Meeting Vincent Price

by Beverly Adam

Although he was in the last decade of his life, the actor, Vincent Price stood towering over all of us. Up close that left a big impression on me as I stood observing him from the outer edge of the group formed by audience members gathered around  to greet him backstage. Everyone was smiling, he was very kind. He spoke in that rich, dark voice for which he was famous, encouraging fans to approach him for an autograph or to have a picture taken with him.

He had just finished giving a lecture at Cal Tech's auditorium in Pasadena on his life's work in the entertainment film industry.  I had brought with me a copy of the poem, The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe, which he'd read aloud during the lecture, for him to sign. He was one of my favorite villain actors and I was a little awed to meet him.

His hair was silvery, but he was not bald. He wore a dark charcoal suit and was a little stooped at the shoulders. I noticed his large hands, they were parchment thin with age, but his dark eyes sparkled with delight at meeting audience members. When my turn came I asked him if he would be willing to sign the poem for me. He kindly took the book, and borrowing a pen from a nearby admirer, autographed it for me.

Filmmaker, Tim Burton, couldn't resist using Price's onscreen persona in one of his short feature films, Vincent. 

I had met other famous actors before, but what struck me the most about this encounter was how genuinely nice he was to everyone, no matter the age. I never forgot meeting him.  A smoker, he died in 1993, at the age of 82, from emphysema. He left behind a large body of work ranging from horror films to the voice over in Michael Jackson's, music video, Thriller.


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