RIP Vampira, aka Maila Nurmi

[click for one last scare]

With a heavy heart I deliver the sad news that our friend Maila Nurmi, famous for her portrayal of Vampira, has passed at age 86.

Maila passed away peacefully in her sleep at home.


Arrangements for Maila’s funeral proceedings;

Donations should either be sent to:
The Maila Nurmi Memorial Fund
C/o Frattai & Salem
9229 Sunset Blvd. #414
Los Angeles, CA 90069

*Please make checks out to The Maila Nurmi Memorial Fund.*

OR via PayPal to [email protected]
Any e-mails regarding Maila’s Memorial Fund should be sent to [email protected]

60 thoughts on “RIP Vampira, aka Maila Nurmi”

  1. Sigh.
    Thus ends a thousand dreams of her in her youth…
    I hope her, Ed, Bela and Tor are havin’ a coctail somewhere.

  2. Sad news, indeed. I wish there were stories out there letting people know that she’s passed – I couldn’t find a single one, beyond here and the Wikipedia mention.

    Thank you, and godspeed, Ms. Murmi.

  3. I woke up early the day I died.
    Thanks for the memories, and for being an inspiration to the actresses out there.

  4. I will miss you eternally, Maila. You were a good friend and fun date. I’ve never forgotten our times at Ben Frank’s and driving around the Hollywood Hills, they’ll always be part of me.
    Unpleasant dreams, my sweet friend. One dark night our paths will cross again. Until then …

  5. Weird…just last Sunday she was on my train of thought after I was looking for info on another Horror icon(Zacherle…who is 90 yrs old this year)
    I spent a good amount of time reading about her and watching the very few clips that exist of her…And 5 days later she’s dead…
    It’s a credit to her that she made so large an impression with just a few appearances in the pop culture radar.
    May she rest in peace.

  6. She was the face that launched a thousand shrieks — an icon beyond compare. Staggering. Indelible. Unforgettable. Immortal. Sleep well, Ms. Nurmi, Vampira will live forever.

  7. My Dear Maila, it was an honor to have met you, Thank you for always being so kind and gracious. Mario

  8. So lovely,talented and what a host! I will miss you and wished I had known you,personally.Good Night and God Bless you, my dear.

  9. I can still remember admiring a big poster of her on the wall of our dressing room upstairs at the Body Shop back in ’89. She pretty much started it all! If a hearse is needed to help cut the costs of the funeral, I have one. 1960, black, very pretty. I’d be glad to lend a hand

  10. I was shocked to hear of her passing. The world has lost a true icon. You will be missed but not forgotten. Rest in Peace Vampira.


  12. She was and she will be a great influence to gothic girls around the world. A true style icon.

    She made a long journey from northern Finland to Hollywood.
    Lepää rauhassa.

  13. My darling dear Vampira AKA Maila Nurmi. As with the late great Bela Lugosi and Ed Wood you will in death be remembered as one of the greatest in film, TV and the arts. Its ashame that it takes that final Funeral procession to get the respect you should always have had. Maila Nurmi is dead long live Maila Nurmi. I will miss You.
    Sanford L Greenfield

  14. She’ll always remain undead to her fans. Goodbye and good nightmares, lady. Say
    “hi” to James and Orsen for me.

  15. Maila Nurmi, My Dear friend, i.e. acting coach.
    We did a tv commercial sometime ago(fun).
    Please whoever is cordinating the memorial arrangments please advise.
    Frank Ybarra 310/430-5943
    [email protected]

  16. Vampira, you will remain an icon and one of a kind. I’m sorry I never had an opportunity to meet you. Peace.

  17. I am a huge fan of maila, and am saddened by her passing. I felt she was a warm person and that she might have even had another performance in her. I guess she has now given the most important performance any of us can give. I hope that “Sex Kittens Go to College”, “The Beat Generation”, “Population: One”, “I Woke Up Early the Day I Died”, and the German documentary of her life and career will get renewed releases and attention.
    God Bless.

  18. What sad news! Coincidentally, I was speaking to someone last night about getting her to speak at a screening of Plan 9 from Outer Space we’re doing this month. In her honor, we’re going to do a tribute to her. If anyone wants to take part, please contact me (Kimberly) at [email protected].

