With his ominous voice and distinctive look, Vincent Price is one of the most iconic horror movie stars of all time. But that didn’t stop some fans from occasionally mixing him up with other famous actors, including Dracula’s Bela Lugosi and Frankenstein’s Boris Karloff.
Vincent Price recalled meeting excited – but confused – fans
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In the introduction to the 1971 book Ghouls, a collection of short stories that inspired classic horror movies, Price reflected on his work in the genre. He noted that it wasn’t unusual for audiences to confuse different actors, particularly those that appeared in scary films. While he admitted to occasionally being annoyed when people mistook him for someone else, he had tried to embrace it and “just go along for the ride.”
“When, as has happened many times, people have recalled with squealing delight my Frankenstein or Dracula, I have learned not to fight them off with hurt invectives, but to throw them a simple thank you and make off somewhere so as not to witness the blushing dawn of their confusion when they realize I never played either part, that I’m neither Boris Karloff nor Bela Lugosi,” he wrote.
Nonetheless, Price did admit to getting annoyed when a teenage fan insisted he’d played the scientist who turned into a fly in The Fly. (Price played the scientist’s brother.) The argument “ended up in defeat,” he recalled.
Price said ‘House of Wax’ was his ‘most fascinating’ horror movie role
Price went on to share a few thoughts on some of his notable horror movie roles. He singled out his character in 1953’s House of Wax as one that stuck with him.
“The most fascinating man-monster I have tangled with was the mentally mutilated and visually violated mask maker in House of Wax,” he wrote. The character, Professor Henry Jarrod, was particularly frightening because he’d become a monster because of an accident, and such a thing “could happen to you, to me,” Price wrote.
Some of Price’s other notable horror movies include House on Haunted Hill, The Tingler, House of Usher, Masque of the Red Death, and Theater of Blood.
Vincent Price shared the screen with Boris Karloff in ‘The Raven’
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Both Lugosi and Karloff got their start during the silent film era before going on to film their iconic roles in Dracula and Frankenstein in the early 1930s. The younger Price first appeared on screen in the late 1930s, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that his career as a horror star really began in earnest. However, Price did share the screen – sort of – with Lugosi in the 1948 horror-comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Lugosi plays Dracula in the film (naturally), while Price has an uncredited role as the voice of the Invisible Man.
More than a decade later, Price worked with Karloff in the 1963 Roger Corman movie The Raven. Loosely inspired by the Edgar Allen Poe poem, it features Price and Peter Lorre as a pair of sorcerers who tangle with a third sorcerer, played by Karloff. The movie also features an early screen appearance by Jack Nicholson, who plays Lorre’s son.
Price and Karloff also appeared together in The Comedy of Terrors, also released in 1963.
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