Guacamole recipe from Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt) master of horror, and lover of all things avocado (as well as smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches, according to his daughter Sara.)

Boris Karloff’s Guacamole Recipe

2 avocados

1 medium tomato, finely chopped

1 small onion, minced

1 tbsp. chopped canned green chiles

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp sherry

Dash cayenne (optional)

Salt, pepper

Peel and mash avocados. Add onion, tomato and chiles, then stir in lemon juice, sherry and seasonings to taste, blending well. Serve as a dip for tortilla pieces or corn chips or as a spread. Makes 10 to 12 appetizer servings.

I never found Karloff to be campy as others suggest. I was terrified by this man when I’d sit up late and watch his old movies on my grandma’s black n white TV set. Karloff was instrumental in launching the Screen Actor’s Guild (he was member number 9.) This came on the heels of his role in Frankenstein where he spent hundreds of hours being made up by Jack Pierce. Those grueling sessions made Karloff aware of how tough being an actor was-and led to the formation of the Guild.

Boris and wife Evie were foodies well before the word became so overused as to become irrelevant. They contributed a recipe for Vincent Price’s “A Treasury Of Great Recipes” for potted shrimp that is a standard for this writer at the holidays.

Karloff fan? Track down the dvd boxset of Thriller, a 67 episode anthology from the TV show that Karloff hosted and sometimes starred in.

You’ve certainly seen Frankenstein but what about Karloff’s other 169 movies? Check out The Old Dark House, Arsenic And Old Lace or Targets, Peter Bogdanovich’s first film.

Go deep on Boris Karloff in Boris Karloff: A Gentleman’s Life by Scott Allen Nollen, a brilliant biography.

ed note: “Nice piece and fascinating to have Karloff’s recipe – thank you. Just for the record: Karloff does NOT appear in the 1944 film of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’. He created the role on stage but was still playing the role of the sinister Jonathan Brewster (who “looks like Karloff”) on stage when Frank Capra made the film, so the role was played (in Karloffian makeup) by Raymond Massey.” reader Brian Sibley pointed this out.

  1. Nice piece and fascinating to have Karloff’s recipe – thank you. Just for the record: Karloff does NOT appear in the 1944 film of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’. He created the role on stage but was still playing the role of the sinister Jonathan Brewster (who “looks like Karloff”) on stage when Frank Capra made the film, so the role was played (in Karloffian makeup) by Raymond Massey.

      • You’re welcome! Boris SHOULD have been in the film and would have been had it not been that his presence in the stage play was a major draw for theatre-goers! 🙂

  2. Nice piece and fascinating to have Karloff’s recipe – thank you. Just for the record: Karloff does NOT appear in the 1944 film of ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’. He created the role on stage but was still playing the role of the sinister Jonathan Brewster (who “looks like Karloff”) on stage when Frank Capra made the film, so the role was played (in Karloffian makeup) by Raymond Massey.

      • You’re welcome! Boris SHOULD have been in the film and would have been had it not been that his presence in the stage play was a major draw for theatre-goers! 🙂

  3. Boris Karloff did star as Jonathan Brewster in a 1962 TV movie version of “Arsenic & Old Lace” with Tony Randall as Mortimer Brewster.

  4. Boris Karloff did star as Jonathan Brewster in a 1962 TV movie version of “Arsenic & Old Lace” with Tony Randall as Mortimer Brewster.

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