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May 27th, 2011 would have marked the 100th birthday of
horror icon, Vincent Price. Acknowledging this milestone, fans like mad
scientists in smoke-filled laboratories, have conjured up “Vincentennial”
celebrations across the country. Victoria Price, Vincent’s beloved daughter,
has been a prime participant at many such events, sharing rare stories and
personal photos of one of horror’s greatest legends. An esteemed writer and
artist in her own right, Victoria is the author of VINCENT PRICE: A DAUGHTER’S
BIOGRAPHY and was the creative mastermind behind the documentary, THE FLY
PAPERS: THE BUZZ ON HOLLYWOOD’S SCARIEST INSECT, an examination of THE FLY film
series. Just before journeying to Chicago (this Sunday, details below!) for another spectacular Vincentennial
event, Price spoke with Fango from her home in Santa Fe, about her own show
business journeys and the radical impact that her father has had, not only on
terror fans, but the world at large.
FANGORIA: Before we speak about your father, it appears that
you were very close with another genre favorite, actor Roddy McDowall (FRIGHT
NIGHT, PLANET OF THE APES), as well. Can you talk a bit about that?
VICTORIA PRICE: Roddy McDowall taught me more about true
friendship than anyone else in this world. Just watching how he moved through
the world was an amazing thing. Everyone he met was a true recipient of his
genuine friendship. He would put people together and have these salons. They
sound very much like the ones that have been written about in the recent
obituary notices for [agent] Sue Mengers. With Roddy, though, these soirees could
be anything from small dinners with actors of different generations, to huge
parties with everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to… me! He just loved people and
loved putting them together, and seeing the connections that they could make.
He taught me that being a good friend is something that requires true patience
and hard work. I, also, truly admired him because he overcame such adversity.
He was a child actor. He could have become such a relic, but had an amazingly
fruitful career as an adult.
FANG: You got into the act a bit by appearing as a TV
Newswoman in Tim Burton’s EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, which also featured your father
in one of his last roles.
PRICE: I studied theatre as one of my degrees as an
undergraduate in college. Then I got into a tremendously competitive graduate
school for acting. I think thousands auditioned each year and out of the four
or so women they took, I was one of them. Once I got in, I realized I didn’t
want it as badly as my fellow classmates. I knew what it took and I didn’t have
it. So, I left. So, it was a wonderful little treat that Tim Burton wanted to
use me for that bit in EDWARD SCISSORHANDS. And it was amazing to be around
those wonderful women—Dianne Wiest, Conchata Ferrell—and just watch them work.
Plus, I got to meet Johnny [Depp]. I’ve
found, though, that the skills I’ve learned in theater have truly come in handy
with all the lecturing I’ve been doing. I lecture, year round, on design and
it’s been especially helpful for all the talks I’ve been giving for these
Vincentennial celebrations. You know, my father gave 60 lectures in 65 days for
30 years on the arts. He thought it was so important for the youth of America
to be exposed to painting and fine art. For years, he was the most second most
popular speaker in the world, with Eleanor Roosevelt being the first.
FANG: Having shared your father with the public all your
life, can you share your favorite personal memory of him with us?
PRICE: I’ll share a personal one and a horror one. My
favorite personal memories of him were when we were on vacation at the beach
house. He was not good at relaxing; a quality I’ve inherited. He would much
rather being doing something, as would I. He loved the ocean so much, though,
and there he could relax and spend time looking for moonstone and driftwood and
enjoying the water. He wouldn’t comb his hair for three days and would wear his
ratty clothes. It was my dad that nobody got to see. As for the films, we would
always go to London with him when he filmed.
We wouldn’t go to the set often, though. My mom was a costume designer
in her own right and she didn’t want to be that kind of wife. But we did visit
the set for THEATER OF BLOOD. I was about ten, and we had a driver pick us up
and he dropped us off in this seedy neighborhood. There were all these seedy
beggars wandering around and they came up to us and started begging from us.
They began pawing me, grabbing me and, of course, I was horrified. But my dad
had set it up. It was the actors in the film who were playing all his demented
followers. He had a great sense of humor and he loved playing jokes. He thought
it was hysterical.
FANG: What has been your greatest surprise during your
appearances for the different events celebrating the VINCENTENNIAL?
PRICE: I was never a fan of my dad’s horror films. Who wants
to see horrible things happen to their father or to watch their father do horrible
things to others? There are hundreds of people who could lecture on those films
better than I could. So, what I can bring is a sense of my father’s love of
humanity, his desire that everyone live their lives to their fullest potential.
He was definitely the most influential person in my life. But, I didn’t know
what I would have in common with the fans of these films. But everyone has been
wonderful, just so intelligent and loving. They truly have embraced my father
and all his complexities in every aspect of his life.
FANG: That must be a wonderful experience for you.
PRICE: I’ve seen
photos of fans who have tattooed my father on various parts of their bodies. They
love my dad enough to tattoo him on their forearms or midriffs. It’s amazing.
So I’ve been asking people this question. The rule of the game is: You must
tattoo the one person who has influenced you the most on your body or you’ll
die. Most people have answered with Jesus or Gandhi or Mother Teresa. So, it’s
almost incomprehensible to me that my father connected with people in such a profound
way. I mean it's Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa… and my father!
VINCENTENNIAL: A HALLOWEEN TRIBUTE TO VINCENT PRICE'S 100th
BIRTHDAY with Guest Victoria Price (Vincent Price's Daughter) and a fantastic Vincent Price double feature.
The Ultimate Halloween Event! All-Ages!
4050 N. Milwaukee Ave.,
Oct. 30, 2011
Tickets: $13 Presale
$15 at the door
Pay Once, Come And Go As You Like.
1 p.m. - Doors Open. Meet and Greet with Victoria Price
in the theater lobby.
Victoria Price, Author of Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography
will bring a wonderful presentation on Vincent Price
including never before seen photos and videos.
Vincent Price Double Feature & Presentation:
2 p.m. - THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL (80 mins.)
3:30 p.m. - Victoria Price Presentation & Audience Q & A (60 mins.)
5 p.m. - THE LAST MAN ON EARTH (86 mins.)
Victoria will be signing autographs & taking pictures for free
and selling Vincent Price memorabilia in the theater lobby.
Come dressed as your favorite Vincent Price character
and win prizes. Free Halloween Candy For Kids!
Plus: Prizes, Surprises, Short Films, Vintage Horror Trailers
a live charity auction for Vital Bridges and more!
For More Information. head right here.
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