We most remember Vincent Price as the king of creepy classic horror films. But he had a sweet side you might not know about. He was born the son of a candy company president from St. Louis. He graduated from Yale with a degree in English and Art History, and had moved to London to get his masters when he got derailed by a new interest in the theater. Shortly thereafter he made his auspicious acting debut with Orson Welles’s Mercury Theater.
Price was an avid art lover and collector, He worked as an art consultant for Sears in the early 1960s, lectured on art at colleges and wrote several books on fine art. In 1957 he helped establish the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College with a donation of 90 pieces from his own collection. This became the first “teaching art collection” owned by a community college in the United States and it now contains over 9,000 pieces valued in excess of $5 million.
And you were expecting something a little more spooky…
Let’s look at his chart.
Born May 27, 1911 at 12:40 am in Saint Louis, MO. AA-rated data.
If you already know a bit about out of bounds planets, you might not be surprised that Price was born with natal Venus in Cancer out of bounds at 24N49, conjunct Neptune in the 5th house, correlating with his love of art. Venus is emphasized as the dispositor of his Moon in Taurus. It rules the third house, correlating with his skill as a teacher and not just an appreciator of fine art.
Venus out of bounds folks often have “interesting” relationship stories, and Price was no exception. Like out of bounds Venus actor Rock Hudson, Price kept his sexuality under wraps, at least to the general public. His third marriage to Coral Browne was thought by many to be a cover for both of them, since Brown was known to have a bisexual orientation to relationships. It is said that upon their engagement, Browne told critic Bernard Drew: “We’ve both decided to give up boys.” In order to marry, Price converted to Catholicism, and Coral Browne became a U.S. citizen.
But Price’s daughter Victoria tells a more complicated story in this excerpt from an interview with the website LGBTQ Nation. She says, “I am as close to certain as I can be that my dad had physically intimate relationships with men. I know for 100 percent fact that my dad was completely loving and supportive of LGBT people.”
Growing up in their Hollywood Hills mansion, Price recalls the constant presence of LGBT folks at family gatherings. “Now, we lived across the street from Rock Hudson and we had a lot of gay friends growing up,” she recalled. “I mean, ‘Uncle Rupert and Uncle Frank’ came to every dinner party and it was very clear that they were together. And while the word [gay] was never mentioned, it was very much the norm.”
Price recalls her father’s 1977 one-man-show where he played the openly gay Oscar Wilde to great acclaim and rebuffed the anti-gay efforts of the day led by Anita Bryant. In television interviews, Vincent Price quipped that Wilde had already written a play about Ms. Bryant: A Woman of No Importance.
“He married a bisexual woman and everybody assumed their marriage was a fraud,” offered Price. And you can hear the out of bounds quality in her next sentence: “It wasn’t a fraud. It was a totally sexual relationship but they were two people with very open-minded approaches as to what life should look like. And that to me — people who lived this truth in all aspects of their lives — they should be heroes to every community.”