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May 27, 2011 7:08 AM   Subscribe


I was Vincent Price for Halloween last year (more specifically, his character from "The House on Haunted Hill."

Just steer clear of his Egg Magic egg decorating kit, 'sall I;m sayin'.

(awesome post, BTW)
posted by ShutterBun at 7:16 AM on May 27, 2011

Vincent Price and Red Skelton.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:24 AM on May 27, 2011

Letters of Note has some fantastic letters written by Vincent Price towards the end of his life.
posted by Dr. Eigenvariable at 7:24 AM on May 27, 2011

Don't forget Vincent Price's A Treasury Of Great Recipes cookbook, which is brilliant in a kind of stuffy mid-1960s way. There are some recipes from it and other cookbooks he wrote with his wife available here.
posted by hippybear at 7:33 AM on May 27, 2011

The Last Man on Earth is still my favorite version of I Am Legend. The heaviness of the character, as if he were loaded down with lead weights. So much that man did with a squint and pursed lips or a carefully arched eyebrow. Such an unusual voice to work in horror, when you stop to think about it. Very hard to imitate, purring through a grand ambiguous smile, as much magician as actor. I don't think we will find another quite like him for a while.
posted by adipocere at 7:34 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I did a writeup of Price's Muppet Show appearance on my (neglected) blog, some time ago. Vincent Price was an amazing man, and even his final role was a perfect capstone to his career.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:40 AM on May 27, 2011

What I think was the best thing about Vincent Price was that he wasn't pretentious. Too many actors are full of themselves. Price never was. He didn't think he was creating great art; he just wanted to entertain people.

And he succeeded, too.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:49 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Vincent Price spoke at my high school graduation, so HA!

(His grandson was in my graduating class.)
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:55 AM on May 27, 2011

I know it's already been mentioned, but for some reason, I always enjoy Vincent Price's Egg Magic because I think he would find the joke so funny.

Also, I was too old for the video for "Thriller" to scare the crap out of me, but it did, and I'm sure it's because of him.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:09 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I don't recall where I read it, but Vincent Price is better known now all over the world for his voice and his cackling laughter being in "Thriller" (which, of all MJ's catalog, is now by far the most requested and played track) than for any of the movies he was ever in.
posted by blucevalo at 8:15 AM on May 27, 2011

posted by magstheaxe at 8:21 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

"Among the great classics of radio drama, none is more memorable than 'Three Skeleton Key,' although few who have heard it would remember it by that title. For them it is simply that story about the rats."
posted by Iridic at 8:44 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm sitting in St. Louis thinking about what events to attend this weekend and I see this post. This pretty much covers it. Now I don't have to go to any of them.
posted by DaddyNewt at 9:17 AM on May 27, 2011

Immediately after I got out of high school in 1972, I took a summer job driving a taxicab. One evening, I was hailed by a doorman outside the Indianapolis Hilton hotel. Pulling over, I got out to open the trunk (no remote release on the 68 Chevy I was driving). While I was busy stowing the luggage, my passenger got into the rear seat. The doorman mouthed "airport", which I got, and something else that I didn't quite get.

I hopped back in, racked the meter, and asked my passenger "Which airline?" I looked around and stopped short when I realized I had DOCTOR FUCKING PHIBES in the back seat.

That was a ...memorable drive to the airport, especially for an 18-year-old kid. I was terrified all the way, on many metalevels.

He was a nice guy, but to this day, 40 years later, I can't see a rear-view mirror at night without just that little twinge that i might just, once again, see Vincent Price leering at me in the reflection.
posted by pjern at 9:33 AM on May 27, 2011 [13 favorites]

When I was a kid, I knew of Vincent Price as a) the sweet old man who read quaintly humorous poems on The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, and b) the source of the monstrously evil laugh at the end of "Thriller" that always, always, always caused me to reflexively run away in terror.

