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The Best Actors Who Played Frankenstein's Monster

Updated January 27, 2020 4.4k votes 598 voters 14.5k views27 items

We all know that, actually, the doctor's name is Frankenstein, but that doesn't really stop most of us from calling the monster by his creator's name. Whether called The Monster, The Creation, or simply Frankenstein, several famous actors have played Frankenstein's Monster in horror films and comedies in both films and TV series. Many of the best Frankenstein characters were portrayed by Academy Award winners - though none have won for their work as The Monster.

Perhaps the most familiar Frankenstein is Boris Karloff, who is often mistakenly thought of as the original film Frankenstein (that's actually Charles Stanton Ogle). He portrayed the character in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939), his number of portrayals only matched by Glenn Strange ten years later. Robert De Niro played "The Creation" in the 1994 film, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

Although he might not have been technically the classic Creation, Peter Boyle portrayed "Fronkonsteen's" Monster in Mel Brooks' 1974 comedy, Young Frankenstein. Other famous actors who played Frankenstein include Aaron Eckhart and Phil Hartman, the latter of which whom frequently portrayed the monster in hilarious Saturday Night Live skits.

Which actors do you think made the best Monster? Vote your favorite Frankensteins up to the top of this list.

  • Boris Karloff
    Photo: Frankenstein (1931) / Universal Pictures

    Boris Karloff is perhaps the actor most associated with Frankenstein's Monster. He portrayed the character in Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and Son of Frankenstein (1939).

    • Age: Dec. at 82 (1887-1969)
    • Birthplace: East Dulwich, London, United Kingdom
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  • Fred Gwynne
    Photo: The Munsters / Kayro-Vue Productions/Universal Television/CBS

    Fred Gwynne played the Frankenstein-like figure, Herman Munster, in the mid-1960s sitcom, The Munsters.

    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1926-1993)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
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  • Lon Chaney, Jr.
    Photo: Ghost of Frankenstein / Universal Pictures

    Lon Chaney, Jr. – who has played a number of the Universal Monsters including the Mummy and the Wolf Man – portrayed Frankenstein's Monster in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

    • Age: Dec. at 67 (1906-1973)
    • Birthplace: USA, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City
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  • Glenn Strange
    Photo: The House of Frankenstein / Universal Studios

    Glenn Strange played Frankenstein's Monster in several films including House of Frankenstein (1944), House of Dracula (1945), and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Strange broke his ankle while filming a scene in the Abbott and Costello film so his co-star Lon Chaney, Jr. or a stuntman would fill in for him for certain shots.

    • Age: Dec. at 74 (1899-1973)
    • Birthplace: Weed, New Mexico, USA, New Mexico
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