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Happy Birthday Boris

     Boris Karloff's birthday will be this Tuesday, November 23rd. 

     I'm amazed by how much Karloff did on screen, radio, TV, and stage.  I just learned that he portrayed Capt. Hook in a Broadway production of Peter Pan.  Would have loved to have seen that performance.

He looks like someone that would delightfully tear the heart out of a flying boy.
 
     TCM will have a Boris Tribute this Tuesday, featuring films that he had starred in including The Body Snatchers.  This is a movie worth watching for Karloff's portal of John Gray, a rather vicious procurer of medical cadavers.  The scene where he describes how to suffocate someone using only one's bare hands is my favorite.  When I watched it as a kid I wondered if what he was describing would actually work.  Karloff was convincing , like he had used the suffocation technique a thousand times.
     My father met Karloff in California during WW II.  Movie stars would visit with troops as part of the USO tours.  My father said that Karloff was the nicest guy you could ever meet.
     One of my favorite stories involves Karloff's insistence on having 4 o'clock tea on set, which according to story annoyed Bela Lugosi. Karloff would have a cup of tea, a little cake or a sandwich, and a smoke. Can you imagine what the Monster would have been like charged up on caffeine and cigarettes?

Watch The Body Snatchers at 1:45 pm, Tuesday, on TCM.  I think you'll like it.

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Eldon Litchfield

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