Bill Heder's impression of him always cracks me up.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:53 AM on May 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

Here's a blatant self-link pic of Vincent Price (and my father) enjoying a beer and a smoke on the set of The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, circa 1971.
posted by rocket88 at 10:16 AM on May 27, 2011 [7 favorites]

And lets not forget Tim Burton's addition to the mystique
posted by Redhush at 11:33 AM on May 27, 2011

The Abominable Dr. Phibes kicks the shit out of Seven.
posted by Artw at 11:33 AM on May 27, 2011

You win the internet, rocket.

And thanks, OP!

Happy Birthday, Vincent, wherever you are!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:34 AM on May 27, 2011

Great post, I was thinking earlier in the week of doing something for this, you did a better job than I would have. A couple things:

Vincent, a wonderful short by Tim Burton.

Vincentennial celebration in his birthplace, St. Louis.

Also, today Sir Christopher Lee is 89, and yesterday (May 26th) would have been Peter Cushing's 102nd birthday.
posted by marxchivist at 11:35 AM on May 27, 2011 [2 favorites]

Last Saturday I attended an art opening at the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles Community College. They have some great artwork there, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves art in the Los Angeles area, but it is perhaps the worst-designed building I've ever visited.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 12:08 PM on May 27, 2011

This is a great post. I'm a Price fan and there's lots of meat I've never come across here.

Also, if you've never seen Laura, go see it. It's an amazing movie and Price plays against type.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2011

Price was the man born to play Cardinal Richelieu.
posted by SPrintF at 12:31 PM on May 27, 2011

Wonderful post; I might have missed it in all the links, but he was also known as an art collector.
posted by TedW at 12:48 PM on May 27, 2011

I always liked his turn as Shelby Carpenter in Laura. It's always a little jarring and amusing to realize the southern playboy is Vincent Price.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 1:31 PM on May 27, 2011

rocket88, loving that photo. What did your father do on the show? Any great Billy Van stories to share?

I am definitely of the age (and nationality) that was introduced to Mr. Price via Frightenstein and Thriller. Stephen King pumping out his best work at the time connected the circuit and got me started on Poe, Lovecraft, and every cruddy horror flick released between '56 and '86.

Thank you, Mr Price, you were a class act all the way.
posted by Chichibio at 1:36 PM on May 27, 2011

I might have missed it in all the links, but he was also known as an art collector.

Not only that, but he wrote a book about the French painter, Eugene Delacroix.
posted by jonp72 at 4:02 PM on May 27, 2011

OMG! My favorite actor and person of all time. Well done, OP well done. Thanks to Capt. Renault for pointing me this way.
posted by Splunge at 4:24 PM on May 27, 2011

Don't forget: the best host of PBS' Mystery!
posted by thomas j wise at 8:16 PM on May 27, 2011

I love Vincent Price! You've all named pretty much everything I love him for, but.. I have to say.. Is it just me or did anyone else find Vincent Price strangely alluring in Laura, Leave Her To Heaven, and Dragonwyck?
posted by Mael Oui at 9:25 PM on May 27, 2011

A one-hundred years ago?
posted by Leisure_Muffin at 11:02 PM on May 27, 2011

I might have missed it in all the links, but he was also known as an art collector.

Not only that, but he joined up with Sears Roebuck to sell art to the masses.
posted by IndigoJones at 10:39 AM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I guess we'll all have to celebrate in our own small ways.
posted by cookie-k at 12:10 PM on May 28, 2011

Chichibio: My dad ran the engineering department at the station where Frightenstein was made. He told me that Vincent Price came in for exactly one day, pulled off every poem segment for the entire run in a single take each, hung out a bit with the cast and crew, and flew out that night. He was awesomely professional and a class act.
Billy Van was a staple of almost every show the station produced in those days, including the long running cheezy charades show Party Game. He was always "on" and quite a character.
posted by rocket88 at 3:08 PM on May 28, 2011

I once attended a party with Vincent Price and got to speak with him at considerable length along with a small group of friends. He was utterly charming and courteous; genuinely attentive to everything being said and just oozing old-world gallantry. All this after performing a grueling one-man show on Oscar Wilde. Amazing gentleman.
posted by RavinDave at 2:18 AM on May 29, 2011

100 Vincents
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:31 AM on May 30, 2011

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