Vincent Price's career was vast and distinguished - from the voice of The Saint on radio to movie classics like House of Wax, Theatre of Blood and the original The Fly. But before he starred in such vehicles as Edgar Allan Poe adaptations and Bloodbath at the House of Death, he had been a noted youthful matinee idol, and in private was an avid art ...
Vincent Price's career was vast and distinguished - from the voice of The Saint on radio to movie classics like House of Wax, Theatre of Blood and the original The Fly. But before he starred in such vehicles as Edgar Allan Poe adaptations and Bloodbath at the House of Death, he had been a noted youthful matinee idol, and in private was an avid art collector, a gourmand, a suspected Leftist in the McCarthy era, a possibly bisexual dashing and relentless charmer, and a father. This is his life told by his daugther Victoria, a rare perspective for a biographer, with access to materials and papers no other writer will have. Born at the height of Price's popularity when he was 51, she adored him and his larger than life presence. However, on his marrying the vivacious actress Coral Brown (Auntie Mame, Killing of Sister George, Englishman Abroad) they drifted apart. Her account of their reconciliation for the best years of his life, at its close, is its deeply moving climax.
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This is a very intimate and detailed bio by Price's daughter. She doesn't really pull punches so we get a fairly balanced picture of her father and also the man who was an actor, foodie and art collector and all around bon vivant. If you are a Vincent Price fan you will love this book.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-09-20 A legendary screen villain and host of PBS's Mystery, Vincent Price (1911- 1993) was also a gourmet chef, a bestselling author, an enthusiastic art expert and collector and a general all-around good guy, according to this vivid biography. Written by his daughter Victoria, who writes for television, the book takes us from Price's early acting career, where one of his first jobs was as Helen Hayes's leading man on Broadway, to his days, starting in 1938, under a Hollywood contract, beginning with supporting film roles (Laura; Song of Bernadette). By the 1950s, he had patented his suavely villainous screen persona in The Fly, House of Wax and The Ten Commandments. By the time Victoria was born to Price and his second wife, Mary, in 1962, he was enjoying his greatest success in film, his low-budget but highly profitable collaborations with Roger Corman (The Pit & the Pendulum, Masque of Red Death). Victoria Price explores her father's life as if unraveling a mystery, never ignoring his failings (his secret signing of a loyalty oath during the blacklisting era; an affair that destroyed his 24-year marriage) or secrets (including his possible bisexuality). Definitive, exhaustively researched and superbly written, the book contains none of the sentimentality the subtitle may suggest?in part because of the vast material the author had access to, including over 200 pages of transcribed conversations during her father's final years, two nearly completed memoirs by him, a lifetime of preserved correspondence and the firsthand recollections of dozens of contemporaries. Victoria Price tells Vincent's tale with such clear-eyed pride that the reader cannot help being won over. Photos not seen by PW. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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