Vincent Leonard Price Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri, his father was president of the National Candy Company. He was educated at Yale and the Cortauld Institute, London in art history and fine art. He became interested in theatre in the 1930s, appearing professionally on stage from 1935.
He made his film debut in 1938 with Service de Luxe and established himself as a competent player, notably in Laura (1944), directed by Otto Preminger. He acted as Joseph Smith, Jr in the movie Brigham Young (1940). In the 1950s he moved into horror films, enjoying the role in the successful curiosity The House of Wax (1953). In the 1960s he had a number of low-budget successes with Roger Corman and AIP including House of Usher (1960) and a number of other horror adaptations such as The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), The Masque of the Red Death (1964) and Theatre of Blood (1973). He greatly reduced his film work from around 1975 as horror itself suffered a slump, he increased his narrative and voice work. For example, Price's voice over is heard in Michael Jackson's semi-creepy, music video, Thriller. His last work was in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhand (1989). He was married three times.