Price, Vincent Leonard, Jr.

Price, Vincent Leonard, Jr., 1911-93, American film actor, b. St. Louis, Mo., Yale Univ. (B.A., 1933). Price studied English and art in college and then traveled to London to continue his art studies but found work in the theater, making his first professional appearance in 1934. He returned to New York where he continued to act on stage, making his film debut in 1938. His first notable role came in the film Laura (1944) and he continued to work in supporting roles in a variety of genres through the ‘40s. Price found work in radio as the lead character in The Saint (1947-51), and then began to specialize in horror roles beginning with House of Wax (1953). Although he continued to work in film and on television in other styles, Price became best-known for his horror films, particularly in the 1960s-early ‘70s when he formed a close working relationship with producer/director Roger Corman. In his later life, Price exploited his notoriety through a number of campy appearances on cameos on the TV sitcom The Brady Bunch and pop recordings by Alice Cooper (1975) and Michael Jackson (“Thriller,” 1982). In the later ‘70s-early ‘80s, he toured in a one-man show based on the life of Oscar Wilde, and then hosted the PBS series Mystery! (1981-89). His last major film role came in Tim Burton’s film Edward Scissorhands (1990). Besides his acting career, Price was a successful author of several cookbooks.

See his autobiographies (1959 [reissued 2016], 1978); biography by his daughter (2011); studies by J.M. Lampley (2010), J. Cushing and P. Eisner, eds. (2013), M. Iverson (2020).

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