The Gilbert Price collection, 1965-1991, consists primarily of printed material. The collection contains several drafts of a biographical essay about Price written by Allen Warren Smith, a close friend and business associate, and administrative records of Variety Recording Studios, which Smith directed, relating to the Price's career. There are also programs and playbills for productions in which Price held a leading role, newspaper clippings and reviews about Price, along with a ledger of his personal finances kept by Smith. Included is material relating to the planning of the memorial service for Price, held on February 5, 1991 at the Actors Chapel, St. Malachy's Roman Catholic Church and obituaries.
Gilbert Price was born in 1942 and raised in New York City. After graduating from high school in 1960, he went on to formal voice and theatre training at the American Theatre Wing. He first earned critical acclaim for his role in Langston Hughes' musical "Jerico-Jim Crow," which was directed by Alvin Ailey and produced by Stella Holt. Price received a Theatre World Annual Award for this, his first professional role, which launched a life long friendship with Hughes.
Receiving his first Tony nomination for "Lost in the Stars" in 1972, Price went on to receive three other Tony nominations by 1978. His first starring Broadway role came in "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," in 1974. Price received the Lorraine Hansberry Award as well as another Tony nomination as Mansa in the play "Timbuktu."
In a biographical essay written by Allen Warren Smith, Price is identified as being "gay". Price died on January 2, 1991 from asphyxiation due to a faulty space heater in Vienna, Austria.