William Henry Pratt alias Boris Karloff, 1887-1969

By Nic Price on 17 June 2005 — 1 min read

William Henry Pratt alias BORIS KARLOFF Anatolia

KARLOFF, BORIS, (alias for) PRATT, William Henry, (1887-1969),
Actor, was born here.
36 Forest Hill Road, East Dulwich, SE22
Southwark 1998 [+]

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  • This isn’t a comment, I just wanted to say he’s my (dead) grandpa’s uncle.

  • I’m trying to track down a local story that Boris Karloff (William Pratt)once worked for the B.C. Electric Railway in Vancouver B.C. Canada. Have left a message with the website maintained by the family, but no response so far. Does anyone know for sure?

    • That’s actually one of the many lies Boris Karloff told. He wasn’t poor and he never starved. There are records that he worked as a realtor for a prominent realty firm in Canada as well as a CPA. His family was loaded and he took off with a substantial chunk of their fortune. Whenever “dear boris” needed dough, all he did was write a sob story letter home and his siblings were quick to wire him cash. There’s also a record that he listed in the 1910s as living in a mansion. Canada historian Greg Nestorff did his research well. Boris Karloff played people’s heartstrings very well from the get-go starting with his own blood.

      • Hi, I’m afraid your reply is inaccurate. Karloff did, indeed, face financial difficulties during his early days in Canada. Although his family were comfortable financially, the only money he had access to was a £150 legacy from his mother. He used this to emigrate to Canada where he spen most of it just living. He didn’t write home and the only time he borrowed money from siblings was if/when he bumped into them on his travels. Karloff never lived in a mansion. He rented an apartment in Hornby Mansions in Vancouver so, I expect, this is what you were mistakenly referring to.

  • My father-in-law Maurice Cecil Pratt was Boris Karloff’s cousin.He was born in 1906.His grandfather and great-grandfather are buried in the churchyard of Henley Church. He looked just like Boris Karloff and he had his lisp. I have a family tree dating back to 1790,and would like to know if this is really true.

    • I would like to to see this Family tree My mother is a pratt, My uncle Carlos pratt from Houston, Use to go visit Boris Karlosff, I don’t quiet know my great Grandpa’s Name D Tomas Pratt, He lived in mexico and he divorced my great grand ma, My Grand pa name Author William Pratt, his Brothers Names, Carlos , Bob, and Aunt Helen,

      • Don’t know when my Great grand paw D Tomas Pratt was Born But hew was Born in England Moved to Mexico City. My grand paw Author William Pratt was Born in 1908.
        His Brother Carlos would take her dauthor to visit Visit with Boris and his only daughter they were the same age. My mom and grad paw were invited but never went.
        That was in the 1950’s

  • With Williams and Henrys recurring in my hard-to-trace family tree, I’m intrigued to find out if Boris’line is connected. Any contact will be welcome.

  • I stimbled upon this link during a Yahoo search. This is really interesting. I’m the author of “Boris Karloff: The Man Remembered” (2004), and any new bits of information about Boris’ family history are always appreciated. I’ll have to check the family tree listed in an earlier biography. Good luck. And thank you for the pictures of Boris’ birthplace. I’ll have to make the pilgrimage (since I have been to the church where his ashes are buried.)


      • Boris Karloff was supposed to be half Indian, not American Indian. By the way I am probably also a distant cousin, as my dark complected grandmother was born Catherine Pratt. Hi cousins from me too!

  • My family name was also Pratt and researching my family tree I keep geting to William Henry Pratt born some time round 1886 or 7 ish. His father was also WIlliam Henry and had a connection with the Equestrian Tavern Southwark. He had 5 brothers and Sisters. My Uncle William went to the USA and the family lost touch. Does this tie in with anyone else.

    • Hi Roger, I have his fathers name as Edward John Pratt and his mother as Eliza Sarah Millard. I am a decendant from the Millard side. Edward and Eliza married in India (Eliza was born and raised in India) and they married in Surat on the 27th October 1848.
      The children of Edward and Eliza I believe were:

      Edward Millard Pratt b 29 Aug 1865 in India died 28 June 1949
      George Marlow Pratt b bet 1865 – 1869 India
      Charles Rary Pratt b bet 1865 – 1869 India
      Frederick Greville Pratt b bet 1865 – 1869 India
      David Cameron Pratt b bet 1869 – 1877 India
      Julia Honoria Pratt b bet 1869 – 1877 India
      John Thomas Pratt b 13 Jan 1876 India
      Richard Septimus Pratt b 1883 England
      William Henry Pratt (Boris Karloff) b 23 Nov 1887 Dulwich England

      I hope this helps.

      Sara Millard – Cairns Australia

      • Hi!! well, i have some documents from William Pratt (son of John Thomas Pratt), he is my grandfather’s dad… i’d like to have more information, and well, if you can help me, we can talk. I really wish it…

      • Hello
        My name is Catherine Elisabeth Walton
        And my great grandmother is julia honoria Pratt / Donkin (William Henry Pratt’s sister) …
        I don’t think my children or I resemble him much … well maybe sometimes 🤡
        My mother, Elisabeth Julia Donkin Read, is very dark skinned and swears it is due to the Indian blood in our ancestry …
        There is a book called Letter from Sylvia or Love from Sylvia which documents Boris’ life … I think Sylvia is my mothers cousin … hmmm not sure
        And life carries on …

    • Roger my Grandmother Was Catherine Pratt or spealt with K im not Sure, she was born in uk. Have you come across her in your finding s?

  • We are tracing our family tree at the moment on my mother’s side. There was an old family story about William Henry Pratt being my grandad’s cousin. Grandad’s surname was Bright. Anybody know of the connection?

