Archivos de la categoría ‘Television’

The first female horror host, Vampira, was the persona of Maila Nurmi. The character was created in 1954 when Maila was a horror host at KABC-TV in Los Angeles, which after a two year run, moved over to KHJ-TV. The idea for For Vampira was born when Maila attended choreographer Lester Horton’s annual Bal Caribe Masquerade in a costume inspired by a character in the cartoons of Charles Addams.

Her pale white skin and tight black dress caught the attention of television producer Hunt Stromberg, Jr. who wanted to hire her to host horror movies.


Unfortuntely, Stromberg had no idea how to contact her, but luckily he finally got her phone number from Rudi Gernreich. As for the Vampira name itself, that was thought up by Nurmi’s husband, Dean Riesner.

The beloved lady really hit the big time when she joined the legendary Bela Lugosi in the classic cult film Planet 9 from Outer Space (1956). After the successful run of her TV show she went on to make even more movies.

In the 1980s Maila sued Cassandra Peterson for stealing her Vampira persona to create Elvira, but the suit didn’t result in anything.

On January 10, 2008, Nurmi died at the age of 85. She was buried in the Griffith Lawn section of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.



When you hear the name Elvira only one person comes to mind… Halloween icon and quintessential symbol of all things spooky, the one and only Mistress of the Dark.

Back in 1981, who could have imagined the hostess of a local Hollywood Horror movie show would grow to become a household name? Elvira was the first horror host ever to be syndicated nationally and has emerged as one of the most original and outrageous characters in popular culture today.

Elvira’s reign as ‘Queen of Halloween’ has now spanned twenty-nine years and includes two feature films, an IMAX film and 2 motion control rides. She has appeared in National ad campaigns for Pepsi and Coors, recorded 5 music CDs, published 4 books and licensed over 400 products, including 2 Bally pinball machines, BC Rich guitars, 3 comic book series, Elvira’s ‘Night Brew’ beer, ‘Evil’ perfume and a slot machines from IGT. Elvira also boasts the best selling female costume of all time.

In the last two decades she has given thousands of radio, newspaper and magazine interviews and made hundreds of film, television and live appearances – everything from The Grammy Awards, Saturday Night Live, MTV Specials and Monday Night Football to NBC’s Today Show, The Tournament of Roses Parade and even a U2 Concert with Bono! She most recently produced and starred in the Fox Reality show “The Search for the Next Elvira”.

As synonymous with Halloween as Santa Claus is with Christmas, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark has carved out a niche in popular American culture that is sure to endure for decades to come.