Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tony Karloff, the "Son of Frankenstein"

So I saw the above ad and I was, like, WHO?? The SON...of Boris? Having read a number of books on Boris, I knew he had only one child and that was Sara. Additional research showed this fella being billed thusly for at least 3 decades beginning in the mid-'40s. Originally, he seems to have been billed as Boris Karloff's stand-in, then later the "Son of Frankenstein." I found a couple of things that sort of explain who he really was--a low-rent nightclub impressionist/magician who supposedly had Boris's permission to use his last name. I can't imagine he would have approved of the billing as the "SON OF BORIS KARLOFF," though. Does anyone know what Boris--or Sara--might have said about this?

Here it says he swore he was Karloff's disowned son. 
Here it tells a very different story.


  1. I think she would be hard pressed to deny the resemblance with her late brother!

    Tony Karloff, no doubt the son of Boris Karloff. The mother was probably one of the many prostitutes Karloff cheated on his wives with! He was terrified he'd show up at This is Your Life. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Tony Karloff was the AKA for Anthony Stancich--not the son of Karloff, but the son of a Croatian fisherman who was born in Tacoma, WA. He was a nightclub MC, comic and actor who principally worked the Great Lakes and Northwest circuit during the 50s and 60s. The story I got was that--after a brief time working as a stand-in Tony asked Karloff for permission to adopt the stage name, and Karloff--apparently not attached to his own stage name at the time--gave the okay. It was only after being given that inch that Tony took a mile, morphing into the "son of Karloff." He stopped using the "son of" label after Boris's death, but remained Tony Karloff professionally, and was listed so in his only screen credit (for the Alan Arkin 1978 TV movie, "The Other Side of Hell). He died in 1997. --C.P. Stancich son of "the son"

  3. My mother worked for Tony Karloff in the 1960. I remember her taking me one time to where she worked in downtown Cleveland. I saw a cardboard skeleton that had moveable joints hanging on a door as a Halloween decoration. Tony gave it to me. He also gave me an autographed photo of himself talking into a microphone. It was a glossy black and white photo, and he wrote "To my pal Steve" and signed it "Tony Karloff". That photo is somewhere in my house, but I have no idea where.