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Vincent Price Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (8) | Trivia (60) | Personal Quotes (18) | Salary (3)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 27 May 1911St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Date of Death 25 October 1993Los Angeles, California, USA  (lung cancer and emphysema)
Birth NameVincent Leonard Price Jr.
Nicknames King of the Grand Guignol
Bink
The Merchant of Menace
The Renaissance Man
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Actor, writer, and gourmet, Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. was born in St Louis, Missouri, to Marguerite Cobb (Wilcox) and Vincent Leonard Price, Sr., president of the National Candy Company. He traveled through Europe, studied at Yale and became an actor. He made his screen debut in 1938, and after many minor roles, he began to perform in low-budget horror movies such as House of Wax (1953), achieving his first major success with House of Usher (1960). Known for his distinctive, low-pitched, creaky, atmospheric voice and his quizzical, mock-serious facial expressions, he went on to star in a series of acclaimed Gothic horror movies, such as Pit and the Pendulum (1961) and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). He abandoned films in the mid-1970s, going on to present cooking programs for television - he wrote "A Treasury of Great Recipes" (1965) with his second wife, Mary Grant - but had two final roles in The Whales of August (1987) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). He also recorded many Gothic horror short stories for the spoken-word label Caedmon Records. Vincent Price died at age 82 of lung cancer and emphysema on October 25, 1993.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Lester A Dinerstein <lester1@earthlink.net>

Spouse (3)

Coral Browne (24 October 1974 - 29 May 1991) (her death)
Mary Grant (25 August 1949 - 15 August 1973) (divorced) (1 child)
Edith Barrett (23 April 1938 - 4 June 1948) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (8)

Often played in horror films with a sense of black humour
Often played an anti-hero who wants revenge on those who wronged him
Frequently played villains who died screaming
Distinctive low-pitched voice and atmospheric narration
Often played imposing, menacing villains
Towering height and slender frame
Pencil thin mustache
Ecstatic, terrifying laugh

Trivia (60)

