Price, (Mary) Victoria 1962-
PRICE, (Mary) Victoria 1962-
Born April 27, 1962, in Santa Monica, CA; daughter of Vincent (a movie actor) and Mary (a costume and architectural designer; maiden name, Grant) Price. Hobbies and other interests: Horses and riding competitions.
Writer and educator. A&E Network, contributing writer for Biography; also a regular writer for the Advocate magazine. Instructor in writing, literature, and languages.
Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Also author of Diahann Carroll—No Strings, Prometheus Entertainment/Fox Television and A&E Network, 2000, and other segments for Biography.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Two books, including Hollywood Legends, part of a series.
Victoria Price is a television writer and daughter of the actor Vincent Price. In 1999 she published a "vivid" biography of her multifaceted father, according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Speaking with Leonard Hughes of Outstanding B Monster, Price said that the "best thing about [Vincent Price] as a father was his unending sense of fun. He was infinitely curious about the world around him, which was great for a kid." Price, the actor, was best known for his numerous roles in horror movies, though, as his daughter shows in Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, the man was "as complex as his films," according to USA Today contributor David Colton.
Price researched more than 60,000 documents including letters, contracts, diaries, newspaper articles, and photo albums in her "search for a father she didn't really know," as Colton pointed out. The author tracks her father's career from his early acting career—a leading man to Helen Hayes on Broadway—to his Hollywood era, which began in 1938. By the 1950s Vincent Price had become a "suavely villainous screen persona," as the critic for Publishers Weekly observed, appearing in movies such as House of Wax, The Fly, House of Usher, and Theater of Blood. Virginia Price comments in her biography that she could not stand to watch her father's films, because he so often died in the end. In addition to recounting his professional career, she also explores his private life, including his three marriages. She was shocked to find that this man who was an art expert and liberal had shown an anti-Semitic side as a young man, and during the era of blacklisting had not only signed the loyalty oath but also criticized those who pleaded the Fifth Amendment when refusing to speak of their Communist involvement. Price also investigated her father's supposed bisexuality but found no evidence to support the claim. "None of these things make my father a bad man," she told Colton. "They only make him more human. After he changed his views, he never looked back."
Joe Holleman, reviewing the biography in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, commented that it is "not the skeletons-in-the closet variety, which the daughter readily admits." The reviewer for Publishers Weekly felt that Price tells her father's story with such "clear-eyed pride that the reader cannot help being won over." Lisa N. Johnston, writing in Library Journal, called the book a "candid, intimate portrait of a twentieth-century Renaissance man" and the "definitive biography." Similarly, for Mike Tribby, writing in Booklist, the work was an "excellent, readable biography," and Eric P. Nash of the New York Times Book Review concluded that "[Vincent] Price … emerges as one of his most complex characters in this entertaining and touching biography." Likewise, Charles Winecoff, writing in Entertainment Weekly, called the book an "affecting memoir," while a contributor for People praised this "intimate glimpse at the fiercely private star."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Advocate, November 9, 1999, Victoria Price, "Vincent/Victoria," p. 62.
Booklist, October 1, 1999, Mike Tribby, review of Vincent Price: A Daughter's Biography, p. 334.
Entertainment Weekly, October 22, 1999, Charles Winecoff, review of Vincent Price, p. 82.
Library Journal, October 1, 1999, Lisa N. Johnston, review of Vincent Price, p. 98.
New York Times, June 21, 2001, Victoria Price, "Where Vincent Price Went to Hide," p. F1.
New York Times Book Review, Jan 30, 2000, Eric P. Nash, review of Vincent Price, p. 16.
People, December 13, 1999, "The Tell-Tale Heart," pp. 113-114.
Publishers Weekly, September 20, 1999, review of Vincent Price, p. 59.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 11, 1999, Joe Holleman, "Victoria Price Talks about Her Famous Father," p. F1.
USA Today, October 27, 1999, David Colton, "The Secret Life of Vincent Price," p. 01A.
Outstanding B Monster,http://www.bmonster.com/profile33.html/ (November 9, 2003), Leonard Hughes, "Interview with Victoria Price."*