Actor. He is best remembered for his numerous roles in suspense and horror motion pictures of the 1950s through the 1970s, including "House of Usher" (1960), "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1961), and "The Raven" (1963). Born in St. Louis, Missouri and named after his father, he was the son of Vincent Leonard Price and Marguerite Cobb Price, a family whose father had invented Dr. Price's Baking Power, the first cream of tartar baking powder and the source of the family fortune. As a result, Vincent Jr. attended the prestigious St. Louis Country Day School and Yale University, where he majored in art history and fine art. A member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, he became interested in the theater, and began appearing professionally about 1935, on the stage. He made his film debut with the minor role of Robert Wade in "Service de Luxe" (1938), and became firmly established as an actor with his success in "Laura" (1944). His first horror film was "Tower of London" (1939) with Boris Karloff. Numerous suspense films filled out the latter half of the 1940s, a role that he became closely identified with, and to break away from becoming stereotyped, he tried his hand at radio plays, portraying crime fighter Simon Templar in "The Saint" (1943 to 1951). In the early 1950s, he moved into horror films as the studios rushed to fill the American public's demand for more of these types of movies, beginning with "House of Wax" (1953). Although he was busy with monster movies in this period, including "The Fly" (1958), and "House on Haunted Hill" (1959), he would take time to try other roles, often humorous untraditional roles or as satires of his horror roles, such as "Beach Party" (1963) with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, and "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine" (1965). His occasional non-stereotype acting style would show up in guest appearances on such television shows "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", "F Troop," "Daniel Boone," "Love Boat" and "Get Smart." Sometimes, he would spoof his mysterious, menacing persona in television or movies, playing a mad scientist on "The Red Skelton Show" (1971) or as Cardinal Richelieu in "The Three Musketeers" (1960). In later years, he would do voiceovers in cartoons, using his rich distinct voice in "The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby-Doo" (1985), as Professor Ratigan in "The Great Mouse Detective" (1986), or as the narrator of "Tiny Toon Adventures" (1991). Always interested in art, he would collect a masterful art collection and become well known in art circles for his expertise. He would donate over ninety pieces from his own art collection, valued at over $5 million, to the East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California. The college named it the Vincent Price Art Gallery in his honor, and it is well known for teaching fine art and for holding world-class art exhibitions. Also a noted gourmet cook, he would author several cookbooks, including "A Treasury of Great Recipes" (1965) and "Beverly Hills Cookbook" (1969). He was married three times, first to actress Edith Barrett (1938-1946, divorced), with whom he had a son, Vincent Barrett Price, then to Mary Grant Price (1949-1973, divorced), with whom he had a daughter, Victoria. His last marriage was to Australian actress Coral Browne (1974-1991; her death), who he met while filming "Theatre of Blood" (1973). He would convert to Roman Catholicism to marry her; in exchange, she became an American citizen. A lifelong smoker, he suffered from emphysema and Parkinson's Disease in his later years. The effects of these diseases became more and more noticeable and by 1990, they had begun to affect his work, eventually causing him to retire.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson