This Is Your Life

Boris Karloff (20 Nov. 1957)

TV Episode  |   |  Biography, Family, Reality-TV
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World famous star of monster movie lore Boris Karloff celebrates his 70th birthday as the very surprised guest of honor, featuring an appearance from makeup wizard Jack Pierce.


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Title: Boris Karloff (20 Nov 1957)

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Episode credited cast:
J. Warren Bacon ...
Frank Brink ...
Russel Crouse ...
Barbara Edwards ...
James Edwards ...
Axel Gruenberg ...
Evelyn Hope ...
Herself (as Evie Karloff)
Sara Karloff ...
Jim Laker ...
Howard Lindsay ...
Jack P. Pierce ...
Jane Stone ...
Geoffrey Taylor ...


World famous star of monster movie lore Boris Karloff celebrates his 70th birthday as the very surprised guest of honor, featuring an appearance from makeup wizard Jack Pierce.

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Release Date:

20 November 1957 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Featured in 100 Years of Horror: Boris Karloff (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

A surprise birthday celebration for Boris Karloff
16 January 2015 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

The Nov 20 1957 broadcast of THIS IS YOUR LIFE took place three days prior to Boris Karloff's 70th birthday, and he wasn't just surprised, he was shocked; a man who zealously guarded his privacy and hated talking about himself, when Ralph Edwards suggested that many surprises were in store, Boris jokingly replied "I hope not!" He soon got to enjoy himself with the numerous guests that appeared, beginning with an old schoolmate he hadn't seen in 50 years, who admitted that Boris was hardly "a distinguished scholar at Uppingham" (Boris: "so many people could have said that!"). With all his older brothers involved in the consular service, young William Henry Pratt chose to make his way as an actor in North America, with one guest discussing a role he played in North Dakota, playing one of the ugly sisters in "Cinderella!" Another from San Francisco talked about his many hours spent in the dressing room perfecting the art of changing his appearance (Boris: "anything to cover myself up in other words!"). Makeup wizard Jack Pierce greets Boris with an electrode like the one he used to glue on the actor's neck (Boris: "I used to call it the alemite cup!"). Broadway producers Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse share their inspired tale of casting Karloff in "Arsenic and Old Lace," as a criminal who was transformed by a plastic surgeon to look like Boris Karloff, later done in Anchorage by a new theatrical troupe represented on the show by Frank Brink. A lifelong cricket fan, Boris was especially pleased to see famed bowler Jim Laker, presenting him with a cricket ball suitably inscribed and autographed by the entire Surrey team. The show concludes with an appearance from his wife Evie and daughter Sara Jane, whose 19th birthday fell on the same day as her father's. Boris may not have liked being the subject but he proved a good sport about it and did seem to have a nice time.

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