Price and Christopher Lee were born on the same day (May 27th) and Peter Cushing was born on the 26th.
An avid gourmet chef, he wrote a number of cookbooks.
Was notoriously superstitious. He once joked that he kept a horseshoe, a crucifix and a mezzuza on his front door.
Shortly before his death, he said that one of his most favorite roles was the voice of Professor Ratigan in the Disney feature The Great Mouse Detective (1986), especially since two original songs had been written for him.
Son, Vincent Barret Price, born in 1940.
Had his own mail-order book club in the 1970s, "Vincent Price Books", specializing in mystery and detective novels.
He was the Wednesday night host for CBS Radio's "Sears Mystery Theater" (1979). He was still Wednesday's host when it became "The Mutual Radio Theater" on Mutual Radio (1980).
Host of BBC Radio's "The Price of Fear" (1973-1975, 1983).
His ashes were scattered off the Californian coast of Malibu together with his favorite gardening hat.
Had started an egg-throwing fight while making a guest spot as the villain Egghead on the television series Batman (1966).
Although always a gentleman, he was considered an eccentric and often engaged in over-the-top theatrics while discussing his favorite subjects, cooking and poetry.
In 1964, at the request of a personal friend, he narrated a brief history of Tombstone, Arizona (titled, "Tombstone, The Town Too Tough to Die"), for use in the diorama at the site of the O.K. Corral gunfight. He reportedly recorded the 20-minute piece in a single take at a recording studio in Hollywood, and when asked about his fee, asked for his pal, the owner of the exhibit at the time, to buy him lunch. Price never visited Tombstone but his narration is still used in the diorama.
Made a short speech about the black widow on Alice Cooper's album "Welcome to My Nightmare".
Attended and graduated from the St. Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri.
Had appeared in seven movies with "house" in the title -- most of them horror movies -- including The House of the Seven Gables (1940), House of Wax (1953), House on Haunted Hill (1959), House of Usher (1960), House of 1,000 Dolls (1967), The Hilarious House of Frightenstein (1971) and Madhouse (1974).
He received a Bachelor's degree in art history from Yale University and wrote a syndicated art column in the 1960s. An avid art collector, he founded the Vincent Price Gallery on the campus of East Los Angeles College and encouraged others to develop a personal passion for art.
He often expressed an interest in doing Shakespeare, which is why Theatre of Blood (1973) was one of his favorite roles.
Charlton Heston starred in The Omega Man (1971) and Will Smith starred in I Am Legend (2007), the remakes of Price's The Last Man on Earth (1964). Prior to this, Heston and Price worked together in The Ten Commandments (1956).
He starred in "How to Make a Movie", a short film that was included in the "Vincent Price: Moviemaking the Hollywood Way", a home movie outfit sold by Sears, Roebuck and Company.
Price's second wife, Mary Grant, gave birth to daughter Victoria Price in 1962.
He was a longtime member of St. Victor's, and his wife Coral Browne was buried there with a Mozart Requiem Mass accompanied by a full orchestra.
He attended the opening night of the first production of Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
Had provided quasi-"rap" voice-over for Michael Jackson's music video Thriller (1983).
Close friends with Cassandra Peterson, the actress whose most famous character is Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
In 1951, Price founded the Vincent Price Gallery and Art Foundation on the campus of the East Los Angeles Community College. It is celebrating its 45th year.
In the 1960s, Price and Peter Lorre starred as crimefighting antique dealers in the unsold pilot, "Collector's Item".
Had played the Spirit of the Nightmare in Alice Cooper's television special Alice Cooper: The Nightmare (1975).
In 1990, Price was hired by Walt Disney Imagineering to voice the role of the Phantom for "Phantom Manor", a new ride for the upcoming Euro Disneyland, scheduled to open in 1992. He was given a French script, but the takes were so bad, the entire performance was deemed unusable. After working on the French script for over three hours, Craig Fleming, who adapted the script and directed the recording sessions, gave him an English version of the script. Price recorded the entire piece in two takes. The English recordings were placed in the attraction, but after several months of operation, Euro Disney (the company that owns and operates the resort) felt there was not enough French in Euro Disneyland. So by 1993, in an attempt to add more French to the park, Price's narration was removed from the attraction and replaced by the French spiel, this time recorded by Gérard Chevalier. Price's narration can be found on a Disney Haunted Mansion CD. The CD, which contains a full ride-through of the attraction, claims Price's narration was "never used at Disneyland Paris", but that's because the park was still called Euro Disneyland when it was used. Today, the park is now known as Parc Disneyland (as of 2002) and, although his narration is long gone, one part of his performance remains in Phantom Manor: his laugh. Although the spoken dialog of the Phantom character was changed, Price's original recordings of the Phantom's evil laughter still remain intact, inside the attraction.
According to Price, when he and Peter Lorre went to view Bela Lugosi's body at Lugosi's funeral, Lorre, upon seeing Lugosi dressed in his famous Dracula cape, quipped, "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?".
Was a member of the family that started the company that makes Magic Baking Powder.
He would often attend showings of his films in costumes; often to play pranks on moviegoers.
At times, he struggled to get roles early in his career due to his 6' 4" frame, as producers often avoid casting actors who are much taller than their leading men.
Converted to Catholicism shortly after marrying Coral Browne, a Roman Catholic. According to Price's daughter, the Australian-born Browne then became an American citizen for him.
His role in Edward Scissorhands (1990) was intended to be much larger, but since Price was very ill from emphysema and Parkinson's disease he was only able to appear in two scenes.
Price voted for Republican candidate Wendell Willkie in the 1940 presidential election, since both his parents were conservatives. Shortly thereafter, his political views altered completely, and he later became one of the most active liberal Democrats in Hollywood.
Had played the Devil in The Story of Mankind (1957).
Won $32,000 in an appearance on the game show The $64,000 Question (1955).
Is remembered by some Canadians for his narration on The Hilarious House of Frightenstein (1971).
A transcript of an on-stage Q&A with Price (from a 1990s Fangoria convention) appears in Tom Weaver's book "Attack of the Monster Movie Makers" (McFarland & Co., 1994).
His likeness appeared on such Milton Bradley games as "Hangman" and "Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture" in the 1970s.
Vincent once told the story of a middle-aged woman who came up to him while on a flight to Barcelona for a fantasy film festival. She was quite excited and said, "Oh sir, could I have your autograph? I can't tell you how many years I have enjoyed your films, Mr. Karloff." Always the perfect gentlemen and not wanting to disappoint her, Vincent brought Boris Karloff back to life and gave the woman an autograph fifteen years after the actor had died.
Gave over 800 performances in the United States and Australia between 1977 and 1980 in his one-man show "Diversions & Delights" (invariably to standing ovations), playing Oscar Wilde in 1899 (set at the Parisian concert hall in the Rue de Pepinier). The play was written by John Gay and directed by Joseph Hardy. Price was at his brilliant best, particularly at smaller, more intimate venues.
Was a prime mover in the success of the La Jolla Playhouse in California, starring in many of their productions, including "The Winslow Boy" and "Billy Budd".
Made his acting debut at London's Gate Theatre.
He was awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Pictures at 6201 Hollywood Boulevard; and for Television at 6501 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
In his later years, when asked for his autograph, he would often sign "Dolores Del Rio" instead of his actual name. When once asked why, he replied, in complete seriousness, "I promised her on her deathbed that I would do what I could to keep her name alive!".
Price served for decades on the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Museum.
His father was president of a company that made jelly-beans and jawbreakers as well as Price's Baking Powder, which was sold to Royal in 1890.
During breaks in the long filming The Song of Bernadette (1943), Price and former "Vicoria Regina" co-star George Macready opened an art gallery, which they called The Little Gallery.
In 1948, Price joined Fanny Brice, Edward G. Robinson, and other art lovers to open his museum in Hollywood called the Modern Institute of Art. It closed within two years because of lack of funds.
Was a staunch liberal Democrat.
In October 2013, Price was honored as being Turner Classic Movies Star of the Month.
Was originally cast in Forever Amber (1947) but when filming was suspended after a month for further work on the script he was dropped and replaced with Richard Greene.
When Price filmed While the City Sleeps (1956), he became friends with Fritz Lang because of their mutual love of art.
Although he turned down Jose Ferrer's offer to play one of the leads in "My Three Angels" on stage, he did consent to play the Duke of Buckingham in Ferrer's "Richard III" at New York's City Center in 1953.
Price was scheduled by Universal to make his screen debut in Prescription for Romance (1937), but Kent Taylor replaced him. Next he was set for That Certain Age (1938), but was deemed too young and replaced by Melvyn Douglas.
When Lillian Gish first met him on The Whales of August (1987), she said, "I finally got my Prince Albert," a reference to "Victoria Regina".
During the 1970s, Price said that George C. Scott was his favorite current actor although Cary Grant (then retired) was his all-time favorite.
He was the visual inspiration for the original illustrations of the comic book superhero Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange (created in 1963). Price was 52 years old at the time. Strange's full name is Stephen Vincent Strange.
The 2013 song "Vincent Price" by the hard rock band Deep Purple is dedicated to him. Price was friends with the band, and in 1975, appeared on Roger Glover's live version of "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast" as a narrator.

