Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Collection of Dennis Hollenbeck

From Dennis Hollenbeck (incidentally, a second cousin of Price's LAURA costar Clifton Webb), come the following wonderful scans. Dennis had the good fortune to meet VP several times over the years and has gathered some marvelous keepsakes. Here are a few! Thanks, Dennis!

A photo of Vincent Price by Dennis Hollenbeck in his dressing room following a performance of Diversions and Delights in San Francisco in 1978

Dennis recollects: "Memories: He also signed the cookbook, also shown here. He had a cookie cut-out of a star on his dressing room door, above his name! Mr. Price made sure that fans was always welcome to visit him after the play. Any one waiting outside at the theatre stage door requesting a autograph or just to meet Mr. Price was welcome back inside and taken to the dressing room! I had gone to the play about 7 times during its San Francisco run, and Mr. Price still welcomed us to visit him every time! He was so nice and took time to talk to each of his fans. A wonderful man was Vincent Price, the man who cared about his fans and friends."

"Price came back to San Francisco in 1978 to do 2 weeks (hold over 3 more weeks!) of D&D. Like in 1977, he always welcomed his fans. However it was not the same theatre, and the stage door guy at the door did not believe me that VP would welcome us to his dressing room. We were not able to get in during the 1978 run of the play. However VP later came out to meet us. First thing he said (to me? not sure) to us that he was so sorry we were not let in to see him! Seem this theatre don't let people in backstage. Must be true, because we had to wait for VP to come out after the play when I went again to see the play. In 1979 I saw and met VP for the last time. He did a reading of Poe's works at the San Francisco Opera House with the SF Symphony playing mood background music. After the program, we were able to come on stage to meet VP! By this time I was able to find a old copy of VP's book on his dog Joe. (In his hand-written letter the year before to me that you have put on the web site, Price said the book was out of print). However I was lucky to find a copy. When it was my time to meet him (the line was long! It was over a hour before my time came!), first time he said "You again this year! (with a smile) What another book? I did not know I wrote that many and you have them all!" (Not really. Wish it was so). Believe it or not, without saying another word, he signed the book and he remembered my name! He came back to the Bay Area in 1980 to do a reading at a college in Hayward, CA, just a few miles away from my home. However I found out too late and missed seeing the program and him. I wonder if he was thinking of me and where was I? I don't think so. But it did hurt missing him."

 "My walk with Vincent Price and the picture I took of him on the streets of San Francisco:

"After doing his one-man play on a Saturday afternoon in 1978. We met Mr. Price outside the theatre. He began autographing, talking and having his picture taken with and by fans. After about a hour, Price said good-bye and began his walk to his hotel. As he walks away I asked could I ask him why he have not made a movie for some time now. He said he must go, but I may walk with him alone. Price took out and lights up a cigarette with a sad face. He said he was not happy with Hollywood these days. He was let down with some bombs, but needed the money. He missed the old days of Hollywood. For now he is happy not making movies at this time in his life. Price wanted to return to the stage for a long time now, and now he is doing just that and doing well. The stage is for him. I then ask could I take one more picture before I leave him. Price said sure that I could. We stopped walking and I took his picture. And so that is the story behind my walk with Vincent Price."

One of several books Dennis asked VP to sign for him.

A typically polite and genuine letter from VP. How he found the time to respond to all of his fans while on the road I'll never know!

 "Signed first page of the free hand-out theatre program of Vincent Price's new one-man play as Oscar Wilde, DIVERSIONS AND DELIGHTS. Mr. Price signed this for me on the first night of his new play, July 16, 1977 in San Francisco, California!"

Scans and quoted narrative copyright Dennis Hollenbeck


  1. I had the great pleasure of seeing Mr. Price in Diversions and Delights in San Francisco in 1978; I believe this was at the Geary Theatre. I wrote him a letter, addressed to him in care of the theater, and he was kind enough to respond to my letter with a postcard, which remains one of my most cherished possessions to this day. Truly a gentleman!

  2. He surely was, Erin! He never failed to reply to his fans. Thanks for your own special memories!