Boris Karloff

Boris Karloff

Although not the first actor to play the creature, the London-born Karloff's role as the monster in James Whale's 1931 classic Frankenstein made him a star. With make-up brilliantly designed by Jack Pierce, Karloff reprised the character twice.

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Glenn Strange

Personally coached by Karloff for House of Frankenstein, Strange played the creature three times in total - including in the 1948 spoof Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, which saw the comedy duo encounter Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein's monster.

Christopher Lee

A Hammer Horror legend, Lee's first film for the British company was 1957's The Curse of Frankenstein, playing the creature opposite Peter Cushing's creator. While Cushing would carry on in a series of Frankenstein films, Lee switched to Dracula.

Peter Boyle

Star of Mel Brooks' 1974 spoof Young Frankenstein, Boyle left an indelible mark on the creature - not least in the unforgettable sequence where he dons a top hat and tails to tap-dance and grunt to the song Puttin' on the Ritz.

Robert De Niro

Featuring in Kenneth Branagh's glossy 1994 effort Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, De Niro plays the creature as the angst-ridden loner with Daddy issues. As one critic said: "He would make a dandy guest on any daytime television talk show."