A Tribute to Vincent Price
I wasn’t at all surprised when Vincent Price won our mock “Survivor” poll, beating out 15 other actors and actresses known for playing villains. After appearing in almost 150 films, most of them gothic horror favorites, during a 55-year career, and doing it with great panache and a sense of humor, he was bound to be a fan favorite. This tribute article was originally written to coincide with what would have been his 90th birthday, on May 27, 2001, and has been updated in 2005.
Born in St Louis in 1911 to a well-to-do family, Vincent Price was one of the most multi-faceted individuals ever associated with the motion picture business. He didn’t start out to be an actor; he was going to be an art historian, and he never gave up his love of art, founding an art gallery in 1951 that is still located at East Los Angeles College. He got his undergraduate degree at Yale, and received a Masters in Fine Arts at the Courtauld Institute in London.
He began acting in London in 1934, and by 1935 had appeared on Broadway with Helen Hayes. He also joined Orson Wells’ Mercury Theatre for a time. He made his screen debut in 1938, and after a series of minor roles, often as historical figures, he appeared in a key supporting role in Laura in 1944. He soon began appearing in horror films, including House of Wax (1953), House of Usher (1960), Pit and the Pendulum (1961) and The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971). He was a staple in Roger Corman’s series of Poe adaptations.
After appearing in a number of lower quality films, he gave up acting in the mid-1970s and began a new career as a chef. He hosted a television show on cooking, and published several gourmet cookbooks. He also had a TV career, hosting “Mystery” on PBS, and appeared in several rock videos, most notably Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Near the end of his life, he appeared in several memorable supporting roles in non-horror films, including The Whales of August (1987) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). He died in 1993 of lung cancer.
I hope you enjoy the many Vincent Price tributes and other pages I’ve collected, as well as reviews, posters, photos, and more.
Part I: Introduction
Part III: Movie Reviews & Where to Find His Movies
Part IV: Books, Photos, Art, and Posters