Everyone Loves: Maila Nurmi – Vampira
Maila Nurmi – Vampira (December 11, 1922 – January 10, 2008) born Maila Elizabeth Syrjäniemi – Petsamo, Finland
Well as it is so close to Halloween…… Maila was ‘discovered’ in 1953 at a Hollywood costume party dressed as Morticia from the popular comic strip The Addams Family (pre-TV Show). With her pale skin and 38-17-36 (?) figure, producers thought that she would be a good fit as a host for a new TV program that aired the newly syndicated monster movies. Her costume was equal parts Morticia and the Evil Queen from Snow White. And so Vampira was born. She would introduce each movie of Dig Me Later, Vampira w/ a blood-curdling scream and make humorous quips before and after commercials (sound familiar?). The show was cancelled in 1955 but she retained the rights to the name and appeared as Vampira on other TV stations throughout the 50’s. And then came Ed Wood. Voted the worlds worst director, Ed paid Maila $200. to act in his new film “Grave Robbers From Outer Space” (later retitled Plan 9…). She agreed as long as she didn’t have to speak, and thought the picture would never be seen, as Ed was such an incompetent idiot. She was partially correct as it failed miserably in it’s limited theatrical run, but with the advent of VHS, Plan 9… and Vampira/Maila would become famous, again. Maila would later attempt to sue Elvira for stealing her persona (she lost) and finish her life as a semi-cult celebrity selling her memerobilia and autograph – a little bitter but not too bad. Ironically, none of her Vampira shows exist anymore and her only real fame comes from the awful “Plan 9 from Outer Space” – the movie she was sure no one would see.