Maila Nurmi in Plan 9 from Outer Space
|Born||Maila Elizabeth Syrjäniemi|
December 11, 1922
Petsamo, Finland (now Pechenga, Russia)
|Died||January 10, 2008 (aged 85)|
Los Angeles, California, United States
|Other name(s)||Maila Syrjaniemi Nurmi|
Maila Nurmi (December 11, 1922 – January 10, 2008) was a Finnish American actress who created the campy 1950s character Vampira. Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1959 Science fiction / Horror film written produced and directed by Edward D Events 359 - Honoratus, the first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, takes office Year 1922 ( MCMXXII) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Pechenga (Пече́нга Finnish and Petsamo Petsjenga Beahcán Peäccam is an Urban-type settlement in Pechengsky District, Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. Pechenga (Пече́нга Finnish and Petsamo Petsjenga Beahcán Peäccam is an Urban-type settlement in Pechengsky District, Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Events 49 BC - Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Los Angeles (lɑˈsændʒələs los ˈaŋxeles in Spanish) is the largest City in the state of California and the American West The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Events 359 - Honoratus, the first known Prefect of the City of Constantinople, takes office Year 1922 ( MCMXXII) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. Events 49 BC - Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Finnish Americans are Americans of Finnish descent who currently number about 700000 Her portrayal of this character as a television horror host and in films was influential over decades that followed. Horror hosts are a particular type of Television presenter, often tasked with presenting low-grade films to television audiences
Born as Maila Elizabeth Syrjäniemi, she claimed to be the niece of the Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi, who began setting long-distance running world records in 1921, the year before her birth. Finland, officially the Republic of Finland ( is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of northern Europe. Paavo Johannes Nurmi ( ( 13 June 1897 &ndash 2 October 1973) was a Finnish runner. She moved to the United States with her family when she was two years old and grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, home to the largest Finnish-American community in Ohio. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Ashtabula is a City in Ashtabula County, Ohio, United States, and the center of the Ashtabula Micropolitan Statistical Area (as defined
Arriving in Los Angeles at age 17, she modeled for Alberto Vargas, Bernard of Hollywood, and Man Ray, gaining a foothold in the film industry with an uncredited role in Victor Saville's 1947 film, If Winter Comes. Los Angeles (lɑˈsændʒələs los ˈaŋxeles in Spanish) is the largest City in the state of California and the American West Alberto Vargas ( 9 February 1896 &ndash 30 December 1982) was a noted painter of Pin-up girls and Erotica. Man Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky ( August 27 1890 &ndash November 18 1976) in Philadelphia PA and raised She posed for pin-up photos in men's magazines such as Famous Models, Gala and Glamorous Models. She reportedly was fired by Mae West from the cast of West's Broadway play Catherine Was Great in 1944 because West feared that she was being upstaged. Mae West (August 17 1893 &ndash November 22 1980 was an American actress, Playwright, Screenwriter, and Sex symbol. 
The idea for the Vampira character was born in 1953 when Nurmi attended choreographer Lester Horton's annual Bal Caribe Masquerade in a costume inspired by a character in The New Yorker cartoons of Charles Addams. Lester Horton ( January 23, 1906 - November 2, 1953) was an American Dancer, Choreographer, and Teacher The New Yorker is an American Magazine that publishes reportage commentary criticism essays fiction satire cartoons and poetry Charles Samuel Addams ( 7 January, 1912 - 29 September, 1988) was an American Cartoonist known for his particularly Her appearance with pale white skin and tight black dress caught the attention of television producer Hunt Stromberg, Jr. , who wanted to hire her to host horror movies on the Los Angeles television station KABC-TV, but Stromberg had no idea how to contact her. A television station is a type of broadcast station that broadcasts both audio and Video to Television receivers in a particular area KABC-TV, channel 7 is an owned-and-operated television station of the Walt Disney Company -owned American Broadcasting Company, licensed to Los Angeles He finally got her phone number from Rudi Gernreich, later famed as the designer of the topless swimsuit. Rudi Gernreich ( August 8, 1922 &ndash April 21, 1985) was a Fashion designer and gay activist. The name Vampira was the invention of Nurmi's husband, Dean Riesner. Dean Riesner ( November 3, 1918 - August 18, 2002) was a prolific American film and television writer
