Maila Nurmi

Maila Elizabeth Niemi (December 11, 1922 – January 10, 2008), known professionally as Maila Nurmi, was an American actress who created the campy 1950s’ character Vampira. She was raised in Astoria, Oregon, where she worked in tuna and salmon canneries. She relocated to Los Angeles in 1940 with hopes of becoming an actress. After several minor film roles, she found success with her Vampira character, television's first horror host. Nurmi hosted her own series, The Vampira Show, from 1954 to 1955 on KABC-TV.After the show's cancellation, she appeared in the 1959 cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space directed by Ed Wood. She is also billed as Vampira in the 1959 film The Beat Generation, where she appears out of character and instead plays a beatnik poet. Nurmi also appeared in the 1959 crime film The Big Operator. She was portrayed by Lisa Marie in Tim Burton's 1994 biopic Ed Wood.