  • I have a query that might strike some as idiosyncratically American but since Karloff made his way to stardom in the USA, I think it merited.

    I was quite the fan of Karloff when I was a child and felt it keenly when he died. I recall that there was something of an “official” story put about in film fan publications back in the day in order to explain the obscurity, at that time, of Karloff’s family background.

    It seems that Karloff was very reticent on the subject, giving the impression that there had been little if any contact between himself and his family since he’d left Britain. The only other references to be gleened from him were that he had foresaken an expected career in foreign service, which was family tradition, in favor of acting.

    In retrospect it was a pretty romantic tale, with the added virtue of having all the specific bits be factual.

    It was not until many years later that I learned about Karloff’s putative east Indian ancestry. It was quite a surprise since in all my years of reading anything with Karloff’s name attached I’d never come across so much as a suggestion that he was anything other than a pure bred Englishman with perhaps some distant Russian connection. Of course, considering the state of US society in the thirties, it’s hardly a shock that Hollywood might edit out that part of the story.

    I tucked the information about Karloff’s antecedents away in a corner of my mind, taking it out occasionaly to ponder over. A few years ago I happened upon a class photo of young Willam Henry and his public school mates. There amid a sea of dark uniforms and pale faces, the future Karloff stood out in sharp relief as unmistakably anglo-indian. This image tapped into a latent memory of the deep bronze verging on mahogoney tan that Karloff had sported off and on during his later years.

    At that moment it broke on me that, contra his public image in the states, Karloff had grown up as a mixed race child of the empire in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

    Now I’m not competent to judge what the consequences of this would have been for him in the Britain of that time. I do have some notion of what they would have been had he been born in the US though.

    My query is: Are there any sources available for inquiring into this aspect of Karloff’s early life? I’m not looking for horror stories you understand. I’m interested in what role, if any, his family background played in making him the man, the actor and yes, the artist that he was to become.

    • mixed race children in Victorian times were many and achieved , in many ways , distinction. The Pratt family were very high achievers and all reached the top of their professions. whilst Mixed race was possibly frowned upon in the upper classes (Aristocracy and gentry) it was not frowned upon by the upper middle and Middle classes

      • Thank you for this insight. I wish the same could be said for the Middle class in the US at that time.

  • Further on my previous comment in September. On researching my family treel I have found that my uncle William Henry Pratt was rhw Second Child of William Henry Pratt and Clara Harris. It is the Haris connection which brought William Henry to London. They had 6 children The first son William Henry joined the Army at the time of the WWI. His mother bought him out of the Army against his wishes. So he rejoined. Some time after WWII william went to the USA he had no contact with the family. At some point the date I have yet to discover an AUnt contacted the US Army as it was believed thet WIlliam had joined the US Army. The reply was that William was aliv and well and had been told of the family wanting to contact him No response was ever received from him.
    Does this tie in with anything any one else has and does it tie in with Boris Karlof. It does look as though the Pratt family has quite a few branches which may lead to the same area of London.
    I might be a help if those researching the same area could get into closer contact.
    Any one got any ideas.

  • Boris karloff’s family is an enigma.My grandmother was Bessie Maude Pratt, born in 1888 in Camberwell.She was my grandfather’s 2nd wife and my father David Elman Macer Wright, and Philip Harry Macer Wright my uncle had many stories about Bessie Pratt’s family connections.One of the most enduring was that she was related to Boris Karloff. Only yesterday evening, before finding this site, my father assured me his mother would not have made this up and my uncle who dismissed much of our family’s legend, was certain of the authenticity of his mother’s kinship to Boris. My father who is now 88yrs old, said yesterday that he only knew Boris Karloff was a Pratt from his mother telling him and that as far as he is aware no-one knew Boris Karloff was Billy Pratt.I can find no link at all in my grandmother’s ancestry to Boris’ family, which is’nt helped by an apparant blank in his father and grandfather’s family, both of whom we are told were only childrenPamela Pratt’s entry above therefore throws open the whole plot. I would dearly like to get to the bottom of it.There are few things more frustrating than telling your children their ancestor was related to the great man, when asked how you can’t prove it!
    I believe my father’s mother was descended from Walter Pratt of Baldock, Hertfordshire, born 1390 Mildenhall, Suffolk and her family tree traces her ancestry to that date. I would be very keen to join in trying to resolve the Karloff ancestry and would appreciate any direct contact on the matter to donny@stillstoked.co.uk

  • i am also tracing my family tree and have come across that i was a very distant relative of william henry pratt, my father is kevin james pratt and my nanna is gladdis pratt anyone with any helpfull information would be a real big help thankyou x

  • I am also a Pratt and found this site. I found this very interesting, My Family settled in Indiana. My Great gradfather was William O Pratt nick name was DOC his sisters name was Maude, he had I think 13 Brothers and sisters, I have not reseached our family tree yet.

  • I am also tracing family and have William henry my grandfather born 1866 porchester hants. son of james henry pratt and mary matthews.

  • There are certainly an awful lot of Pratts out there!. My great grandfather was born William Robert Pratt in c.1839 in Shoreditch. He had 5 sons.Although they were born Pratts, they married and died with the surname Freds!Why, I know not. My Grandfather Charles Freds Pratt was a Karloff lookalike with a swarthy complexion but apart from family rumour, I can find no link.

