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Vincent Price

Vincent Price

Known For: Acting · Birthday: 1911-05-27 · Deathday: 1993-10-25 (82 years old) · Gender: Male · Place of Birth: St. Louis, Missouri, USA

154 Movies · 46 TV shows

Also Known As: Vincent Leonard Price Jr. · The King of the Grand Guignol · The Merchant of Menace · The Renaissance Man · Винсент Прайс · Vincent Leonard Price

Biography

Vincent Leonard Price Jr. (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993) was an American actor best known for his performances in horror films, although his career spanned other genres. He appeared on stage, television, and radio, and in more than 100 films. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures and one for television.Price started off as a character actor, appearing in films such as The Song of Bernadette (1943), Laura (1944), The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), Leave Her to Heaven (1945), Dragonwyck (1946) and The Ten Commandments (1956). He established himself as a recognizable horror movie star after his leading role in House of Wax (1953). He subsequently starred in other successful or cult horror films including The Fly (1958), House on Haunted Hill (1959), The Last Man on Earth (1964), Witchfinder General (1968), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), and Theatre of Blood (1973). He was particularly known for his collaborations with Roger Corman on Edgar Allan Poe adaptations like House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) and The Masque of the Red Death (1964). Price occasionally appeared on television series such as in Batman as Egghead. In his later years, he appeared in drama The Whales of August (1987), which earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male nomination and Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990), his last theatrical release. For his contributions to cinema, especially to genre films, he has received lifetime achievement or special tribute awards from Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, Fantasporto, Bram Stoker Awards and Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Known for his iconic voice, Price has narrated several animation films, radio dramas and documentaries as well as the monologue on Michael Jackson song Thriller. For his voice work in Great American Speeches (1959), he was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Price was also an art collector and arts consultant with a degree in art history, and he lectured and wrote books on the subject. The Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College is named in his honor. He was also a noted gourmet cook.

Career

Price was born on May 27, 1911, in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the four children of Vincent Leonard Price Sr. (July 30, 1871 – June 18, 1948), president of the National Candy Company, and his wife Marguerite Cobb (née Wilcox) Price (October 28, 1874 – September 12, 1946). His grandfather was Vincent Clarence Price who invented "Dr. Price's Baking Powder", the first cream of tartar–based baking powder, and it secured the family's fortune. Price was of English descent and was a descendant of Peregrine White, the first white child born in Colonial Massachusetts, being born on the Mayflower while it was in Provincetown Harbor. Price had some Welsh ancestry as well.Price attended the St. Louis Country Day School and Milford Academy in Milford, Connecticut. In 1933, he graduated with a degree in English and a minor in Art History from Yale University, where he worked on the campus humor magazine The Yale Record. After teaching for a year, he entered the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, intending to study for a master's degree in fine arts. Instead, he was drawn to the theater, first appearing on stage professionally in 1934. His acting career began in London in 1935, performing with Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre.In 1936, Price appeared as Prince Albert in the American production of Laurence Housman's play Victoria Regina, which starred Helen Hayes in the title role of Queen Victoria.

Personal Life

Price married three times. His first marriage was in 1938 to former actress Edith Barrett; they had one son, the poet and columnist Vincent Barrett Price, and divorced in 1948. Price married Mary Grant in 1949, and they had a daughter, the inspirational speaker Victoria Price on April 27, 1962, naming her after Price's first major success in the play Victoria Regina. The marriage lasted until 1973. He married Australian actress Coral Browne in 1974, who appeared as one of his victims in Theatre of Blood (1973). The marriage lasted until her death in 1991. His daughter's biography "Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography" (1999) details Price's early anti-Semitism and initial admiration for Adolf Hitler. According to his daughter: "When he went to Germany and Austria as a young man he was struck by a lot of things going on during the Weimar Republic and the disillusion of the empire... So when Hitler came into power, instead of seeing him as a dangerous force, he was sort of swept up in this whole idea that Hitler was going to bring German pride back." However, Price became a liberal after becoming friends with New York Intellectuals such as Dorothy Parker and Lillian Hellman in the 1930s, so much so that he was "greylisted" under McCarthyism in the 1950s, for having been a pre-war "premature anti-Nazi" and, after being unable to find work for a year, agreed to requests by the FBI that he sign a "secret oath" s in order to save his career.Price denounced racial and religious prejudice as a form of poison at the end of an episode of The Saint, which aired on NBC Radio on July 30, 1950, claiming that Americans must actively fight against it because racial and religious prejudice within the United States fuels support for the nation's enemies. He was later appointed to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board under the Dwight D. Eisenhower administration; he called the appointment "kind of a surprise, since I am a Democrat." He was supportive of his daughter when she came out as a lesbian, and he was critical of Anita Bryant's anti-gay-rights campaign in the 1970s. He was an honorary board member of PFLAG and among the first celebrities to appear in public service announcements discussing AIDS. His daughter has said that she is "as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men."

Early Life

Price was born on May 27, 1911, in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the four children of Vincent Leonard Price Sr. (July 30, 1871 – June 18, 1948), president of the National Candy Company, and his wife Marguerite Cobb (née Wilcox) Price (October 28, 1874 – September 12, 1946). His grandfather was Vincent Clarence Price who invented "Dr. Price's Baking Powder", the first cream of tartar–based baking powder, and it secured the family's fortune. Price was of English descent and was a descendant of Peregrine White, the first white child born in Colonial Massachusetts, being born on the Mayflower while it was in Provincetown Harbor. Price had some Welsh ancestry as well.Price attended the St. Louis Country Day School and Milford Academy in Milford, Connecticut. In 1933, he graduated with a degree in English and a minor in Art History from Yale University, where he worked on the campus humor magazine The Yale Record. After teaching for a year, he entered the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, intending to study for a master's degree in fine arts. Instead, he was drawn to the theater, first appearing on stage professionally in 1934. His acting career began in London in 1935, performing with Orson Welles's Mercury Theatre.In 1936, Price appeared as Prince Albert in the American production of Laurence Housman's play Victoria Regina, which starred Helen Hayes in the title role of Queen Victoria.

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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Vincent_Price", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.