|#1: The Mad Doctor|
Beginning in films as a character actor, he debuted in Service De Luxe (1938) and established himself in the film Laura (1944) with Gene Tierney, directed by Otto Preminger. His first venture into horror was the Boris Karloff film Tower Of London (1939). The following year, Price portrayed the title character in The Invisible Man Returns (1940), but then reunited with Tierney in Leave Her To Heaven (1945) and Dragonwyck (1946) and took a number of villainous roles in film-noir thrillers such as The Web (1947) and The Long Night (1947).
From 1947 to 1951, Price was also active in radio, playing the role
of Simon Templar in The
the 1950’s, he moved into more regular horror roles, playing the
leading role in the classic House
(1953), which was the first 3-D film to hit the box-office top ten
that year. He also appeared in The
(1958) and its sequel Return
Of The Fly
(1959). That same year, he also appeared in William Castle’s House
On Haunted Hill
and The Tingler.
|Price as Egghead, a Batman rogue|
Price remained active in horror throughout the Eighties, narrating the 1982 Tim Burton short Vincent, and providing the now-famous spoken-word sequence on Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit single “Thriller.” In 1983, he appeared in the British horror spoof Bloodbath At The House Of Death, and worked in House Of The Long Shadows with John Carradine, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. From 1981 to 1989, Price regularly hosted the PBS television series Mystery! and in 1985, he was the voice of Vincent Van Ghoul in Hanna-Barbera’s The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby-Doo. In 1986, he was the voice of Professor Ratigan in Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective, one of his favorite roles. His last significant role was as the inventor in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990). During this time he was suffering from emphysema (Price was a lifelong smoker) and Parkinson’s disease, which also contributed to his retirement from Mystery in 1989. On October 25, 1993, Price died of lung cancer at UCLA Medical Center. He was 82.