  • Boris Karlof is a direct, if not distant cousin of mine,a second cousin I am told,of my Grandfather,Robert Charles Pratt, my fathers Dad. this is,as I am told, and have to hand, in the form of a family tree,which was obtained through Charmaine Bradbury Pratt, a cousin of this branch of family, you must forgive the wide spread, loose connections, but we do seem a profilic lot,(Of which I am very proud, I might add)the family tree runs thus,Edward John Pratt, married Margaret Shoals, July 20,1818,she died,November 8 1834, he then married an unidentified Indian Woman, no date of marriage, who gave birth to Edward John Pratt,Jnr, on October 15 1827, who died Paris,after 1895, but before this he had married,four different woman,which runs thus,first wife! Julienna Campbell,married April 10 1849, died December 1850,they had two children,Emma Caroline Pratt born Jan 12 1850 and Edward Pratt 111,born Dec 13 185o died Dec 14 1850, he then married, or went with Charlotte, thats all we know of her, who gave birth to Ellen Julia Pratt born Aug 18 1855, but died as a child, he the married, or went with another unidentified woman, no children, he then married Eliza Sarah Millard, who was born Jun 3 1848 married to him Oct 27 1884 she died 1893, but she gave birth to the following children Edward Milard,( Ted ) Pratt born 29 aug 1865 then George Marlow Pratt birn 13 April 1867 then Frederick Grenville (F. G ) Pratt, then David Cameron Pratt born early 1870s, then Julia Honoria Pratt born 1874, then JOhn Thomas Pratt born 13 Jan 1875( what a name for the historical fact),then Richard Septimus Pratt born 10 Nov 1882 then the link,William Henry Pratt (Boris Karloff) born Nov 23 1887 London England died Feb 2 1969 at Midhurst England hethen married the following women,Olive de Wilton, no children from this marriage, that was 1913, then “Montana” Laurona Williams born 1896 in New Mexico, married July 1920 no children then Helena Vivian (Polly) Soule born 1900 Maine married Feb 3 1934,again no children, then Dorothy Stine born Charlotte Michigan married her on April 12 1930 divorced April 10 1946 she died 1991 he then married Evelyn Hope,I believe this is Hestnora!) but cannot be sure,who was born 1904 in Putney England, they were married April 11 1946,we again believe in America,(she died June 1 1993,) she gave birth to the following children, Sara Jane Karloff Pratt born 23 0f Nov 1938 Hollywood, who married Richard Cotton in Jan 1958 they were Divorced in 1972,they had the following children Michael Cotton born 1960 who married and had a daughter called Kaoay!(no further leads here) and another son David Cotton born 1961 who married,dont know who, and he had a son Kyle and a daughter,Mackenzie, she Sara, went on to marry a Derry Brodsack,no children, they must have split up, she then married William J (Sparky) Sparkman who was born Feb 10 1930, they were married March 14 1992,that as far as we have reached, at this point in history, hope it will fill in a few gaps.

    Regards to all members of the Great Clan, we numbered Two million and six hundren thoudsand at the last rough count,as our forbears seemed to do, just keep moving, (In an up and down motion)!


    • Hi Stan. I must say it was great to stumble upon your post, all be it years later! I am a Millard; a decendant line of Eliza Sarah Millard, who was the second wife of Edward John Pratt and the mother of William Henry Pratt.

      Eliza Sarah Millard was the child of Major James Millard born 1806 in Marlow England and Eliza Julia Edwards born 1830. Eliza Julia Edwards was of anglo-asian decent.

      Eliza Sarah Millard had two brothers
      1. James Edward Millard
      2. Edwin Havelock Millard

      I am a direct decendant of Edwin Havelock Millard

      This is the information I have collected in my family tree in relation to the Pratt’s:

      Edward and Eliza married in India (Eliza was born and raised in India) and they married in Surat on the 27th October 1848.
      The children of Edward and Eliza I believe were:

      Edward Millard Pratt b 29 Aug 1865 in India died 28 June 1949
      George Marlow Pratt b bet 1865 – 1869 India
      Charles Rary Pratt b bet 1865 – 1869 India
      Frederick Greville Pratt b bet 1865 – 1869 India
      David Cameron Pratt b bet 1869 – 1877 India
      Julia Honoria Pratt b bet 1869 – 1877 India
      John Thomas Pratt b 13 Jan 1876 India
      Richard Septimus Pratt b 1883 England
      William Henry Pratt (Boris Karloff) b 23 Nov 1887 Dulwich England

      Sara Millard – Cairns, Australia

    • I was a friend of Dick Cotten and Sara Jane back in 1958. I have a few pix of them (some of their wedding) I could email tham if you send me your email address.


      • Hi Gracey
        Again we have a connection, my aunt was Violet, who also told me of the cousin connection. She was married to Douglas and lived in Bromley Kent
        Is this your grandmother. My dad was Robert (Bob) Galloway his mother Catherine Pratt

  • I am also tracing the PRATT side of my family tree. A William Pratt came to Australia prior to 1864 from Chichester England (That is all I know). On the 1st February 1864 William Pratt married Frances Boyle (widow) in a small New South Wales town of Wee Waa.
    There has always been rumour in the family that
    Boris Karlof was a cousin or uncle somewhere along the line, weither this is true or not I am not sure. Is there anyone who can help me find my William Pratt line?.

