The Facts in the Case of Mr. Price

Born: May 27, 1911, St. Louis, MO
Died: October 25, 1993, Los Angeles, CA
Married: Edith Barrett (1938 - 1948), Mary Grant (1949 - 1973), Coral Browne (1974 - 1991).
Children: Vincent Barrett Price (b. 1940) and Victoria Price (b. 1962).
Actor, author, artist and art historian, gourmet chef and raconteur. IMDb entry


Vincent Price's grandfather, Vincent C. Price, was the inventor of Baking Powder.  His invention resulted in a very successful business and family wealth. Sadly, Dr. Price lost it all through bad investments.  Much of the family wealth was gone. Vincent's father, also Vincent Price, was able to buy and successfully run a St. Louis business, the National Candy Company.  Here's an article he wrote for a professional journal.

A letterhead from the National Candy Company,  showing the main factory.  Though the company was long ago sold to another concern, the building still stands. Vincent attended the St. Louis Country Day School, and maintained contact throughout his life.  Here's an article from the school's newsletter in 2009 which shows Price making a visit. Click here to see highlights of his school yearbook! Following graduation, Vincent and a group of fellow students toured Europe.  It was during this trip that he fell in love with the arts.

Vincent's Yale Yearbook picture and biography. After returning from England and his triumph in Victoria Regina, Price met actress Edith Barrett. A lovely magazine illustration of Edith Barrett from 1934.
 
  Vincent lovingly gazes up at Edith in this publicity photo.  

Vincent and Edith married in 1938. Vincent and Edith. The couple had a son, Vincent Barrett Price, in 1940.

Vincent and actress Gloria Jean, both newcomers to the Universal Pictures stable in 1939. Price and Barrett divorced in 1948.  Soon after, Vincent married designer Mary Grant. The New York Times article above got Price's son's name wrong! Mary and Vincent Price.

In 1962, Vincent and Mary had a daughter, Victoria.  Vincent's children were 22 years apart.  He used to joke that it was the finest example of planned parenthood ever! Vincent's acting career took a new path in 1960 when he made his first film for American-International Pictures. Price, along with Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Hazel Court (in the photo from Look) became the face of AIP.

Always busy, Price also found time to do favors for friends, such as the narration for this attraction in Tombstone, AZ.  Done in the 1960s, it's still playing to tourists! Vincent and Victoria in 1967.

 

Classic AIP advertising from the early 70s.  Price's affiliation with the company would soon come to an end.

 

While making the film Theatre of Blood, in 1972, Price met Australian actress Coral Browne.  Soon, he would divorce Mary and marry Coral. Known for her roles in The Killing of Sister George, The Ruling Class and Auntie Mame, one of her best performances was in the hard-to-find Dream Child. An indication of his lasting popularity was the fact that Vincent remained recognizable to the general public, though his film and TV appearances began to dwindle in the 1980s.

Vincent and Coral were a very close couple, and seemed very much devoted to each other.  This made her death from cancer in 1991 even more tragic.  Vincent himself was also in poor health. Disney used Vincent in several voice-only projects, such as this fireworks show.  He was also the original voice of Phantom Manor at EuroDisney.  Just a week shy of Halloween in 1993, Vincent Price passed away.

People magazine provided an obituary, but was roundly criticized (deservedly so) for giving the cover story to Loni Anderson.  Even after his death, Vincent made headlines in the tabloids! In 2000, Victoria Price used the unfinished manuscript for her father's unpublished autobiography for her own book.  Due to some of the more sensational aspects, the book also made headlines.
   
Thank you to Irene Leland for this article from the St. Louis Country Day School newsletter from 1984, detailing Price's revisit to his old school.    

The Vincent Price Exhibit

   
Created May 27, 2009, Richard D Squires; updated May 20, 2012.