March 4, 2015

Tea With Frankenstein's Monster: Rare Photos Capture Boris Karloff Relaxing While Filming of the 'Frankenstein' Movies

As a British man, Boris Karloff is often pictured with an iconic cup of tea — sometimes in full costume. He found fame in the breakthrough role as Frankenstein's monster in the 1931 film.

Karloff's tender, sympathetic performance received enormous critical praise and he became an overnight sensation. He donned the signature make up, boots and neck bolts to play the monster once again in the popular Bride of Frankenstein (1935) and the less successful Son of Frankenstein in 1939.

Makeup stylists heightened and flattened the 44-year-old's head using cotton and gum, then stiffened his eyelids, painted his fingernails black and smeared his skin with green greasepaint, which made him appear deathly white on film.

The finished look (complete with the monster's famous metal bolt electrodes and scars) was quickly copyrighted by Universal studios.

Boris Karloff enjoying cup of tea during wardrobe fitting in between scenes from the film 'Frankenstein', 1931. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

British actor Boris Karloff smokes a cigarette while in costume as The Monster on the set of 'Frankenstein', directed by James Whale, 1931. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

Boris Karloff with cigarette is dirtied by director James Whale in between scenes from the film 'Frankenstein', 1931. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

Greek-born American make-up artist Jack P. Pierce applies make-up and combs the hair of British actor Boris Karloff for Karloff's role as the monster in the James Whale-directed film 'Frankenstein,' California, 1931. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)

circa 1935:  Greece-born make-up artist Jack P. Pierce works to transform Boris Karloff into the monster for 'Bride of Frankenstein', directed by James Whale.  (Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

English actor Boris Karloff relaxes on the set of the film 'Bride of Frankenstein', in which he reprises his role as Frankenstein's creation, 1935.  (Photo by John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

circa 1935:  Still wearing the monster make-up for his role in 'Bride of Frankenstein', directed by James Whale, English actor Boris Karloff sits down for a snack on set.  (Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

circa 1935:  From left to right, actors Boris Karloff, Colin Clive and Ernest Thesiger pause for a cigarette break on the set of 'Bride of Frankenstein', directed by James Whale. They are still in costume as two mad scientists and a monster.  (Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

circa 1935:  From left to right, actors Ernest Thesiger, Colin Clive, Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester examine some snowy landscapes on the set of 'Bride of Frankenstein', directed by James Whale.  (Photo via John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images)

Boris Karloff during filming of 'Bride Of Frankenstein', 1935. (Photo by Universal/Getty Images)

(via Mashable/ Retronaut)




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