  • There is more here than I can read at the moment but to comment on the Indian side of Granpa Bill (known to few), his mother was Indian. This I have been told since I was a young child. I have been separated from my Mother’s side of the family (Pratt) for most of my life but I have always known that Granpa Bill died about a year after I was born. He attended my baptism (Stillwater, Oklahoma). That is all I know. I have wanted to get together a family tree for years but my Mother’s (Pratt) side of the family is so messy, scattered, and uncooperative that it is very difficult. I have come to understand that William’s Father was married (unsure if they were all legal marriages), to at least three differrent woman in his life, Fathering MANY children. At least two woman were of Indian decent. It is actually quite possible that he was related to many, many people since he had so many brothers and some sisters. I THINK if it is traced properly, my Mother’s (Lois Irene Pratt) Father’s (Rev. John Pratt), Father (Rev. Sidney Pratt) was WHP’s nephew?? Hope this might help anyone interested. I also know a little Family tidbit that much of my Mother’s side of the Family was very “well to do and quite important”, politicaly, in Canada. Having family in “acting” in the USA was NOT seen as proper in Canada OR England (trust me, I heard it my whole young life from my “proper” Grandmother, (Mary Pratt- mother of 5 Pratt girls). John and Mary moved to the USA from Canada sometime around 1960. I’m sure there are people out there that know alot more than I and any response or lead in the right direction for me (I have little to no money to spend on the search), would be of great appreciation. Kimberly S Moore… bka: Kye

    • Kimberly, if you see this, please contact me. Your grandmother Mary, is my aunt. Your mother is my cousin. My mother Amy Pratt Reum and your grandfather John are brother and sister. I have family information that may interest you and you may have information that would help fill in the family tree.
      Thanks Frank.


  • This PRATT family discussion is interesting.

    I can only add a little more information, concerning two of “Boris’s” brothers, David Cameron PRATT and Charles Rary PRATT; namely that the former at some time seems to have married Bertha Regina IMMISCH, daughter of the noted electrical engineer of the 1880s-90s. They were still in London in 1911, when Gwendoline B Pratt, David’s daughter was born.

    Charles Rary PRATT certainly moved abroad to Pernambuco in Brazil at some point as he was a witness at the marriage there of Bertha’s brother Moritz August IMMISCH in 1914.

    I have nted that Karloff biographical information states Charles Rary was employed by a French cable company, and given that Moritz A. IMMISCH was the Deputy Superintendent of telegraphic company which was bought by the French in 1916, I suspct he may have helped him get a job (or vice versa – M.A. IMMISCH moved to Pernambuco in 1889).

    I’d love to hear from anyone who knows whathapened to David Cameron Pratt, his daughter Gwendoline or any of the other Pratts as far as the IMMISCH connection goes.

  • I am the son of Maud Beatrice Roberts (Pratt),
    She was born round about 1924 and she died in 1982.
    I think her fathers name was William Pratt.
    She married a Robert Roberts and had 5 children,
    I am the youngest.
    Does anyone know if they are connected with me from my mothers side ?

  • Does anyone know anything about his 2nd wife dorothy. Is she alive? I think she was married to my grandmas brother. Rupert.

  • Some of my Pratt ancestors were also in the acting profession- there was John Pratt born abt. 1854 in Inverness and was I thin employed in music halls etc. His son William Alexander Pratt was by all accounts a famous actor/impressario but I do not know his stage name – after his mother died in 1890, he was taken in by a travelling preacher so he might haven taken the name of his foster parents. Daughter Rebecca Annie (married Ernest F. Wilmot in abt 1910) was an amateur actress of some repute – other daughters Caroline Jane (Bevan) and Mabel Rose were also on the stage at various times. Rebecca Annie Wilmot lived at Aberdeen Park, Highbury.

    Anyone recognise this lot?


  • My Mom always claimed we were related to Boris Karloff aka Pratt. My Pratt family’s origin for as much as I know begins in Ontario, Canada. My Grandfather b.1861 in Can. was William Henry also. His father was Addison and grandfather, George, g-Grandfather, Ebenezer. I learned that some Canadian Inuits came to Osceola Co., Michigan a few years back seeking info about Pratt’s that were Indians. The cousin they talked to wasn’t interested nor did he know anything and never obtained info for anyone to contact them. My Pratt’s stayed around the Leeds, Ontario area. Would love to work with anyone interested in the mystery of the Pratt’s. Sharon2u4ever@hotmail.com

  • I also grew up with the story that Boris Karloff was related to my father. In fact a photo of Boris towards the end of his life and one of my father at about the same age, are virtually identical. However, I cannot find a “link” to Boris’s family. Someone did tell me the other day that Boris’s mother’s sister was “Anna” as in “Anna and the King of Siam”….now that is also very amazing…!

  • Hello everyone Hi to Lyndsay. I have a family tree of Boris (William Henry Pratt) that I printed from the website
    Boris’s maternal grandmother Eliza Crawford married James Millard in 1845
    her sister ANNA CRAWFORD married Thomas Leonowens on Dec 25th 1849 their first two children died at birth, 3rd was an unamed daughter and the 4th was Louis who was born in 1855. This is the ANNA of “The King and I” and “Anna and the King of Siam”
    All information is in the book entitled “Dear Boris” by Cynthia LIndsay,
    I was also led to believe that my fathers family are related to William Henry Pratt, and like Lyndsay my grandfather Harold born 1894 and his father William Pratt 1842 also bear a strong resemblance to Boris.
    My search is based in Denmead (also referred to as Barn Green) and Hambledon, in Hants, but as yet have found no connection to London. If any one can add to my family tree I will be grateful.

    • Hi Rose,

      Thank you for adding the link to William Pratt’s family tree.

      I am a Millard; a decendant of Eliza Crawford or as I have her surname recorded; Eliza Edwards and Major James Millard.

      Eliza and James had three Children:
      1. James Edward Millard born 25th May 1846
      2, Eliza Sarah Millard born 25th June 1848
      3. Edwin Havelock Millard born 13th June 1858

      I am a direct decendant of Edwin Havelock Millard

      If you are looking for more information on the Millard side I may be able to provide some information.

      Sara Millard – Cairns, Australia

  • Dear All,

    My name is Stephen Jacobs and for several years I have been researching and writing a new biography called ‘More Than a Monster: The Life and Work of Boris Karloff’. I have done extensive research on Karloff’s family and ancestry and have found out much that is new, and often surprising. The facts that have so far been printed are inaccurate.

