In addition to his cinematic fame as a ghoul and tingler of the first ghastlitude, Vincent Leonard Price is also another versatile man of a thousand faces -- art connoisseur-historian-lecturer, gourmet chef and author, West Coast cultural spokesman. He's more a throwback to the Renaissance than a mere product of Transylvania. Born into a prominent St. Louis family, Price opted for a theatrical career while a classmate of Thurber's at Yale. Quickly ""discovered"" as Prince Albert in the London production of Victoria Regina, the fledgling actor was to repeat the part opposite Helen Hayes on Broadway. Subsequently launched in films courtesy of Service de Luxe in 1938, Price went on to ""roles of slinking suave villainy"" in Laura and Dragonwyck. After a series of macabre radio dramas, he became typecast in the '50's, gaining his sinister scream reputation in House of Wax and House on Haunted Hill. Price, for whom ""acting is an expression of joy,"" is reported to have appeared in the likes of The Conqueror Worm and Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine merely to earn the coin to bolster his substantial art collection. Despite the book's synthetic, computer punched-out style, it's an informative work which horror buffs will find worth its weight in bats' teeth.