On April 30, 1954, KABC-TV aired a preview, Dig Me Later, Vampira, at 11:00 p. Events 313 - Roman emperor Licinius unifies the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule Year 1954 ( MCMLIV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1954 Gregorian calendar) m. The Vampira Show premiered on the following night, May 1, 1954. The Vampira Show is a 1950s Emmy -nominated television show hosted by Vampira. Events 305 - Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor. Year 1954 ( MCMLIV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1954 Gregorian calendar) For the first four weeks, the show aired at midnight, moving to 11:00 p. m. on May 29. Events 363 - Roman Emperor Julian defeats the Sassanid army in the Battle of Ctesiphon, under the walls of the Ten months later, the series aired at 10:30 p. m. , beginning March 5, 1955. Events 363 - Roman Emperor Julian moves from Antioch with an army of 90000 to attack the Sassanid Empire, in a Year 1955 ( MCMLV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar) As Vampira, Nurmi introduced films while wandering through a hallway of mist and cobwebs. Her horror-related comedy antics included ghoulish puns such as encouraging viewers to write for epitaphs instead of autographs and talking to her pet spider Rollo. An epitaph (in Greek, &mdash literally " on the gravestone " is a short text honoring a deceased person strictly speaking that inscribed on When the series was cancelled in 1955, she retained rights to the character of Vampira and took the show to a competing Los Angeles television station, KHJ-TV. KCAL-TV, channel 9 is an independent television station in Los Angeles California, owned by the CBS Corporation. Several episode scripts, and a single kinescope of Nurmi in character advertising the station's ability to draw customers for advertisers, are held by private collectors. Kinescope (ˈkɪnɨskoʊp originally referred to the Cathode ray tube used in Television receivers as named by inventor Vladimir Zworykin in 1929
Nurmi made television history as the first horror movie hostess. In 1957, Screen Gems released a syndicated package of 52 horror movies under the program title Shock Theater. Screen Gems is an American subsidiary company of Sony Pictures Entertainment 's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group that has served several different Independent stations in major cities all over the U. S. began showing these films, adding their own ghoulish host or hostess (including Vampira II and other lookalikes) to attract more viewers.
Nominated for an Emmy Award as "Most Outstanding Female Personality" in 1954, she returned to films with Too Much, Too Soon, followed by The Big Operator and The Beat Generation. The Beat Generation is a 1959 film by MGM starring Steve Cochran and Mamie Van Doren, with Ray Danton, Fay Spain Her most notable film appearance was in Ed Wood's camp classic, Plan 9 from Outer Space, as a Vampira-like zombie (filmed in 1956, but released in 1959). Ed Wood redirects here For the film see Ed Wood (film, and for the former British Foreign Secretary see E Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1959 Science fiction / Horror film written produced and directed by Edward D In 1960 she appeared in I Passed for White and Sex Kittens Go to College, followed by 1962's The Magic Sword. I Passed for White is a 1960 film directed and adapted for the screen by Fred M The Magic Sword (also known as St George and the Dragon, St George and the Seven Curses, and The Seven Curses of
Nurmi was acquainted with Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley, and briefly dated Orson Welles. Marilyn Monroe (born Norma Jeane Mortenson, June 1 1926 &ndash August 5 1962 baptized Norma George Orson Welles (May 6 1915 – October 10 1985 was an Academy Award -winning director, writer actor and producer for film stage radio and television In the early 1950s, she was close friends with James Dean, and they hung out together at Googie's coffee shop on the corner of Crescent Heights and Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. James Byron Dean ( February 8 1931 &ndash September 30 1955) was a two-time Oscar -nominated American Film Googie, also known as populuxe or doo-wop, is a subdivision of Futurist architecture, influenced by car culture and the Space Age Sunset Boulevard is a Street in the western part of Los Angeles County California, that stretches from Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles She explained their friendship by saying, "We have the same neuroses". Dean commented, "I have a fairly adequate knowledge of satanic forces, and I was interested to find out if this girl was obsessed with such a force. " 
Her first husband was Dean Riesner, screenwriter of Dirty Harry, Charley Varrick, Play Misty For Me and numerous other movies and TV episodes. Dirty Harry is a 1971 Crime film produced and directed by Don Siegel. Charley Varrick is a 1973 Crime film directed by Don Siegel and starring Walter Matthau, Andrew Robinson, Joe Don Baker Play Misty for Me is a 1971 Psychological thriller Film, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, in his directorial She married actor Fabrizio Mioni in 1961.  She had no children.
