Decades before the Dos Equis commercials, Vincent Price was “the most interesting man in the world.” Or at least, in my world.
I think I was six or seven when I first saw him on TV. Was it his guest appearance as a sinister archaeologist on an after-school rerun of The Brady Bunch? Or maybe some Saturday afternoon when the late, lamented channel 48 in Philadelphia showed House of Wax as part of Creature Double Feature? I can’t say for sure.
All I know is that he made an impression. Having grown up in a working class family where the dial was set to pro wrestling more than PBS, I wasn’t introduced to that many examples of erudite sophistication. And while Price’s filmography is certainly rife with camp, that wasn’t clear to me as a kid. What was clear to me was that Vincent Price played educated characters. Often artistic or scholarly characters. His film personas may have given me the first examples of such people.