The Turner Classic Movies Channel is spotlighting the "Merchant of Menace," and so I thought I would, too.
The film star has had an extensive career, spanning 6 decades. He's best remembered for his roles in horror movies, specifically the Roger Corman adaptations from Edger Allan Poe. Although these gave him a wide variety of characters to play and were striking enough, these roles typecast him for the remainder of his career.
Price did not start out with the intentions of becoming an actor but rather an art historian. He obtained degrees in Art History and English at Yale and then taught school for a year. Price returned to college to take his Masters in Fine Arts at the Courtauld Institute in London, he also studied briefly in Vienna. He began work on stage before making it onto the big screen.
Price's first movie was "Service De luxe" in 1938 and he went on to play such diverse historical characters as Raleigh, Clarence, Richelieu, Charles II and the Mormon Joseph Smith. He was also cast in several films as a charming but effete young man, notably in 'Laura' (1944) and 'The Fly' (1958). The occasional horror role came his way too at this time, he revelled in the old Lionel Atwell part of the demented sculpter in "The House of Wax" (1953). Price's niche in the horror movie genre was carved in 1960 with the classic movie "The Fall of the House of Usher".
Price did return to the stage eventually. He toured his one man show of Oscar Wilde throughout America for many years to great acclaim. It was a demonstration of the excellent performing skills of Vincent Price and an escape from the type-casting.
In his later years, Price became involved with the rock industry, he was involved in music videos with performers including Alice Cooper, Ringo Starr, and most notably Michael Jackson's "Thriller."
TCM will be showing 6 of his greatest horror movies on Wednesday, January 18th starting at 8:00 PM EST.