    As a consequence (and I hate to let everyone down) it’s unlikely that anyone here is related to Karloff unless they can claim direct descendency from one of Karloff’s siblings. His father, Edward Pratt, (born in Bombay) was the only son of an only son so you’d have to have a connection going back to the late 1700’s.

    • We have a William Henry Pratt in the school records, showing that he was a pupil at Dulwich College Prep School in 1895. At the time the family lived nearby in Forest Hill. Can you throw any light on this?

  • I had been told by my late grandfather Earl Pratt that he was the nephew of William Pratt.
    Now it does seem that a lot of people have laid this claim. My grandfather was born in Montreal (I think) and his father owned I a cannery in Montreal after moving to Canada from England. All I know is if you looked at a photo of my grandfather he had a very strong resemblance to William Pratt. I will have to do more research on this matter.

  • My original question about William Pratt was answered in a round-about way by a posting on the “official” Boris Karloff website. Yes, William Pratt did work for the BC Electric Railway–heavy, grinding 10 or 12 hour shifts on the track gang. Hard to imagine how he might have had time for theatre work in Vancouver and New Westminster. As the story goes, he received a telegram from a Hollywood agent while laying track somewhere up toward Chilliwack. Pratt “downed tools” and resigned on the spot, and took a train south from Vancouver a couple of hours later.

  • William pratt?

    He is my great great great uncle? think thats how it works.. I do not know too much about him as a person as all the people who knew him have possibly passed away now, but i would like to know about who and what he was really like, you can send me an e-mail on rodger06@hotmail.com

    Thanks in advance

  • There seems to be much confusion regarding Boris and the Pratts in general.

    Boris was aware that many of the Pratt’s suffered from a hereditory ailment similar to that of a Psychopath. This may explain some of his oddities but, in all probability, accounts more for some if his decendants peculiarities.

    The Bradbury, who comes into the familiy tree later, was a “close and dear friend” of Tom Pratts wife.

    The unfortunate mental disorders associated with the Pratts seem to be most exagerated by those males over 6′.0” tall and, especially, females over 5’8″ tall.

    • I would like more information about hereditary mental disorders associated with the Pratts, if anyone has any. I am curious because I am kind of related to a Pratt family in which behaviour that is most odd seems to run down through the generations. It would be interesting to get to the bottom of this. Thanks.

  • Family legend has long supposed that Boris was my fathers cousin. Oh dear – just found out that my Grandfather lived in the same street as Boris when a child – and looking at the mutual ages it seems that it is probable that with the same last name they were no more than play mates. No connection made other than this so that’s a family legend blown apart.My lot seem to be based around the Caterham area (England).

  • Just reading Roger Pratt’s comments regarding his uncle William who went to America. My great grandfather is Willian Nathanial Jackson. He was the cousin of Boris Karloff. From what I was told his mother and William Henry Pratt’s mother were sisters. Both sisters named their sons after there father William. My Great Grandfather died in 1970. I was 16 at the time. I can get more info from my mother and my Aunt. I was wondering if this was your Uncle William?

  • As most male and female Pratts are tall, over 6.0″ for males and 5’8 for women any comment regarding psychopathic traits would benefit from further clarification

  • Boris Karloff (William Pratt) was my grandfather’s youngest brother. My grandfather, David Cameron Pratt, and his wife Bertha (nee Immisch) had three children – Gwen (known as Bunny), David (his twin Aubrey died of pyloric stenosis at a very young age) and Doreen (known as Donna), my mother.

    My uncle David looked and sounded very much like Boris Karloff. I still have some correspondence between them.

  • i remember from years ago round at the family get togethers my grandad telling me about his cousin who was in the movies
    my dad was named william and then my brother has the name of henry as his middle name
    my mother is now doing the family history

  • responding to Angela Plant

    -I’d love to get in touch with you regarding your family – especially D.C. Pratt and particularly the Immisch connection, of which I have further information.

    could you contact me at the following address (written to avoid spam):

    aguafiestas25 (at) hot mail (dot) com

    It would be great to hear from you!


  • I have a Sarah Joanna Pratt in my family tree born around 1850s (a guess). Does anyone have this Pratt in their line. If you do I’d really appreciate an email or a reply comment. Thanks, Marcelle

  • I too was brought up in the belief that William Henry Pratt was a relation to my grandfather,John William Pratt but although there are several Williams and Henrys in my ancestry,”Boris” doesn`t seem to be one of them.Anyway reading some of the comments i would like to point to the “Wikipedia” website that has an excellent piece on the person who must be related to half the popoulation of England

  • I want to see any art available that was created by Boris Karloff. Thank you for any help you can offer.

  • Hi all

    Does anyone have a Sarah Joanna Pratt in their family tree? This is supposedly the name of my gr. gr. maternal grandmother born in 1850’s in UK I think. She also supposedly married a Joseph Drury/Watson/Farmer and had a daughter Ellen Ruth in about 1876-79. I just hope someone is able to connect. Thanks all.

  • hi im chris pratt 26 from foulridge, lancs england. I have a brother michael 28. my father is stuart he has 2 brothers martyn and nicholas and my grand-father is stanley who has a sister mbe mildred. is anyone out there connected? the family married someone with graham as a last name somewhere. coz most the family’s middle names are graham (i.e stanley graham pratt.)

  • My gr gr grandfather was William PRATT born 1823 in Scotland As anyone come across the PRATT family in Scotland?

  • As anyone come across a William PRATT born 1823 in Scotland possibly in either Fife or Aberdeen?

