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The connection between Kamloops and the Grinch

Boris Karloff, narrator of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the cartoon's soundtrack.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Pixabay and Flickr
December 25, 2020 - 6:00 AM

KAMLOOPS - When we think of Christmas classics, How The Grinch Stole Christmas always comes to mind, but what you may not know is the cartoon's connection to Kamloops.

It was around 1910 or 1911 when William Pratt came to Kamloops, looking for work as an actor with a theatre group in Kamloops and made his way to the Interior from Vancouver.

Canada's History Society says in an article from last year that this was the time when William Pratt changed his name to Boris Karloff, the man we now know as the narrator in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, among of course many other titles.

He wasn't having luck landing many roles with his given name, so he decided to go for something "more exotic".

In a biography about Karloff, who also played Frankenstein's Monster, it's revealed that he joined the Kamloops-based Jean Russell Players, which Karloff told a biographer had a bad reputation and no one would join, which is why they reached out to him.

Eventually he and the players went to Regina to perform, before he moved on to bigger roles that he's much better known for now.

Editor's note: This story was first published Dec. 26, 2017

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