Thursday, October 11, 2012
The Last of the High Priests of Karnak
Turhan Bey, who died on September 30, had been one of the very last surviving actors from the classic Universal horror cycle, appearing most prominently as the villain who inherits the priesthood of Karnak and custody of Kharis from George Zucco in The Mummy's Tomb. The Austria-born Bey also figured in the studio's cycle of Technicolor adventure films, later acclaimed as the height of camp, appearing in Arabian Nights and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. He cut an exotically boyish figure in wartime Hollywood and endured to work sporadically into the 1990s, when he appeared as an alien emperor on the Babylon 5 show. With his passing, his time and his cinematic world are more past than ever.