  • FAO: Angela Plant

    Dear Angela, I’d be grateful if you could get in touch re: your grandfather, David Cameron Pratt. My new biography about Karloff is to be published next year by Tomahawk Press and I’d be interested in sharing info on your grandfather and his family. Regards, Stephen

  • just a small addition to Roses’ comments in May last year. There was a family butcher named Pratt in Denmead whilst I was a boy growing up.

  • Quentin Crisp was born Denis Pratt on Christmas Day, 1908, in the London suburb of Sutton. (wickipedia)

  • my grandfather who is from hershireville england god rest his soul says boris is one of his uncles does anyone know if thier are clack’s in the blood line ive heard this my whole life ( names clack or penn)

  • Boris Karloff the man himself lived round the corner from me? Awesome. To think that I was planning to go all the way to the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood to see his footprints. I’m just going to on my slipper down to East Dulwich instead. Charlie Chaplin was also born around there. I wonder is they met.

  • My mother has pictures of William Pratt with two of his brothers, one of which was my great grandfather, who had been a judge in India.

  • My grandfather is believed to be Wiliam Henry’s cousin. I am named after my grandfather who was Eaton Boyce Pratt, if anyone has come across that name in their research it would be nice to know.

  • hi! I was wondering if anyone knows about orvil pratt, ted pratt, herb pratt, luella pratt, dorothy pratt, and joe pratt all siblings for family tree?

  • In reply to the very lengthy family tree posted (years ago)…

    Boris Karloff was my Great Grandpa.

    My Grandma Sara married Richard Cotten (with an E)
    they had my uncle David Cotten 1960 and my Dad Mike Cotten born 1959.
    David had 2 kids, Kyle & Mackenzie (neither of which have any children as they’re barely in high school)
    and Mike Cotten married Abby Rizzo born 1960(daughter of Jilly Rizzo) and had (me) Kacey 1986.
    My parents divorced and my Dad remarried Jodi Cotten…

    and that’s as far as it goes for now, I’m definitely going to always be an only child and I won’t give Boris any great great grandchildren for a while 😉

    • Hi Kacey,
      I was a friend of your grandmother and Richard Cotten back in the 1950’s. I have a few pictures of them (including Sara and Dicks wedding) and would be glad to email them to you if you send me your email address.

  • Dear Stephen,

    We have a box containing odds and ends from the Boris brother, my great grand father. It is in store but could include letters if you have any interest. My mother was nee Pratt.

  • William – it appears that you and I come from the same area. The name Pratt is very common in Denmead, Hambledon Boarhunt and Portsmouth and it seems impossible to make any progress as they all have the same names ie George, William, Charles, James, and Henry !
    I have also heard that there was a butcher called Pratt in Denmead and I was also told that Julia Pratt – William Pratts sister had a wool shop there as well ?
    As for the London connection apparently my Grandfather used to travel to London on occasion (?) and used to stay with some friends of his – where I don’t know but they had a daughter born around 1924ish that my dad knew as Dickie Doughnut, I have a photo of her and her parents with my grandfater taken about 1935 so if that name rings a bell with anyone let me know
    Happy searching

  • Hi everyone,
    I had always heard that my maternal great grandmother, Eleanor Cora Pratt, was related to William Henry pratt, but I’m not sure how. Would love any information!

    • Hi Johanna, I am revisiting my genealogy after a couple of years. Can you please contact me re Eleanor Cora Pratt, my children are related via the Scallon family.

  • Hi,

    Few years ago my grandmother told me an interesting tale- Boris Karloff was some kind of a blood relative of hers, and that he tried to hide his Jewish Origins by changing his name from karlofsky to Karloff.

    At first, after reading Boris Karloff’s profile in Wikipedia, I was pretty skeptical. But now, after noticing the great controversy surrounding the true origins of Boris Karloff, I’m starting to suspect that my grandmother’s tale can actually be true.

    My great grandmother’s name was Sara Karlofsky. She was born in Russia (Kiev), her mother’s name was Mayta Freda, and her half brother’s name was Abe Balington. She migrated to Canada after spending few years in England.

    • Hi Oren, Sara Karloff (aka Sara Pratt, really) said that her father made up the last name “Karloff”. In those early days, there was a fascination with Russia, many films have Russian czars and themes and many actors changed their names and adopted a Russian name. It was the latest craze. No, he wasn’t Jewish, he was an Indian with British citizenship by birth, but of Hindu faith, like all his family. He actually switched to atheist but he was cremated in true Hindu fashion. His last wife said he became scared of dying and renewed his faith shortly before death. Hope this helps.

  • As a direct blood relative (Great Granddaughter), I would say it’s HIGHLY unlikely that as an Anglo Indian, his mother Eliza was of Jewish faith. My Grandmother, Sara Karloff, has done extensive genealogy research and that has never come up. It’s true he changed his name, but as far as I know that’s the extent of it. I remember my Great Grandma Dorothy and she never mentioned it either.

    • Hi Kacy,

      I am a Millard; a decendant of Eliza Crawford or as I have her surname recorded; Eliza Edwards and Major James Millard.

      Eliza and James had three Children:
      1. James Edward Millard born 25th May 1846
      2, Eliza Sarah Millard born 25th June 1848
      3. Edwin Havelock Millard born 13th June 1858

      I am a direct decendant of Edwin Havelock Millard

      You are correct – as far as I know and from the advice of my granparents; who were first cousins and both Millard’s, the family’s line of religion was Church of England/Anglican.

      Sara Millard

  • Kacey,

    I’m pleased to say your grandmother {Boris Karloff’s daughter) Sara has authorised my new biography of her father – Boris Karloff: More Than a Monster – which is due to be published later this year or early next by Tomahawk Press. In all the research I have done on his family’s history I have found no mention of the Jewish faith anywhere. Eliza Sara Pratt (Karloff’s mother), like the rest of her family, was Church of England/Anglican, although a few of Karloff’s siblings did convert to Roman Catholicism.

