Born May 27, 1911 in St. Louis, Missouri with grand gesture and an uncompromising shadow of expression, “Vincent Price” is the best-ever answer to every child’s question when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He was born on May 27th 1011, in the rather humble home of St. Louis, Missouri–but Vincent Price grew up to be famous for all kinds of things. He was a movie actor who became famous for scary films, but was also well-known for being a gourmet chef, an expert on art, and a very serious actor who did plenty of amazing movies for adults, too. He even grew up to be a doctor, if you count the wacky Dr. Goldfoot (from Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine) and the scary skull-faced killer known as Dr. Phibes!
Vincent Price loved learning. He even turned down a million-dollar contract with a movie studio to finish getting his Master’s degree from the University of London. Price would go on to earn the title of Master of Terror for his macabre filmwork in movies like House of Wax and The Fly. Kids grew up watching his movies on television, and grown-ups today still love to show their children their favorite scary Vincent Price movies. Of course Price was also capable of all kinds of roles. He was a romantic leading man in Laura (1944) and a land baron in director Sam Fuller’s western The Baron of Arizona (1950), and was a song-and-dance man on Broadway in “Damn Yankees.” (He played a singing and dancing Devil.)
Price was excellent at playing really wild characters, though. That’s why kids love him–and he made plenty of horror movies that aren’t too scary for young audiences. Vincent Price had a good sense of humor about his career, too. He once said that the performances he valued the most were his appearances on the game show Hollywood Squares. Housewives who didn’t go to his movies got to see him be normal, and kids who went to (or couldn’t get into) his movies got to see what Price was like in real life. He was popular up to the end, too, with his last movie being Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands before he passed away in 1993.
But when asked which of his performances he valued the most, Price’s surprisingly revealing response was his appearances on the game show Hollywood Squares! He explained that housewives who wouldn’t go to his movies could see him as a normal person, and so could the kids who went to (or couldn’t get into) his movies. You can enjoy some of Vincent Price’s wonderful good humor in these clips below, and don’t be surprised if your kids want to keep seeing more of the Great Man…