William Henry Pratt (23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969), better known by his stage name Boris Karloff (/ˈkɑːrlɒf/), was an English actor who was primarily known for his roles in horror films. He portrayed Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and Son of Frankenstein (1939). He also appeared as Imhotep in The Mummy (1932).
His best-known non-horror role is as the Grinch, as well as the narrator, in the animated television special of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966). For his contribution to film and television, Boris Karloff was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Boris Karloff was born William Henry Pratt on 23 November 1887, at 36 Forest Hill Road, Camberwell, London, England. Pratt stated that he was born in Dulwich, which is nearby in London. His parents were Edward John Pratt, Jr. and Eliza Sarah Millard. His brother, Sir John Thomas Pratt, was a British diplomat. His mother's maternal aunt was Anna Leonowens, whose tales about life in the royal court of Siam (now Thailand) were the basis of the musical The King and I. He was bow-legged, had a lisp and stuttered as a young boy. He conquered his stutter, but not his lisp, which was noticeable throughout his career in the film industry.