The Legendary Vincent Price! An Incredibly Candid Biography – By His Daughter!
Since it’s #31daysofhalloween, Wednesday’s Bookmobile shares an incredible book about one of horror’s most iconic figures, who is given the respect he deserves, thanks to an entertaining and candid biography by his own daughter!
Vincent Price had a wildly varied career that spanned six decades, and included Broadway, films, television, and selling art at Sears! Yes, it’s a story you may not know, and now it’s been told by a person who had access to all of his journals, diaries, letters and more…his daughter Victoria…
“Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography”
I just finished this beautifully written book, which captures the personal and professional ups and downs of a Hollywood Icon – lovingly but also candidly written by his daughter Victoria.
Can You Walk And Chew Gum At The Same Time? Vincent Could!
In just one of dozens of hilarious anecdotes, we find out that Vincent Price got his first stage role literally because he could walk and chew gum at the same time!
The book recounts how he auctioned for a play in London while in graduate school there, and the play was “Chicago”, where characters needed to chew gum! The problem was there was no such thing in London, so Price taught his fellow Actors how to walk, chew gum and recite their lines at the same time, and got the role!
Price died in 1993, but his legacy has continued to grow.
His credits included being the voice of “The Saint” on radio; and the star of horror films like “House of Wax”, “The Fly” and “House Of Usher”.
He also starred in classic films like “Laura” and “The Song of Bernadette”, and appeared on so many TV shows – everything from “Batman” to “The Brady Bunch!”
Price was also a gourmet chef and a bestselling author of numerous cookbooks with his then-wife Mary, Victoria’s Mom…
Victoria doesn’t ignore the darker side of her father’s life, such as his secret signing of a loyalty oath during the blacklisting era; an affair that destroyed his 24-year marriage or even his possible bisexuality. But the story is told with love and respect for Price, and the story is incredibly entertaining.
Victoria had access to more than 200 pages of transcribed conversations during her father’s final years, two nearly completed memoirs by him, a lifetime of preserved correspondence and the firsthand recollections of dozens of contemporaries.
Vincent’s Run-in With Fellow Horror Icon Christopher Lee!
Among the hilarious stories in the book was this one, when Price met Lee for the first time:
“Before we met, I had heard he was very pompous, and I was really a little worried about meeting him. Well, we took one look at each other and started laughing.”
They became lifelong friends from that moment. As Vincent added of Lee:
“We find each other hysterically funny. We spend our lives screaming and laughing at each other, and having a wonderful time. I’m really devoted to him. I think he’s one of my very few good friends in the business.” Christopher felt the same. “Vincent had a wicked sense of humor combined with an appreciation of the ridiculous. He always saw the humor in everything.”
Then there was the issue of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
Price was asked to do the narration for the song and video which ended up as the biggest selling record in history…but Vincent got nothing more than a modest honorarium, and it ultimately drove him crazy…as the book recounts:
“When it was reported that Michael Jackson had made a multimillion-dollar payment in respect of charges of his possible misconduct with a young boy, Vincent channeled the ill feelings about his own mistreatment into a joke: ‘all I can say is that Michael Jackson fucked me – and I didn’t get paid for it!'”
The book is filled with memorable stories about his life, his family and his career.
Here are a few reviews of the memoir:
“Definitive, exhaustively researched and superbly written, the book contains none of the sentimentality the subtitle may suggest . . . . Victoria Price tells Vincent’s tale with such clear-eyed pride that the reader cannot help being won over.” —Publishers Weekly
“This is an excellent, detailed, readable biography of the Gable of Gothic.” —Booklist
“[Vincent Price] emerges as one of his most complex characters in this entertaining and touching biography.” —The New York Times
Vincent Price was a terrific person, and literally everyone loved him…Actress Diana Rigg worked with him once and said it was her favorite movie experience ever!
Yes, that’s Rigg on the right, in the wickedly funny horror film “Theater Of Blood” – click here to see the trailer:
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Leave a comment with your favorite Vincent Price film!