Personal Quotes (18)

Someone called actors "sculptors in snow". Very apt. In the end, it's all nothing.
I don't play monsters. I play men besieged by fate and out for revenge.
"Gothic" is just a word recalling a multitude of sins!
[Tim Burton's Vincent (1982)] was immortality - better than a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
A man who limits his interests limits his life.
A lot of the recent actresses look and act like my niece. Now, she's a good girl, but I wouldn't pay to see her.
I sometimes feel that I'm impersonating the dark unconscious of the whole human race. I know this sounds sick, but I love it.
Doing a religious picture is a boring thing because everybody is on their best behavior - hoping for the keys to the kingdom, I guess.
What's important about an actor is his acting, not his life.
I hate being old and ill! Don't get old if you can avoid it!
The wonderful thing about Hawaii is, there, it doesn't take any words at all to say "I love you." You can say it with a pineapple and a twenty.
The horror thriller offers the serious actor unique opportunities to test his ability to make the unbelievable believable.
Suddenly in the '50s, a whole new group of actors came out: Marlon Brando, James Dean and Paul Newman, who were very moody and realistic. So actors like myself and Basil Rathbone and so on didn't really fit into those realistic dramas and we began to do costume pictures. This was really the only place we could go on working if we wanted to survive as actors. Most of the things of my later career have been costume pictures. They require a certain knowledge of the language, they require enunciation and a poetic approach to the language. Really, the one thing we have over the apes is our language, isn't it? That's about all.
[on House of Wax (1953) and director André De Toth] It's almost my favorite Hollywood story. Where else in the world would you hire a man with one eye to direct a picture in 3-D?
[on accepting the role of Baka in The Ten Commandments (1956)] You aren't a movie actor until you've been in a DeMille film.
[on Gene Tierney] Gene was the most underrated actress that we ever had! I've known her since she was about 17; and I adored her! She really wasn't a great beauty or sex idol. When you look at Laura (1944), and people ask why it has lasted, I think it's because of Gene Tierney. There's no way she can look dated. Her hair looks modern, her clothes. She didn't have a great body, but had a body that wore clothes well.
Hollywood's worst fault is typecasting. John Wayne, Cary Grant, everyone who's been a success - we all had the same problem. And they tell me I'm too important to play small character roles; you can't win!
I played so many gentle men at the beginning of my career that I certainly wanted to play some villains and so I got kind of stuck in villains.

Salary (3)

House on Haunted Hill (1959) $10,000 + 10% of gross
Return of the Fly (1959) $25,000
The Hilarious House of Frightenstein (1971) $13,000

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