Glamour Ghoul. The Passions and Pain of the Real Vampira, Maila Nurmi
Maila Nurmi, the beautiful and sheltered daughter of Finnish immigrants, stepped off the bus in 1941 Los Angeles intent on ﬁnding fame and fortune, and that she did. Nurmi had an eclectic career – dancer, stripper, actress, and artist – but she was best known as Vampira, the late-night TV hostess who exuded an aggressive sexuality and more than a hint of danger. Her eyebrows arched, her nails as long as daggers, her waist cinched to a tiny circumference, and her long black hair swirling around her, she shocked, titillated, angered, and seduced.
Maila’s niece Sandra Niemi, via diaries, notes, and family stories, brings Vampira alive in a bold and fresh way, offering new insights into her relationships with Orson Welles, James Dean, and Marlon Brando among others, and ﬁlling in the nuances of her life prior to fame. Also, Sandra elaborates on Maila’s struggles after the limelight faded, and how she found a new community within the punk scene, where she was embraced as one of their own.