Happy Birthday, Vampira

VampiraSeems kinda messed up to wish someone a happy birthday after they’ve been not living a while. But since Vampira (Maila Nurmi) was TV’s first horror host, maybe she has spooky powers that enable her to come back from the dead and get in a little birthday action before climbing back in her coffin and hanging out.

Vampira/Maila was born December 11, 1922 and died January 10, 2008. In-between both dates, Maila became KABC-TV’s horror host in 1954 and went on to achieve immortality in Ed Woods’ infamously bad Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), in which she pretty much played herself and walked stiffly through cardboard cemetery sets and made bug-eyes at the camera/intended victims.

Vampira, ElviraIn the ’80s, Vampira tried to sue the bustier off Elvira, who was also a horror host in Los Angeles and who seemed to have based her look/shtick on the Vampira character. Elvira won and Vampira probably went home and made big-busted voodoo dolls to stick pins in.

VampiraBut Vampira mania still lives, with DVDs, T-shirts, models, pop culture knickknacks, comics, books and magazines, all paying tribute to the first horror hostess with the mostest. (Note to Elvira: Not throwing you under the bus here – we good?)


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