May 27, 2011

Bel-Air, CA. January, 1990

My late friend Vincent Price was born 100 years ago today. I think of him all the time. A year or two after he’d stepped down as host of Mystery! on PBS (for which I wrote his on-screen introductions), some of us staffers were at a press event in Los Angeles for the series’ 10th anniversary and met up with him for lunch at the Hotel Bel-Air. I remember that he ordered tortilla soup to start, the first time I had heard of such a dish, and he explained to me how it was made and why he liked it. I also remember these huge-fronded plants in the hotel gardens, instantly recognized a photo op and we both jumped right in. Vincent and I talked on the phone from time to time, and always on the morning after the Oscars. But it was great fun seeing him in-person again, great fun hearing him respond politely but pointedly to some of the many stupid questions one of our group (who should have known better) was asking him. For example: As we left the hotel, the valet parking attendants quickly brought his white BMW around as he approached, and she asked, “How did they know it was yours? Do you come here a lot?” She also had earlier asked, “Is Bel-Air where all the rich people live? Tell me someone who lives here.” Vincent replied, deadpan, “Red Skelton.”


  1. He was the greatest. I love this picture...friendship.

  2. I always loved him. And I love him more now that I know you love him too.