Vincent Price


Host of BBC Radio's "The Price of Fear" (1973-1975, 1983). Called "The King of Horror," Vincent Price is best known for his villainous roles in more than 100 films, as well as many stage and television productions, but his accomplishments cover a much broader range. He is a connoisseur of fine art and the author of a number of books on the subject. Price continued to do film, television, and theatre throughout the 60's and 70'sand in 1980 he began to host "Mystery!" for television.

Vincent Price, "the King of Horror", defined the horror genre. His finest films are listed among the classics. Born Vincent Leonard Price Jr. to weathly St. Louis family on May 27, 19911. Vincent Price developed a love for the arts. After collecting art from a young age, Vincent Price would attempt such endeavors as cartooning and painting, sculpting, and singing before he enter the acting profession..

Vincent Price received acclaim on the stage first. Vincent Price appeared on Broadway opposite Helen Hayes Hollywood discovered the Vincent Price one he was a sensation on Broadway and consider him to be the a romantic lead, a heartthrob. But instead of become a romantic lead, Vincent Price went on to a career in horror films.

Cultured, debonair stage star with a mellifluous voice who gained initial attention in England and made his Hollywood debut in 1938. At first Price was cast in historical roles such as Raleigh in the costume drama "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex" (1939), but he soon played effete villains in several films and turned in strong performances in straight dramas--notably Otto Preminger's "Laura" (1944) and Anatole Litvak's "The Long Night" (1947). Price was soon associated almost exclusively with the horror genre, though, after he played the revenge-driven sculptor in the 3-D classic of the macabre, "House of Wax" (1953) and appeared as the scientist-turned-fly's brother in the cult favorite "The Fly" (1958). His theatrical flair was also put to good use as the villainous Baka in Cecil B. DeMille's epic remake of his "The Ten Commandments" (1956).

In the early 1960s, Price began appearing in movies produced by American International Pictures, a busy studio that specialized in churning out cheapie teen genre fare for drive-ins. He often worked with ace director Roger Corman, for whom he starred in a series of stylish low-budget gothic chillers loosely based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, including "House of Usher" (1960), "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), "The Raven" (1963), and "The Masque of the Red Death" (1964). AIP sometimes teamed Price with aging Hollywood icons Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff and Basil Rathbone. His other memorable horror and sci-fi turns include William Castle's "House on Haunted Hill" (1958) and "The Tingler" (1959), "The Abominable Dr. Phibes" (1971), and "Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972). Price numbered "Theatre of Blood" (1973) among his favorite credits. As Edward Lionheart, he was a Shakespearean ham who exacts bloody vengeance on his critics by dispatching them in recreations of the Bard's famous death scenes.

Price was also a fine arts collector, chef and lecturer of some note. He published books on art and cuisine, ranging from "Drawings of Delacroix" (1962) to "The Come Into the Kitchen Cook Book" (1969), co-authored with second wife Mary Price (nee Grant). He never hesitated to wittily spoof his onscreen image as the "Master of Menace", playing Egghead on the TV series "Batman", supplying the "rap" narration for Michael Jackson's landmark song and video "Thriller", and serving an eight-year stint as the urbane, gently sinister host of the PBS series "Mystery!".

Price provided the voice for the diabolical Professor Ratigan, the Dr. Moriarty-like villain of the Disney animated feature, "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986). His last major role in a feature was Mr. Maranov, the transplanted Russian nobleman who charms Bette Davis and Lillian Gish in Lindsay Anderson's "The Whales of August" (1987). Price was a major influence on quirky genre filmmaker Tim Burton who idolized his screen persona. This morbid adoration was the subject of an animated short, "Vincent" (1982). Narrated by Price, this surprisingly dark Disney production told the sad tale of a boy obsessed with the actor. Burton also cast him as the kindly old inventor who creates "Edward Scissorhands" (1990). This charming sequence was Price's final film appearance.