  19. Wonder if Cassandra “Elivira” Petersen ever acknowledged the debt she owes to Ms. Nurmi, whether she admitted it or not. Film, no matter how good or bad, lives on forever and so will Vampira.

  20. She will be greatly missed by us all…She was the FIRST MORTICIA ADDAMS…The FIRST FEMALE HORROR HOST, an accomplished artist, & was a GORGEOUS pin-up model before she became Vampira, star of Ed Wood’s infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space…
    An incredible woman that had a style like NO one else!

  21. May we all be as lucky to live as long of a life and be remebered as warmly as you.

    R.I.P. Maila

  22. Rest in peace our dearly beloved 13 inch waist beauty. You will forever be our one and only Mistress of the Dark, Our Glamour Ghoul, Our Queen of the wonderful world of Late Night TV B Movie featurettes. It was just yesterday that your face graced the silver screen, and now you are off to the great throne in the sky. May you shine on Vampira! R.I.P

  23. She was a pioneer — THE original horror hostess! Even those of us born well after her 1954 TV show will always recall her impact from the articles and pictures in so many horror magazines. Farewell Princess of Darkness.

    Your pal,


  24. You have inspired us all. Goth dreams live forever. You’ve now embraced what what we all touch every day. May death envelope you in its final beauty. Sweet dreams, princess.

  25. Dear Maila: I’m sure that you are in a better place. Paul just got there a little while ago, and I bet he will be happy to show you around. When you get settled in at the next world, perhaps you can buy Tor some lunch, and get Ed and Bela a drink. Wishing you a happy eternity: Kurt.

  26. Very sad news to hear,for Vampira was definitely the first horror host(/hostess)to have their own television show and become very successful at it(as well as having it lead into a film career,even if her only known film is the ever-notorious “Plan Nine From Outer Space”),for Maila Nurmi will be very well remembered and very heavily missed.

  27. I never got to meet her in person or see her show on KABC,but Maila Nurmi was a true visionary in television. She will never be forgotten. Sleep warm,Vampira.

  28. Rest now dear Maila. Though I knew you only in recent years, your wit and beauty were timeless.

  29. Hearing of a loss of someone who made such an impact on the entertainment industry really pulls at my heartstrings. I will always remember this time when I watch your appearances in Eds movies. I hope you rest in peace, and plesae…when you see Eddie and Bela up there, tell them to cut back on their booze and drugs. I am way to young to appreciate your work, except in movies on video, but I feel like I was there at the time. RIP

  30. Just recently, I started collecting autographs. Although I have a wide interest in everything that is film, a Vampira autograph was on the top of my want list, and funny thing, but I acquired two this past month. Maybe Maila was watching out for me! When you think of the 50’s, thoughts invariably swing to Maila Nurmi. A striking icon from a more innocent age. Maila, God Bless you. I, for one, will miss you terribly.

  31. I once saw her, crossing Hollywood Boulevard, in the late 90’s. Her spirit – and that of all the old Ed Wood gang – is still very much alive in the movies of Troma and every other guerilla outfit.

    The ultimate vamp and sultry siren of the night.

    RIP Vampira.

  32. This is truly sad news. I will always remember the sparkle in her eye that was Maila. We first met back in 92 in Hollywood at the Plan-9 Companion video party. Always enjoyed chatting over the years at Ken Kendall’s (RIP Ken) James Dean b-day parties, and at the Silverlake McDonalds over coffee with my friend Jeff before she moved. Perhaps Angels cafe, her last haunt, will honor her with a framed picture. I’ll see about that. She will be deeply missed. What a vivacious, sexy woman! I can still remember her fun laugh. Please pass on details for her memorial, and where to send donations for HF.

  33. Rest in peace beautiful lady! Your fans in your native Finland love you always!
    ~regina and marco

  34. R.I.P. Maila, Lady Vampira, the Greatest Gothic Girl! Wish I had met you, I hope I’ll make it someday from this northern land to the sunshine of L.A. too like you did.

    “I wanna go
    To the late night, double feature, picture show
    By R.K.O.
    To the late night, double feature, picture show
    In the back row
    To the late night, double feature, picture show”

  35. To make such an iconic impact is a privilege reserved for an elect few, and Maila Nurmi was one of the elect. Thank you, Vampira, for electrifying my dreams and imagination! Rest in peace.

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