Dolores Fuller

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Dolores Fuller
Dolores Fuller in Jail Bait (1954).png
Fuller in Jail Bait (1954)
Born Dolores Agnes Eble
March 10, 1923
South Bend, Indiana, U.S.
Died May 9, 2011(2011-05-09) (aged 88)
Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Other names Sherry Caine
Occupation Actress, songwriter
Years active 1934, 1952–2000
Spouse(s) Philip Chamberlin
(1988–2011); her death

Dolores Agnes Fuller (née Eble; March 10, 1923 – May 9, 2011[1]) was an American actress and songwriter best known as the one-time girlfriend of the low-budget film director Ed Wood She played the protagonist's girlfriend in Glen or Glenda, co-starred in Wood's Jail Bait, and had a minor role in Bride of the Monster. Later, Elvis Presley recorded a number of her songs written for his films.

Film career[edit]

Her first screen appearance was at the age of 10, when she appeared briefly in Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night. According to Fuller[citation needed], the female lead in Bride of the Monster was written for her but Wood gave it to Loretta King instead.

In August 1954, Fuller was cast in Wood's The Vampire's Tomb, intended to star Bela Lugosi. Frank Yaconelli was named as her co-star and 'comic killer'. The film was never made. She ended up making an appearance in Bride of the Monster (1956), also with Lugosi.[2] Fuller hosted a benefit for Lugosi which preceded the showing of Bride of the Atom (early working title of Bride of the Monster) on May 11, 1955. A cocktail party was held at the Gardens Restaurant at 4311 Magnolia Avenue in Burbank, California. Vampira attended and was escorted by Paul Marco. A single screening of the film was presented at the Hollywood Paramount.[3]

According to Fuller, as quoted in Wood biography Nightmare of Ecstasy (1992), she first met Ed Wood when she attended a casting call with a friend for a movie he was supposed to direct called Behind Locked Doors: it has also been stated that they met in a restaurant.[4]

She became his girlfriend shortly thereafter and began acting in his films. Her movie career included a bit part in It Happened One Night (1934) and roles in Outlaw Women (1952), Glen or Glenda (1953), Body Beautiful (1953), The Blue Gardenia (1953), Count the Hours (1953), Mesa of Lost Women (1953), College Capers (1954), Jail Bait (1954), The Raid (1954), This Is My Love (1954), The Opposite Sex (1956), The Ironbound Vampire (1997), and Dimensions in Fear (1998).

Television performer and songwriter[edit]

Fuller had already had earlier experience on television in Queen for a Day and The Dinah Shore Show. As Fuller remembered, she was the one "putting bread on the table." Another quote from her: "I had a size four and a half foot, so I modeled the slippers in an artist's short smock."[this quote needs a citation]

She lost her job on The Dinah Shore Show when, as she said, "We were shooting all night, and into the next day, and time just got away from me, and I didn't realize that I was supposed to be on the set working as Dinah's double on her show, Chevy Theatre. I completely messed up my job, I was what they called a no show."[this quote needs a citation] She also appeared on an episode of It's a Great Life as "the blonde in the mink coat."

Fuller's ability as a songwriter manifested itself through the intervention of her friend, producer Hal Wallis; Fuller had wanted to get an acting role in the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii, which Wallis was producing, but instead he put her in touch with Hill & Range, the publisher that provided Presley with songs. Fuller went into a collaborative partnership with composer Ben Weisman and co-wrote one song, "Rock-A-Hula Baby", for the film. It was a beginning that eventually led to Elvis Presley recording a dozen of her songs, including "I Got Lucky" and "Spinout". Fuller also had her music recorded by Nat 'King' Cole, Peggy Lee, and other leading talents of the time.[citation needed]

Private life[edit]

Grey quotes Fuller as saying of the period before her success, "He (Ed Wood) begged me to marry him. I loved him in a way, but I couldn't handle the transvestism. I'm a very normal person. It's hard for me to deviate! I wanted a man that was all man. After we broke up, he would stand outside my home in Burbank and cry. "Let me in, I love you!" What good would I have done if I had married him? We would have starved together. I bettered myself. I had to uplift myself."[5] She has also been quoted as saying that "His dressing up didn’t bother me — we all have our little queer habits" and giving Wood's drinking as the reason for their breakup.[4]

Fuller's autobiography, A Fuller Life: Hollywood, Ed Wood and Me, co-authored by Winnipeg writer Stone Wallace and her husband Philip Chamberlin, was published in 2008.[4]

Trivia[edit]

Fuller was portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker in Tim Burton's 1994 Wood biographical film Ed Wood, a portrayal of which she disapproved due to the image of her smoking in the film. Fuller says she never smoked.[6] She also complained that she was only portrayed as "sort of as an actress" and did not feel she was given credit for her other accomplishments and contributions towards Wood's career.[7] However, she stated that she liked the film overall, praising Johnny Depp's performance in the title role.

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Film Role Notes
1934 It Happened One Night Minor role Uncredited
1952 Outlaw Women One of Uncle Barney's Girls Uncredited
Alternative title: Boot Hill Mamas
1953 Glen or Glenda Barbara
Girls in the Night Beauty Contestant for Miss Third Avenue Alternative title: Life After Dark
The Blue Gardenia Woman at bar Uncredited
Count the Hours Reporter Uncredited
Alternative title: Every Minute Counts
Mesa of Lost Women Blonde "Watcher in the Woods" Alternative title: Lost Women
The Body Beautiful June Credited as Sherry Caine
The Moonlighter Miss Buckwalter Uncredited
1954 Jail Bait Marilyn Gregor Alternative title: Hidden Face
Playgirl Girl Uncredited
The Raid
This Is My Love
1955 Bride of the Monster Margie cameo
Alternative title: Bride of the Atom
1956 The Opposite Sex Bit Role Uncredited
1997 The Ironbound Vampire Theresa Powell Direct-to-video release
1998 Dimensions in Fear TV Station Owner Alternative titles: City in Terror
Dimension in Fear
2000 The Corpse Grinders 2 Patricia Grant Direct-to-video release
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1955 The Great Gildersleeve Miss Carroll 1 episode
It's a Great Life Girl
1956 Adventures of Superman Lorraine

Discography[edit]

Songs recorded by Elvis Presley with lyrics by Dolores Fuller:

According to AllMusic, other songs co-written by her include "I'll Touch a Star" by Terry Stafford, "Lost Summer Love" by Shelley Fabares and "Someone to Tell It To" by Nat King Cole.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McLellan, Dennis (May 11, 2011). "Dolores Fuller dies at 88; actress dated director Ed Wood". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ Vampire Types Gathering For Movie, Los Angeles Times, August 2, 1954, Page B9.
  3. ^ Lugosi Benefit Slated Tonight, Los Angeles Times, May 11, 1955, p. 27.
  4. ^ a b c "Dolores Fuller". Daily Telegraph (London). May 13, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood Jr. by Rudolph Grey.
  6. ^ Interview with Dolores Fuller, For Elvis Fans Only, Elvis Australia: Official Elvis Presley Fan Club, July 15, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2008.
  7. ^ Dolores Fuller on Ed Wood Jr., Being Dissed By Sarah Jessica Parker Interview, retrieved May 12, 2010 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-TAnzid1sQ
  8. ^ Dolores Fuller at AllMusic

External links[edit]