Friday, November 23, 2007




Yes, today is "Black Friday" the busiest day in retail-- and I am managing a store in the mall for the first time in twenty years. I vowed I would never again work in a mall and here I am-- oh well, the opportunities of life are strange indeed. You need to accept things that you don't expect! Today is also the 120th birthday of dear old Boris Karloff (born in 1887) and if coincidence isn't strange enough on this very day the Broadway production of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" re-opens on "the Great White Way" despite the strike that goes on after fourteen days-- ordered to do so by a federal judge because the production had indeed made a pivotal pre-strike agreement with the stagehands union. Keep your word, boys. Of course we know that this role was made famous by the good kind and wonderful Boris Karloff. Here is some things that you might not know about the old boy: In 1931, Boris Karloff took out insurance against premature aging from his fright make-up. #2: The 1931 Frankenstein 6-sheet movie poster, featuring Boris Karloff as the monster, is considered to be the most valuable movie poster in the world. There is only 1 copy of the poster known to exist.#3 Despite his great performances in many classic horror movies, there's reason to think he never took such roles seriously. He once said, "My wife is a woman of very great taste. That's why she's never seen any of my films." #4:In the 1940's, Karloff was frequently on the radio program "Information Please", which showed his incredible knowledge for facts and trivia, as well as his pleasant personality, something never seen in his films.
#5: Boris Karloff made numerous appearances on the CBS
television program Suspense. The episode titled "The Yellow Scarf" was broadcast June 7, 1949 and "A Night at an Inn" was broadcast April 26, 1949. They are not yet available commercially on DVD. There is a public film showing at the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in September 2007 in Aberdeen, Maryland. #6: Karloff always credited film star Lon Chaney with giving him the best advice of his career, when the elder Chaney told the then-struggling Karloff to "find something that no one else can do, and then do it better than anyone else can do it, and you'll leave your mark." #7: Karloff was bow-legged, had a lisp and stuttered as a young boy. He conquered his stutter, but not his lisp, which is noticeable all through his career. Due to the years of difficult manual labor in Canada and the U.S. while trying to establish his acting career, he suffered back problems all of his later life. #8 Karloff had a very soft and warm voice. A line from the play "Sir Henry at Rawlinson End" by Viv Stanshall describes a character as being "Karloff soft spoken”. #9 Boris had one daughter, Sara Karloff, by his fifth wife (b.1938). #10: Beginning in 1940, Karloff dressed up as Santa Claus every Christmas to hand out presents to crippled children in a Baltimore hospital. That last fact sure did not suprise me-- but it just shows how great an actor he truly was. Happy shopping everyone!

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