Yesterday (May 27, 2014) marked what would have been Vincent Price's 103rd birthday. In looking back at my photos from the Vincentennial, I realized that no one has seen these photos because I didn't have a blog back then. ChicagoNow's “Blogapalooza Hour” tonight asks all CN bloggers to think about a person we never met whose death had left a strong impact and write about it within one hour. What better time to share these pictures?
Vincent Price was born in 1911 and worked within the film industry straight up until his death in 1993. His performances were so impressive that he managed to elicit terror (Witchfinder General), giggles (The Tingler), and bring me to tears (Edward Scissorhands) with ease. His characters will always reign over most villains today, especially since he had a smirk on his face and a twinkle in his eye most of the time. Theatre of Blood, Madhouse, The Masque of the Red Death, Abominable Dr. Phibes–all brilliant characterizations. My absolute favorite Vincent Price film is Tomb of Ligeia. I think his most underrated work that needs more exposure is his role in Dragonwyck. It's a gothic melodrama where he somehow comes off as even *more* of an evil character.
In October of 2011, Chicago horror fans were graced with the presence of Victoria Price, Vincent's daughter, at the Portage Theater on Halloween weekend for the Vincentennial festival, celebrating his 100th birthday. It was quite simply an unforgettable experience. We watched House on Haunted Hill and The Last Man on Earth, and enjoyed an exquisite presentation on Vincent Price's life, hosted by Victoria. The key phrase she quoted from her dad that immediately became a post-it reminder on my wall will never be forgotten: “A man who limits his interests, limits his life.” Be a multi-faceted person. Learn everything. Do as much as you can. I can't think of a better saying for getting the most out of life.
My Blogapalooza time has run out. To answer the initial question of how his death impacted me, I can only say that I miss Mr. Price and wish he were around to meet. It's a joy to see him pop up in the most random things, from an Alice Cooper video to a classic horror film. He was one of the greats, and there really hasn't been anyone like him ever since. I'll leave you with a few more photos from that wonderful night at the Vincentennial. Cheers to a brilliant actor, a great father, and a personality that will live on in our hearts forever.
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