Happy 105th Birthday, Vincent Price!

The great Vincent Price was born Vincent Leonard Price Jr. 105 years ago today in St. Louis, Missouri. Here are 10 trivia tidbits from his life:

  • Price and fellow horror legend Christopher Lee share a birthday (though Price was 11 years Lee’s elder). Peter Cushing was born on May 26. The frightening trio appeared in two pictures together: Scream and Scream Again (1970) and House of the Long Shadows (1983).
  • Vincent Price was a gourmet chef and authored several cookbooks.
  • Price’s height—he was 6′ 4″—was limiting early in his career, as directors and casting people were reluctant to use actors who were taller than their leading men.
  • A diorama in Tombstone, Arizona, that tells the history of the town features recorded narration by Vincent Price.
  • A lifelong art collector, Price received his bachelor’s degree in art history from Yale University and in 1951 founded an art gallery and foundation bearing his name at East Los Angeles College. The college has since built an art museum named in Price’s honor.
  • Vincent Price was close friends with actress Cassandra Peterson, best known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.
  • As a contestant on the game show The $64,000 Question, Price won $32,000.
  • Vincent Price appeared as narrator on a number of rock-era recordings, working with acts such as Alice Cooper, Michael Jackson and Deep Purple.
  • Though Price cited Cary Grant as his favorite actor, the two never appeared in a picture together.
  • In William Castle‘s camp classic The Tingler, Vincent Price’s character experienced the movies’ first LSD trip (all in the interest of science, mind you).

Happy birthday, Mr. Price, wherever you may be!

Vincent Price

The Tingler Under the Stars

We typically limit our focus to the first half of the 20th century, but periodically we dip our toes in the warm waters of the 1950s.

Last night, on Turner Classic Movies, they showed the cheezetastic William Castle classic The Tingler (1959). It’s long been a favorite of ours (and of—let’s face it—all right-thinking Americans), but did you know that the famous blackout scene—the one set in a movie theatre in which Vincent Price encourages the patrons of that theatre (and the one we’re sitting in) to scream for their lives, lest they be terrorized by the titular Tingler—had an alternate audio track, one designed to be substituted when the movie was shown at drive-in theatres?

Now’s your chance to hear both the original audio track and the alternate one, which features not Price’s voice, but Castle’s, as the producer/director urges drive-in patrons to not only scream for all they’re worth, but to turn on their headlights, too.

It’s anarchy, we tell you!