  • wow, my family has stories that we’re related to WHP too! (on my maternal grandpa’s side). i was wondering if anyone has the names of his siblings? i never wanted to research into this for fear of dispelling the rumors, as i already (sadly) proved we werent related to Yvonne DeCarlo (lily munster) on my maternal grandma’s side.

  • Renee,

    I posted this info before but since you ask…

    The Pratt siblings:

    Boris’s brothers were: Edward, George, Charles, David, Frederick, John, Richard, and William [Boris himself].
    Boris’s sister was Julia.

    Regards, Stephen

  • My Great Grandfather is George Washington Pratt married Margaret Elizabeth Lair. Does any one have any information.

  • Hi – just read Jeremy Freds comment (although it was a few years ago) and I think we are related but cant seem to contact him/you. If you are reading this please contact me. William Freds Pratt is my great great grandad. He also had five children and changed his name to Freds. My father was Charles Freds. Please contact me – I think we may be related!!

  • Stephen,
    I remember my Grandma mentioning that there was a new book in progress. As you can imagine things have been a mess these past couple of weeks with the passing of my Grandpa, but I do look forward to reading your book 🙂


  • A message for Johanna Keene,
    Please make contact with me as I have Eleanor Cora PRATT in my family tree.

    Are you from the Scallon,Reece,Saxby or Pratt line?

    Is anyone else related to these families please?
    my email is billdotmargathotmaildotcom
    written like this to avoid spam!

  • Does anyone here know what year Richard Septimus Pratt died?

    Richard Septimus Pratt and his brother, Sir John Thomas Pratt, were both colleagues (in the British Consular Service in China) of a relative of mine whose life I’m researching. Any info (particularly the year R.S. Pratt died) would be very gratefully received.

    Thanks, Tim.

  • My mother’s name was Pratt before she married. Her father was Walter Maurice Pratt. I have just been told that he was a relation to William Henry Pratt. I am not quite sure how but it would be nice to know more about my maternal family. So if anyone knows more I would love to hear from you.



    • I have Richard Strieta Pratt born 04 Jan 1942 who is my 3rd cousin once removed.

  • The Pratts in my family come from Phineas PRATT, who came to America shortly after the pilgrims.


    “Phineas Pratt was a member of a company of men sent from England by Thomas Weston. They arrived in New England in 1622 on three ships : the Sparrow, Charity and Swan (Pratt was a passenger on the Sparrow, the first to arrive). The approximately 67 men, many of them ailing, arrived with no provisions.”


  • For Attention of : ANGELA PLANT ~

    Very interested to read about your family connections, and would love to hear from you about your grandparents family, which is related, I believe. If you would like to contact me sometime my email is famwelch@live.co.uk

    With best wishes,

  • My grandad was a William Henry Pratt born in 1900, and lived around that time in Deptford or South London somewhere. He married my nan Laura May Catchpole and they went on to have 11 children. They lived their latter lives in Downham, Kent and I cant seem to find out anymore about him. I think he was a traveller…. and his father was also a William and his mother a Maltida, any info would be greatly received

    many thanks

  • My father a David Brading Weddell told me ,as my mother did as well , that William Pratt ( Boris Karloff ) was related to him. I am not sure how we are related , would be grateful for any information.

  • hi has you can see my name is pratt and my grandfathers name is william pratt and he wonce told me a long time ago that boris carlof is his great uncle can any one help thanks mark

  • he was my 3 cousin my on my nanas side and i am from newark notts so it just shows we are most lightly to be related if u were relatet to him

  • According to W.S. Bristowe, the author of “Anna and the King of Siam”, Boris’s grandmother was the sister of Anna Leonowens. There is some geneological data on page 29 of the book.

    I would be interested in hearing from any family of Henry Sheldon Pratt, a judge of the High Court in Rangoon, Burma in the 1920’s, and later resident of Maymyo

  • my dad is eric stanley brown married to lynnette ann sylvia parker and my father was william stanley brown based in india married to elizabeth pratt. my family has some connection to boris karloff and would appreciate any furher information from anyone who may have history relating to this who could get back to me as i am keen to learn of my family history .connections .my father had two brothers james ,and victor .a sister name tina . mny thanks victor brown

  • My dads father Maurice Pratt was apparently related to William Henery Pratt he was a cousin from his photo he looked like Williams brother he was of dark apperance had a slight lisp and a big cricket fan.he even had a slight head down eyes up stare like william which was kind of a shyness thing.Richard Pratt was a name mentioned.

  • borris karlof is a cousin romoves on my mums side and my dads as my perents are distrant cousins does any one have any info on him

  • william henry pratt is my 5 cousin my on my fathers side it is confusing we are all connected to each other in some way my grate grandma says her grate grate grandads nephew was william henry pratt and left his first wife and changed his name to Boris karloff

  • William henry pratt is my dads mothers grate aunt s son he changed his name to Boris karloff after he left his wife in Nottingham because of an family fall out

  • Hi,

    My Grandmother Charolotte Marriott (nee Duncan) is related to the Hibberd, Duncan, Pratt and Cope family from around the Newark/Lincoln and Leicestershire area.

    Would be interested to hear form any family members.

