Happy 92nd birthday to a woman who aspired to be something more than just a goth icon. She should have been given more roles in the movies! She had enough beauty for that! Like Lauren Bacall, she should have starred in the noir films at least. I believe Maila was meant to be something more than a television horror hostess. Without the Vampira costume, she was a beautiful Finnish sight. She didn’t deserve the misfortunes in her life. Our world could not deal with her many ambitions. She was bereaved shortly after her beloved friend James Dean died and was even accused of being an actual witch. Now, now. So many things shouldn’t have happened in the past. Let’s focus on Maila’s good times.
Her cheesecake model days are lovely to see in pictures. She was a rare Nordic beauty back then.
Well, now. She was incomparable when playing her own invented character. I dressed as Vampira last year for Halloween. The eyebrows were the biggest problem. I couldn’t make mine look triangular and definitely did not want to pluck them so I just put toothpaste on them to make them look as so. My face was minty fresh at least. Maila portrayed a character that was contrary to 1950s standards. It was sadly a fifteen minute fame though. She shouldn’t be remembered just for this!
I believe she mingled with some bands and recorded some songs with them. Here are some of her tunes I most enjoy listening to. They are punky and very, very infectious and catchy!
Legendary but not remembered….film appearance (great at reciting poems!)
Here is an example of her acting talent. Look at her face. Her eyes, really. How she delivers the lines of the poem. How she even tilts her head and caresses the rat on her shoulder! That face of hers belonged to the screen and was meant to be there for many years. Yet….her acting is not something that we preserve in our memory. If only she should have been given more important roles, she would have shown the studios what they had been missing. Maila Nurmi. Big Hollywood Actress.
Was a great friendly companion to the memorable James Dean!
They were accused of being lovers and she was thought of as a witch who cast black magic spells and could talk to the deceased. When Dean was a recently discovered actor, the older big actor shots would tease him and would not let him join them in their table. What did Maila do? She encouraged him! They always sat together. She couldn’t even eat after he died. I think she said she cried for six months.
Ah, Maila, Maila. If you want to know more about her adventurous yet unnoticed life, watch her documentary. It’s loaded with important information about her. I very much recommend it. You can read more about it here. I saw it last year after bawling my eyes out and was wildly entertained from learning about all the happenings of her pretty long life.
I suppose Maila’s looks are an apparent inspiration for me but her life captivates me more than that. She had unwonted happenings in her life and had a quite peculiar personality that focused on the more ghoulish side. I wish I could have met her so we could have discussed how cold and desolated the Hollywood world could seem. Yes, I think she was more original than any other woman and that Elvira was just faking her own originality by being yet another copy. By God, no one can be Maila Nurmi! She even met my other fellow darlings, my Vincent Price and the lovely Elsa Lanchester!
I assure you all that Maila Nurmi cannot and will not ever be replaced. She was the first ghoul on television and in pop culture overall. But did anyone think that she could act after all and wanted to show her talents in a more serious manner? To me, Maila will always be that girl in black, the unnoticed talent, my idol, who dreamed and dreamed….