Sara Karloff was born on her father, Boris Karloff’s, 51st birthday, November 23, 1938. He was filming Son of Frankenstein (1939) at the time. Sara jokes that she was his “most expensive birthday present ever.”
Ms. Karloff is widowed, has 2 grown sons and 3 grandchildren. She has lived in Rancho Mirage, CA since 1981. In 1993, following the death of her stepmother, Evelyn Karloff, Mrs. Karloff assumed the responsibility of the licensing rights relating to her famous father and formed Karloff Enterprises. The company’s goal is to maintain a standard of excellence and appropriateness when the name or likeness of her father is used. Through the licensing process, she has been able to make merchandise and collectibles available to her father’s fans.
Sara met Ron Chaney (great-grandson of Lon Chaney Sr. and grandson of Lon Chaney Jr.) and Bela Lugosi Jr. (son of Bela Lugosi) for the first time in 1993 at a Famous Monsters of Filmland Convention. As a result of that meeting, a very special alliance was formed.
Although initiated by Ron Chaney, Mrs. Karloff spearheaded a three-year effort to have their respective famous relatives immortalized in a series of commemorative United States postage stamps. Petitions were circulated all over the country, and the with the help of the Screen Actors Guild, the media, innumerable genre magazines and thousands of fans worldwide, more than 17,000 signatures were collected in support of this project. It was the legions of fans who made this effort a reality.
While similar projects often take much longer, in just under three years, the U.S. Postal Service notified the families that the petition for the commemorative stamps had been approved. Annually, the U.S. Postal Service receives in excess of 30,000 requests for commemorative stamps, with only approximately 30 issued. This beautiful set of five commemorative stamps, honoring these four men for their immense contribution to the cinema history and to the horror film genre in particular was issued September 20, 1997.
In 2003, Boris was honored once again on a 3rd US commemorative stamp. An honor which heretofore has been reserved only for U.S. Presidents.
Sara continues to attend conventions around the world speaking about her iconic father and his remarkable legacy. Her favorite audiences are students, where their questions reinforce her belief that these classic films are multi-generational in their appeal and their continued popularity is thanks to the wonderful fans!