Julia Edwards (the daughter of Thomas Edwards and Mary Anne Glascott). Eliza was born in Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India, and was the sister of Anna Leonowens (born Anna Harriette Emma Edwards), a travel writer, educator, and social activist, who inspired the musical The King and I (1951). Thomas was born in St. George Parish, Middlesex, England. Boris’s great-grandmother Mary Anne was the daughter of William Vaudrey Glascott, who was born in Hatherleigh, Devon, England, and of an unnamed woman who may have been of Indian and/or Eurasian descent.

He is said to have been a distant relative of Canadian actor Benjamin Ayres.

Source: Genealogy of Boris Karloff (focusing on his mother’s side) –


Curious about ethnicity

4 Responses

  1. Thenabster says:

    Come to think of it, I could see the Indian in him…he looks kind of North Indian IMO

  2. follers says:

    Ethnic, is there a picture, please?

  3. ames says:

    I think it’s a very good chance he had some Indian ancestry.

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