After a weeklong Vincent Price binge (wow, that guy knows how to deliver a comedic line) I’ve decided that I needed to learn more about the man himself. In the wise words of the Master of the Macabre, “what’s important about an actor is his acting, not his life”. I happen to agree with him which meant I never looked further into his life before… until now. That being said, after a bit of research, I have come to realize that this man was even greater than his acting. So without delay, here are the top ten odd and random Vincent Price facts which make us love the man even more:
1. Vincent Price’s father, Vincent Leonard Price Sr, was the president of the National Candy Company, specializing in jawbreakers and jellybeans. How cool is that? His dad was pretty much Willy Wonka. I picture a childhood of chocolate rivers and candied wallpaper. Yes I know I’m probably wrong but I like my vision of the *kenning* dancing through fields of sugary confections.
2. Go back further and we find out that Vincent’s grandfather, Vincent Clarence Price, invented Dr. Prices Baking Powder, the first cream of tartar based baking soda. It later became Magic’s baking powder after he sold the company in the 1890’s. So just think of it, there’s a little Price on your food every time you bake. Mm…
3. Apparently Vincent Price used to dress up for movie premieres and get a kick out of scaring movie goers. (Does anyone have footage of this? Or a grandmother with a story because this is simply amazing!) He was essencially a big kid. Needless to say, getting scared by the Master of Horror himself would have been the best 3D movie experience of all time.
4. Vincent was 6’4. That’s not the interesting part. What is interesting to consider is the fact that his height had cost him jobs early on in his career. Imagine the poor sucker of a producer who later on in life regreted his decision of denying Vincent to play a role in his movie, thinking, “this great actor could have been the star of my movie.” I mean, even the worst of Vincent Price’s movies are still watched and adored.
5. A commonly known fact, but one that makes me squee with glee, is that not only did he have a short lived cooking show (Someone find me a copy of that!!!) called “Cooking Price-Wise” in 1971, he was also the co-author of several cookbooks that have been said to be “one of the greatest culinary events of the 20th century”. In turn his cookbooks were credited to initiate the foodie movement in America. Seriously, can you imagine that dinner party? Humour me for a moment as I daydream this outloud:
Guest: “Hey, Vinnie what are we having for dinner?”
Vincent: “A pan seared spleen of child with rosemary and a hint of citrus”
Vincent: “Just kidding, it’s beef… or is it?” *intense sideways look at guest*
6. Vincent was notoriously superstitious. He once joked about keeping a horseshoe, a crucifix and a mezuzah on his front door. No kidding. And although he had killed, maimed, and summoned evil ficticiously, he took superstitions rather seriously. Heck, if I were him and even if it was all done in script, I’d watch my back as well. Although I still maintain the notion that there is nothing bigger or badder than Vincent Price himself.
7. Vincent and Christopher Lee were born on the same day (May 27th) and Peter Cushing was born on the 26th. They are all considered horror legends. This makes me giggle. I mean it’s like the universe said “Let’s unleash all sorts of evil on the world!!! But you know, not really.”
8. Uncle Vinny worked with Alice Cooper, Michael Jackson, the Scooby gang AND the Muppets! The MUPPETS!!!!! Back in the day you knew you were someone when you had a guest appearance on the Muppets. It’s like getting your head on a Pez dispenser. Does anyone know if a Vincent Price pez dispencer exists? Now that I think of it, I really need one.
9. Vincent had a passion for the Arts. Not only did he study Art History at Yale but he also founded the Vincent Price Gallery and Art Foundation on the East Los Angeles Community College campus in 1951. He was appointed head of the Indian Arts and Crafts board under Eisenhower (he called the appointment “kind of a surprise, since I am a Democrat.”) and served for decades on the board of directors of the Los Angeles County Museum.
In his own words, “When you limit your interests you limit your life”. He certainly lived up to that!
10. Last but certainly not least, Price was supportive of his daughter, who came out as a lesbian. He was also critical of Anita Bryant‘s anti-gay 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 with the public. Can this guy get any cooler? He knew what was up long before the rest of America!
And to finish off with a quote dearest to my heart:
“If you’re always curious, you’ll never be bored.” – Vincent Price