By 1962, Nurmi was making a living installing linoleum flooring. Linoleum is a Floor covering made from solidified Linseed oil (linoxyn in combination with Wood flour or cork dust over a Burlap or Canvas  “And if things are slow in linoleum, I can also do carpentry, make drapes or refinish furniture,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
In the early 1960s, Nurmi opened Vampira's Attic, an antiques boutique on Melrose Avenue. She also sold handmade jewelry and clothing. She made items for several celebrities, including Grace Slick of the music group Jefferson Airplane and the Zappa family. Grace Slick (born Grace Barnett Wing on October 30, 1939) is an American Singer and Songwriter, who was one of Jefferson Airplane was an American rock band from San Francisco, a pioneer of the Psychedelic rock movement
In the 1980s, Nurmi was asked by KHJ-TV to revive her Vampira character for television. She worked closely with the producers of the new show and was to get an executive producer credit, but Nurmi eventually left the project over creative differences. According to Nurmi this was because the station cast Cassandra Peterson in the part without consulting her. Cassandra Peterson (born September 17, 1951) is an American actress best known for her on-screen Horror host Persona "They eventually called me in to sign a contract and she was there," Nurmi told Bizarre magazine in 2005. Bizarre is a self-described "alternative" and "non-mainstream" magazine "They had hired her without asking me. "
KHJ-TV continued with the show and changed the name of their host to Elvira. Later, Nurmi sued Cassandra Peterson, the actress who played Elvira. The court eventually ruled in favor of Peterson, holding that "'likeness' means actual representation of another person's appearance, and not simply close resemblance. " Peterson claimed that Elvira was nothing like Vampira aside from the basic design of the black dress and black hair; Nurmi claimed that the entire Elvira persona, which included comedic dialogue and intentionally bad graveyard puns, infringed on her creation's "distinctive dark dress, horror movie props, and. . . special personality. " Nurmi herself claimed that Vampira's image was in part based on the Charles Addams New Yorker cartoon character "Morticia Addams", though she told Boxoffice magazine in 1994 that she had intentionally deviated from Addams' mute and flat-chested creation, making her own TV character "campier and sexier" to avoid plagiarizing Addams' idea. Charles Samuel Addams ( 7 January, 1912 - 29 September, 1988) was an American Cartoonist known for his particularly Boxoffice is a Film industry Magazine dedicated to the Movie theatre business published by Boxoffice Media LP 
In 1994, Maila Nurmi was portrayed by actress-model Lisa Marie in Tim Burton's Ed Wood, and she was the subject of a 1995 Finnish documentary, About Death, Sex and Taxes by Mika J. Lisa Marie Smith (born December 5, 1968) is an American model and actress who uses simply Lisa Marie as her stage name Timothy "Tim" William Burton (born August 25 1958 is an American Film director, Screenwriter and Set designer, notable for the quirky Ed Wood is a 1994 American comedic biopic directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp as the cross-dressing The year 1995 in film involved some significant events Events March 22 - The Dogme 95 movement is officially announced in Paris Ripatti. Her last film role was in 1998's I Woke Up Early the Day I Died.
In 2000, Image Entertainment released Plan 9 from Outer Space on DVD. The disc contains a bonus two-hour documentary Flying Saucers Over Hollywood: The Plan 9 Companion with extensive interviews with Nurmi and other cast members.
In 2001, Nurmi opened her official website, and began selling autographed memorabilia and original pieces of art on eBay. eBay Inc is an American Internet company that manages eBaycom an Online auction and shopping Website in which people and businesses buy and Until her death, Nurmi lived with her pet cat and two birds in a small North Hollywood apartment. North Hollywood is a district in the San Fernando Valley region of the City of Los Angeles California.
Unlike Elvira, Nurmi authorized very few merchandising contracts for her Vampira character, though the name and likeness has been used unofficially by various companies since the 1950s. In 1994, Nurmi had authorized a Vampira model kit for Artomic Creations, and a pre-painted figurine from Bowen Designs in 2001, both sculpted by Thomas Kuntz. In 2004, she authorized merchandising of the Vampira character by Coffin Case.
In 2001, 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, about the American exploitation and sexploitation films of the 1950s and 1960s. Roger William Corman (born April 5 1926) sometimes nicknamed "King of the Bs" for his output of B-movies (though he himself rejects this as inaccurate Doris Wishman ( June 1 1912, New York City – August 10 2002, Miami Florida) was an American Film director, David F Friedman (born December 24, 1923) is an American Filmmaker and Film producer from Birmingham Alabama. Sexploitation or "sex-exploitation" describe a class of independently produced Low budget feature films generally associated with the 1960s and serving largely as
In 2006, Nurmi was interviewed for American Scary, a documentary about local late-night horror movie hosts. The same year she was the subject of another documentary called Vampira: The Movie. The documentary, directed by Kevin Sean Michaels, featured interviews with Nurmi herself, with other horror film actors and with Cassandra Peterson about the Elvira lawsuit. Cassandra Peterson (born September 17, 1951) is an American actress best known for her on-screen Horror host Persona Vampira: The Movie was shown with great praise at several horror related conventions and released on DVD by Alpha Video to great demand resulting in three pressings.
A DVD containing both a colorized version of Plan 9 from Outer Space and a digitally restored black and white print was released by Legend Films in 2006.
On January 10, 2008, Nurmi died of natural causes at her home in Hollywood, aged 85. Events 49 BC - Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war. 2008 ( MMVIII) is the current year in accordance with the Gregorian calendar, a Leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common
She was inducted into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame at the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award is an award presented annually by the Classic Horror Film Board to honor the top works in horror in Film,
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Syrjäniemi, Maila Elizabeth|
|DATE OF BIRTH||December 21, 1922|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Petsamo, Finland (now Pechenga, Russia)|
|DATE OF DEATH||January 10, 2008|
|PLACE OF DEATH||Los Angeles, California, United States|