  • My paps name is william pratt,he told me that boris karloff is related
    his dad was frederic pratt,can he be karloffs brother,
    can anybody help,we are from Northampton

  • my name is marian julia pratt my grandfather was maurice pratt william henry pratt (boris karloff) is my 3rd cousin

    • Hi, I’m pretty sure we are related, my great aunt was Edith Pratt married to Maurice, I’m trying to do my family tree and see where the link is to Boris Karloff? Hope you can help

  • Good day fellow relo’s … Yes I too, have been told about Boris 😀 … William, Arthur, Charles, Henry, are still names in my tree … My son is a William Pratt 🙂 … I also have been trying to find connections, although I do know the connections must be before rather than after. It is certainly clear from reading these comments, that the Pratt likeness hasn’t been changed by marriage or migration in many of the branches.
    The content on here is amazing, and I’d be trickled pink if anyone is interested in digging deeper.
    If anyone can lead me to a good ‘Boris’ gedcom, I’d really appreciate it.


  • Hi there,

    I’m the great granddaughter of Emily Pratt.
    My grandad was Percy Richard Flurry, he used to tell all of his grand kids about times when Boris used to visit their house in Stanwell in Middlesex.
    I’m just curious to know what the relation is?

    Thank you. 🙂

  • Could you please tell me if Boris had relatives in Massachusettes? My aunt Anna Belle Tressler married a pratt. We called him Trub. Don’t know his real first name. The had 3 children, Louise, Joseph and Rosemary.

    • Don’t know,
      Borris was friendly with my Uncle Carlos Pratt he would come visit him in Houston and invited my uncle and his daughter to visit him in Holly Wood think his daughter was the same age, my mom and grandpa author William Pratt was invited but her parentsdonot let mom go though they had bad influences overthere mom told me

  • Grand pa from England (great grand pa)
    Was James Edward Pratt Born in England went to Mexico
    Grand pa author William Pratt

  • Ok look I am indeed related to him. On my moms side of the family. My great-grandfathers cousin is Boris Karloff (William Pratt) my last name is allison but my moms was pratt, and I am related to him. Just wanted to say that.

  • Also for all the people here with the last name pratt, or are related to him, hi i guess we are all related lol

  • Hi! I have just found this site. I am in Australia and have ancestors from England. i have a Elizabeth Matthewes born 16th April 1657 in Rye,Sussex, England married Peter PRATT on 29 Jun 1681 in Boarhunt, Hampshire, England. Peters parents were Nicholas Pratt and Thomasine (maiden name unknown). This is according to Ancestry records.
    Also later have Ann PRATT born 1812 – 1839 married John Matthews 1808 – unknown) 5th April 1830 in Southwick, Hampshire, England.John and Ann had son John Matthews born 1830 in Boarhunt, Hampshire, England. Ann died in december 1839 in Fareham, Hampshire, England. Anns parents were George PRATT born 1777 who married Sarah Riddett.
    I also can tell you of a family of PRATT who lived in a parish of Boarhunt in Hampshire. This is George and Sarah PRATT (Riddett). George was born 1830 in Boarhunt and 1851 resided in Boarhunt, Hampshire, Pretty sure the Pratts lived in Trampers Lane, Boarhunt, Hampshire as my ancestors the Matthews lived at one time next door to The Pratts and they were all Market Gardeners. There were six children of John and Mary Ann Pratt of Boarhunt, Hampshire. William, Mary Ann, Stephen, Arthur, Henry, Phillip.
    George and Sarah Pratt had Ann.
    Georges parents were James and Charlotte Pratt and they lived in Downton, Wiltshire around 1851. There were other children of this family Martha Jane, Ellen, Mary, William, Charlotte Ann married name Musselwhite.
    I also have George PRATT in 1861 england Census age 50 born circa 1811 in Ringfield, Suffolk, England in parish of Corton with wife Sarah age 39 and children Elizabeth, William, Elijah and Mary Ann.
    In my direct line i have my 3x great grandparents Simon and Sarah Matthews lived in Trampers Lane, Boarhunt, Hampshire and were agricultural farmers (market gardeners) there and their daughter Emma married James PRATT in December 1857 in Fareham, Hampshire, England.
    James and Emma PRATT married Dec 1857 and had daughter Lucy Emma March 1861 and lived in Boarhunt, Hampshire at that time. Unfortunately baby Lucy died 3 months later. They were still living in Boarhunt according to the census and Ancestry in 1881. Emma died in 1885 and James died in 1916 age 76.James also remarried to Sarah Jane Lovejoy in Portsmouth, Hampshire in July 1885 at age 45. according to the 1891 and 1901 census they were living in parish of St Nicholas in Boarhunt, Hampshire. She died in 1924. born 1846.
    James parents were Stephen and Elizabeth PRATT (nee Houghton).Stephen apparently emigrated to Canada in 1871. They had six daughters and six sons all born before they went to Canada. Unknown how many children went with them to Canada. I can say that son Henry went to Canada in 1868. Possibly son Thomas as well. Amelia did not and neither did Frank who died in England. Elizabeth died in 1873.
    Not sure if any of this helps but thought i would try to help.
    (Matthews family history researcher) Australia

  • When I watched the fight in the movie Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, I think Frankenstein got the Best of Lon Chaney barely.

  • His tea owned Pratts, the school uniform shop in Streatham and the real Anna from the King and I was good aunt.

  • Wow I thought that’s who the American Indian woman was on his family tree I heard stories threw out my life that he was my maternal grandma second cousin Wilhelmina was my maternal great grandmother I have my grandma birth certificate and Wilhelmina is her mom

  • I think he barely got the edge on the Wolfman during the gruesome fight. The Wolfman was nobody to mess with.

  • About 50 years ago my dad found a letter down the back of a skirting board he was removing in our house at 225 crystal palace road East Dulwich SE22 it’s dated 29th of August 1899 addressed to a Maude Pratt from Fred uncle from Chelmsford. The letter and envelope are edged in black which I think denotes a death in the family. Can anyone tell me if it is anything to do with the Boris Karloff family.

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