I realize that today’s Hollywood buzz is centered on the tragic death of young actor Heath Ledger. But there was another actor’s recent death that affected me on a much deeper level. I am referring of course to the death of Maila Nurmi on January 10, 2008. Nurmi is better known to us Horror & B-Movie fans as the incomparable “Vampira”. And when you really think about it, she had an even greater impact on American culture that the (cough) star of 10 Things I Hate About You. She was the very first television horror movie host & set the precedent for the role which was copied numerous times, most notably by Elvira, whom Nurmi ended up attempting to sue. She earned a whopping $200 for a 10 minute role in Ed Wood’s cult classic Plan 9 From Outer Space & is arguably one of the movie’s most memorable characters. (note: I would’ve paid $200 to appear in a movie with the legendary Bela Lugosi – even if it was at the tail-end of his career!) Her costume, which she created for a masquerade ball, has been noted as the catalyst for the wardrobe of the contemporary subculture known as “Goth”. She even had relationships with both Orson Welles & James Dean! Not bad for a former pin-up model from Finland!
Please also remember that death is always tragic, celebrity or not. Please pray for the families & loved ones that have lost someone recently.