Vincent Leonard Price Jr. (May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993) was an American actor, art historian, art collector, and gourmet cook. He appeared on stage, television, and radio, and in more than 100 films. Price has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures and one for television.[1]


Price’s first film role was as a leading man in the 1938 comedy Service de Luxe. He became a character actor, appearing in The Song of Bernadette (1943), Laura (1944), The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), Leave Her to Heaven (1945), Dragonwyck (1946), and The Ten Commandments (1956). He established himself in the horror genre with roles in House of Wax (1953), The Fly (1958), House on Haunted Hill (1959), Return of the Fly (1959), The Tingler (1959), The Last Man on Earth (1964), Witchfinder General (1968), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), and Theatre of Blood (1973). He collaborated with Roger Corman on House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Haunted Palace (1963), and The Masque of the Red Death (1964), most of which were Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. Price appeared in the television series Batman as Egghead.

Price voiced the villainous Professor Ratigan in Disney‘s animated film The Great Mouse Detective (1986), and appeared in the drama The Whales of August (1987), which earned him an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male nomination. Price’s final film was Tim Burton‘s Edward Scissorhands (1990). For his contributions to cinema, he received lifetime achievement or special tribute awards from Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror FilmsFantasportoBram Stoker Awards; and Los Angeles Film Critics Association.[citation needed] Price narrated animated films, radio dramas, and documentaries, and provided the narration in Michael Jackson‘s song “Thriller“. For his voice work in Great American Speeches (1959), Price was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.

Price was an art collector and arts consultant, with a degree in art history. He lectured and wrote books on art. The Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College is named in his honor.[2] Price was a gourmet cook and cookbook author.[3]


Price, who studied art history at Yale, was an art lover and collector. He was a commissioner of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.[40]

In 1957, impressed by the spirit of the students and the community’s need for the opportunity to experience original artworks firsthand, Vincent and Mary Grant Price donated 90 pieces from their private collection and a large amount of money to establish the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California,[41] which was the first “teaching art collection” owned by a community college in the United States. They ultimately donated some 2,000 pieces; the collection contains over 9,000 pieces and has been valued in excess of $5 million.[42]

Price also spent time working as an art consultant for Sears, Roebuck and Co.[18] From 1962 to 1971, Sears offered the “Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art”, selling about 50,000 fine-art prints to the general public. Works which Price selected or commissioned for the collection included some by RembrandtPablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí.[43][44] Public access to fine art was important to Price, who, according to his daughter Victoria, saw the Sears deal as an “opportunity to put his populist beliefs into practice, to bring art to the American public.” In the 1960s, portraits of Native Americans painted by Charles Bird King were secured for Jacqueline Kennedy‘s White House restoration. Through the efforts of Vincent Price, these five paintings were paid for and donated to the White House Collection by Sears.[45]

Price amassed his own extensive collection of art, and in 2008, a painting bought for $25 by a couple from Dallas was identified as a piece from Price’s collection. Painted by leading Australian modernist Grace Cossington Smith, it was given a modern valuation of AU$45,000.[46]


Price was a gourmet cook, and he authored several cookbooks with his second wife, Mary. These include:

  • A Treasury of Great Recipes (1965)
  • Mary and Vincent Price present a National Treasury of Cookery (1967)
  • Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cook Book: A Collector’s Treasury of America’s Great Recipes (1969)
  • Cooking Price-Wise with Vincent Price (1971)

Mary and Vincent Price present a National Treasury of Cookery was a five-volume series, packaged in a boxed set and published by the Heirloom Publishing Company. These five books were combined into a single book two years later and published as Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cook Book: A Collector’s Treasury of America’s Great Recipes. Most of the Prices’ cookbooks remained in print throughout the 1970s. After being out of print for several decades, two of their books were reprinted; A Treasury of Great Recipes (in August 2015 by Calla Editions) and Mary and Vincent Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cook Book (in November 2016 by Calla Editions), both featuring new forewords by their daughter Victoria Price. Cooking Price-Wise with Vincent Price was scheduled to be reprinted by Dover Publishing in October 2017 under the updated title Cooking Price-Wise – The Original Foodie.

The movie His Kind of Woman has a comedic scene in which Price, having invited Jane Russell and Robert Mitchum to dinner, receives bad news. He plays the entire scene holding a duck in his hand, ready to be cooked “soaked in sherry with only salt, sage, and pepper.”

In 1971, Price hosted his own cooking program on British television, called Cooking Price-Wise produced for the ITV network by Thames Television, which was broadcast in April and May 1971. This show gave its name to Price’s fourth and final cookbook later that year. Price promoted his cookbooks on many talk shows, one of the most famous instances being the November 21, 1975, broadcast of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, when he demonstrated how to poach a fish in a dishwasher.

Price recorded a number of audio cooking tutorials titled International Cooking Course. These were titled Bounty of ParadiseClassical Spanish CuisineCuisina ItalianaDelights from the Sultan’s PantryDinner at the CasbahDining at VersaillesExotic Delights from the Far EastFood of the GodsFoods from the Austro-Hungarian EmpireLa Cocina MejicanaThe Bard’s Board, and The Wok. In addition to those, he recorded an audio wine course titled Wine Is Elegance. These audio recordings were released on 33⅓ LPs by Nelson Industries in 1977 and were also packaged in a 12-cassette boxed set titled Beverly Hills Cookbook – Cookbook of the Rich and Famous, Your Host Mr. Vincent Price.[47]

In August 1982, he co-hosted A Taste of China for Thames Television over five episodes. He also prepared a fish recipe on Wolfgang Puck‘s Cooking with Wolfgang Puck VHS, released in October 1987 by Warner Home Video.

Vincent Price | Visiting with Huell Howser | KCET

Vincent Price A&E Biography (1993)

Vincent Price Remastered – A Graveyard of Ghost Tales

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