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Vincent Price was one of the most successful horror actors of all time. Known for such titles as House of Wax, House of Usher, Edward Scissorhands, and The Masque of the Red Death, his career spanned decades, and remains the stuff of legend. His trademark mustache, "evil" laugh, and sonorous voice became a part of pop culture that remains well-known long after his death.
Most horror fans you know love Price's work, his amazing voice acting skills, and his one-of-a-kind stage persona, but there was far more to the iconic actor than his horror work. Here are some things you didn't know about Vincent Price that will leave you completely shocked.
He was a huge fan of guest appearances.
Vincent Price might be one of the very first actors to really brand himself as a cameo-friendly star. He was known for making surprise appearances on shows and movies that were far outside of the horror genre.
He has made surprise appearances on shows like The Simpsons, The Muppet Show, and even The Brady Bunch. In some, he appeared as himself. In others, he used his voice to narrate what was going on. And, in the case of The Brady Bunch, he played a deranged archeologist.
Price was a massive art aficionado.
Though he was a famous horror actor, Price's true love was actually fine art. He had a degree in art history, was an avid art collector, and even worked as a fine art consultant for the rich and famous.
When he wasn't acting, he would offer lectures and write books on the subject of art history. His love of artwork was so deep, he even founded the Vincent Price Art Museum in California. It's about time that art house films are changing horror anyway, right?
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video had his help.
Everyone knows that Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video is one of the most iconic music videos of all time. It follows the story of Michael Jackson and a woman being accosted by zombies on a cold Halloween night, only to have Jackson himself be a hidden member of the undead.
Remember that evil laugh that sent chills up everyone's spine at the end? That evil laugh belonged to none other than Vincent Price!
Disneyland almost has a little bit of Vincent Price in it, too.
Disneyland's attractions are typically known for being upbeat, sunny, and totally magical. There's a number of top 10 tips for Disneyland trips out there on the internet that don't even scrape the surface of what is possible at "The Happiest Place on Earth." They're also known for being created by people who make every effort to make rides as realistic as possible.
There's one ride in particular that has become famous for its special effects and for its spookiness: The Haunted Manor. It's even rumored to be literally haunted.
When Disneyland was going to build a French park, they needed to start planning. Disney executives became enamored with the idea of recreating the Haunted Manor's success, so they created a second ride similar to it called the Phantom Manor.
The original star of the Disneyland Paris attraction is none other than Vincent Price himself. He recorded the entire narration, but then it was discovered that the narration had to be in French. Ultimately, his narration was scrapped.
He was a gourmet chef who authored a cookbook.
If you thought this actor was just about acting, you're wrong. He was a very well-known gourmet chef who regularly discussed his epicurean interests. He even wrote a book featuring his favorite recipes that was published in 1965.
Recently, the Vincent Price cookbook came into reprint, but remains difficult to source. It's a collector's item, you know!
Price was exceptionally progressive for his time.
Most people assume that those who were born in the 1910s would be a "product of their time" when it came to homophobia, racism, and religious discrimination. Even during the 30s and 40s though, Price was known for having extremely liberal views.
By the 70s and 80s, he was an outspoken advocate for gay rights, and publicly denounced people who would spread anti-homosexuality propaganda. Along with being very LGBT-friendly, he was staunchly against racism and religious discrimination.
One of his biggest fans was Tim Burton.
Horror movies tend to attract a certain type of fan, don't they? Many horror fans become inspired by the people who contributed to the genre and try to follow in their footsteps... or become inspired to create their own works in the field.
It's safe to say that Vincent Price inspired a multitude of people in his lifetime. We're pretty sure that there were a bunch of actors who were inspired by him, but one of the most vocal fans of his work was none other than Tim Burton.
Saying Tim Burton was inspired by him is no exaggeration. A little fast fact about Tim Burton and some of his movies involves the creation of a film called Vincent. It's a short story about a boy who pretends to turn into Vincent Price. Want to guess who makes a guest appearance? That's right, Vincent Price, himself.
He was a wine aficionado.
Along with fine food, Price was a huge fan of drinking. He was a bon vivant like that. He was the speaker for the California Institute of Wines after all, defining him as a serious oenophile.
After his death, the community came together to create the Vincent Price Signature Wine Collection, a series of wines dedicated to his love of horror literature and his wild acting career.
But he totally had fairly simple tastes when it came to drinking.
Despite Price's sophisticated tastes in art and cooking, his taste in booze that wasn't wine was pretty simple. He was known for enjoying Negra Modelo as his favorite beer, and for liking cocktails that weren't too heavy on the liquor.
When dinners are held in his honor, they often take a queue from the subtle palate he had.
Price was also from a pretty prestigious family.
One of the things you didn't know about Vincent Price is that his family's pedigree was pretty impressive, too. His grandfather, Vincent Clarence Price, was the man who invented cream of tartar. He sold it as Dr. Price’s Baking Powder.
Vincent Price's father, Vincent Leonard Price, was that he was the head of the National Candy Company. This was once the largest candy company in America! It's no wonder how he became the man he did, right?