RIP Vampira, aka Maila Nurmi

Maila Nurmi, best known for her portrayal of Vampira and for her role in Ed Wood`s Plan 9 From Outer Space, has passed at age 86.

Her portrayal of Vampira as a television horror host and in films was incredibly influential. Very few television stations in the 60`s, 70`s and 80`s were without a least one over the top horror host. Cassandra Peterson`s character of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark has long been considered by many to be directly lifted from Vampira and Nurmi sued Peterson over the character in the late 1980's.

In recent years Nurmi was featured alongside cult filmmakers Roger Corman, Doris Wishman, David F. Friedman and others in Ray Greene's documentary Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies and was interviewed for American Scary, a documentary about local late-night horror movie hosts. In 2006, Nurmi was the subject of another documentary called Vampira: The Movie.

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I remember watching the show when we first moved to California in 1954 (?). I was 13, and wanted to look just like her when I grew up. Sadly, there is no resemblance.
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