Grace Wins An Unlikely Convert

I grew up with some of Vincent Price’s movies. The scariest for me, at the age of ten, was House on Haunted Hill. I think every kid in my hometown in New Jersey was there at the Majestic Theatre that Saturday for a triple treat that also included Thirteen Ghosts (with special sunglasses for spirit viewing) and The Tingler. And guess who starred in this last one? Vincent Price as pathologist Warren Chapman. The Tingler looked like a centipede and it grew on people’s spines. You could keep it under control by screaming. If one could not scream, then, well, too bad. I remember the screaming from all the girls who went to see the triple header when, at the end of the last movie, Dr. Chapman’s campy voice warns the audience with the curtains closing that the Tingler is on the move in the theatre. Just great stuff.

After reading the Wikipedia account of Vincent Price I began to think that I was mistaken regarding his conversion. But then I found that I was right after reading about it on a blog called Deeper Truth. Wikipedia had nothing about a conversion. It did list Song of Bernadette as a Radio Program he did, but no mention of his role in the award winning movie starring Jennifer Jones. In the movie he played the Imperial Prosecutor, Vital Dufour. Interesting is that then, in 1946, he was very anti-Catholic and gave no credence to the apparition. He played his part well.

Price was thrice married. His last wife, Coral Brown, was a convert to the Catholic Faith. They married civilly in 1974. It was then, according to Deeper Truth Blog, that his wife influenced him to become a Catholic. Of course this would have been after they were married in the Church. However, in the Wikipedia account of Coral Brown it states that he converted “for her” sometime after 1987. Be that as it may, it was rather humorous the way the horrormeister converted. Unbeknownst to his wife, and for a very good reason, he had been sneaking away from home every Thursday night. Coral, however, had had enough. She confronted her spouse about it and he fessed up. He was taking weekly instruction at the local parish of Saint Victor.

I do hope that Price’s conversion was sincere. I am inclined to believe that it did not happen in 1974. He was hardly an exemplary Catholic at that early time and even supported active homosexuality; his daughter was lesbian. He also was very critical of singer Anita Bryant who opposed the homosexual agenda. I assume that Wikipedia is correct in stating that his conversion was after 1987. He died in 1993.

I am sure there is much more to know about Vincent Price that I’d rather not know. Nevertheless, no one is beyond grace and forgiveness. Rest in Peace Mr. Price.

Vincent Price (center foreground) in “The Song of Bernadette.”