Maila Nurmi was the original US TV horror-host in the 1950’s. After her TV run, Nurmi was a well-known figure around L.A. and developed a friendship with James Dean.
After her show was canceled, she refused to sign away the rights to the character and only re-appeared in Ed Wood’s film Plan 9 from Outer Space.
Some claim she was the inspiration behind The Addams Family’s ‘Morticia’ but Nurmi had already attended a fancy dress party dressed as the character from Charles Addams’ cartoon in the New Yorker magazine.
In 1989 she lost a $10 million lawsuit that contended Cassandra Peterson’s Elvira pirated her character.