Because vampire was just too obvious…
I learned a little something in preparation for this post. I’d heard of Vampira, but I really didn’t know who or what she was, so I did a bit of Internet research.
Vampira was played by Finnish-American actress Maila Nurmi, who created this wild character during the 1950s. Think Elvira of the 90s, but even campier.
This all started at a Los Angeles masquerade party in 1953 when Maila Nurmi showed up dressed as Morticia Addams. (But she was actually quite beautiful in the natural).
(1947 publicity photo from Wikipedia)
A television producer in attendance was so impressed with her portrayal of a vampiric vixen that he suggested she host horror movies when they were broadcast on television. Fast forward a year, and Maila Nurmi was hosting The Vampira Show. You can check out a clip HERE.
The show only ran for a year before it was canceled, but Nurmi kept the rights to her character and took the show to a different station. Later, documentaries were made about the show, and rumors suggested she was the inspiration for Disney’s cartoon character Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty.
Sadly, by 1962, Nurmi was installing flooring and no longer involved in show business at all, although in subsequent years she made cameo appearances in various shows and movies.
That’s show business … it will suck the life right out of you.
Do you remember the character Vampira?