Monday, October 25, 2010
Deathday: Poe Actor Vincent Price
Vincent Leonard Price II (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993) was an American actor, well known for his distinctive voice and serio-comic attitude in a series of horror films made in the latter part of his career.
In the 1960s, Price had a number of low-budget successes with Roger Corman and American International Pictures (AIP) including the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), Tales of Terror (1962), The Comedy of Terrors (1963) The Raven (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), and The Tomb of Ligeia (1965). He also starred in The Last Man on Earth (1964), a film based on the Richard Matheson novel I Am Legend. In 1968 Price portrayed witchhunter Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder General, which is also known as The Conqueror Worm.
Price was married three times and fathered a son, named Vincent Barrett Price, with his first wife, former actress Edith Barrett. Price and his second wife Mary Grant Price donated hundreds of works of art and a large amount of money to East Los Angeles College in the early 1960s in order to endow the Vincent and Mary Price Gallery there. Their daughter, Mary Victoria Price, was born in 1962.
Price's last marriage was to the Australian actress Coral Browne, who appeared with him (as one of his victims) in Theatre of Blood (1973). He converted to Catholicism to marry her, and she became a U.S. citizen for him.
Price was a lifelong smoker. He had long suffered from emphysema and Parkinson's disease, which had forced his role in Edward Scissorhands to be much smaller than intended.
His illness also contributed to his retirement from Mystery, as his condition was becoming noticeable on-screen. He died of lung cancer on October 25, 1993. He was cremated and his ashes scattered off Point Dume in Malibu, California.