04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
The daughter of Hollywood's original "Scream King," Boris Karloff, is suing Universal Studios for $10 million over the use of her father's name and image. Sarah Karloff alleges that the studio is using the image of the late movie star (the talkies' first Frankenstein) and not paying royalties to her, the actor's sole heir, as per the terms of a 1996 deal she struck with Universal. Boris Karloff died in 1969. Sarah's lawsuit, filed last week, claims that the studio told interested parties that Boris's likeness was unavailable and instead offered a slightly different one to avoid paying royalties. "It's like they advertise a Buick with all the amenities, then they give them a knock-off that is so similar consumers may not be able to tell the difference," Sarah's attorney told the Associated Press. Universal Studios would not comment.
With additional reporting by Donna Freydkin.