Talk:Maila Nurmi

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Personal Life[edit]

The attack on Maila Nurmi which used to read June 20, 1955 has been changed to the correct date of January 8, 1956. The citation to David Skal's book that was there has been removed. Unfortunately, Skal got the date wrong and it has been mis-stated repeatedly ever since.

Contemporary news articles on the attack date it as occurring on January 8, and photos of Nurmi with bruises from the attack are also all dated January 8, 1956. One of those photos can be found under the correct date in the Corbis archive here: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:12, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Although you changed the date and removed the Skal citation on March 23, 2011, a look at the View History reveals your changes were reverted on the same day by "TheRealFennShysa." Your date change was likely reverted due to the absence of any type of reference. A sourced edit is always going to trump an unsourced edit; even if the source contains inaccurate information. The link you've provided here that supposedly shows a bruised Maila Nurmi actually shows Bigfoot, which doesn't lend much support to your case! Or are you suggesting that Bigfoot attacked Vampira? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

This was just a case of Corbis using a different URL for the intended photo, so we can let Bigfoot off the hook for any wrongdoing. The proper link is:

It's certainly the first post-beating photo I've ever seen that looks more like a fashion model shoot. The date given for the photo is January 8, 1956, which correlates with the original claim in this thread.

Another source is a news blurb ("Vamp Held For Attack On Blonde") in the Jan. 9, 1956 newspaper The Miami News, at the time of this writing found here:,3107826

Most of the online accounts of this assault -- including the one here at Wiki -- don't specify that it occurred at Nurmi's New York apartment, so it's easy to assume, as I initially did, that the attack occurred at Nurmi's apartment in Los Angeles. Another newspaper account of the same incident -- this one from the Jan. 9, 1956 L.A. Times -- can be found here (the third clipping down):

So how did author David Skal come up with the June 20, 1955 date for the attack? It's anyone's guess, but around that date the Los Angeles Times newspaper did carry a story in its June 12, 1955 issue about Nurmi being accosted on the street by a man who was arrested for battery. See a copy of the article here:

Look a bit farther down on this same link and you'll see another L.A. Times piece from Nov. 15, 1955 stating that Nurmi will be heading East to "try for a blues warbling career." Perhaps that's what briefly placed her in New York at the time of the apartment assault. I say briefly because the "blues warbling" article is followed by another L.A. Times article from May 11, 1956 announcing her return to L.A.

There's obviously a bit of sorting out that needs to be done regarding the discrepancy of dates. Perhaps June 20, 1955 and January 8, 1956 were the dates of two different incidents that somehow became intertwined. I won't be changing anything in the Wiki article until more is known.Cyoso (talk) 18:21, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

Good research Cyoso. Please consult both your Miami News article (which clearly cites Ellis Barber as the attacker and refers to him by his nickname as "The Vamp") and David Skal's book (which also cites the name Ellis Barber and refers to him as "The Vamp") and it will become clear to you that Skal has this incident wrong. Since he is the source cited in the Wikipedia entry--in other words since his book is where the original Wikipedia author got this information--I would say that the date needs to be corrected, based on the primary resoources (three of them!) which have been unearthed, all pointing to January 8, 1956 as the date of the vicious assault that both Skal and the Wikipedia entry he influenced currently reference incorrectly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:51, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Nurmi name[edit]

The article states that Maila Nurmi "is the niece of famed Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi". I think this is actually Maila Nurmi's own invention. I have found no proof of my claim, since all biographies seem to mention the relationship as a fact, but I've been told that Vampira (born Syrjäniemi) took the surname Nurmi only because it's easier, and possibly also to gain some fame at the expense of Paavo Nurmi, who was extremely famous in the United States at that time. (Maila Nurmi happens to be my grandgrandfather's brother's daughter. Her father was Onni Syrjäniemi, but I should know something about her mother to be sure.) -Easlak 09:41, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Fascinating... but I have no source to confirm. Pepso 16:31, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

"In the 1980s, Nurmi was asked by KHJ-TV to revive her Vampira character for television. She worked closely with the producers of the new show and was to get an executive producer credit, but Nurmi eventually declined their proposal. KHJ-TV continued with the show and changed the name of their character to Elvira. Later, Nurmi sued Cassandra Peterson, the actress who played Elvira. The case was dismissed when Nurmi was unable to pay for legal expenses." I'd like to call into question the neutrality of this version of the events. The case was decided, and it was decided in Peterson's favor. 04:34, 12 September 2007 (UTC)lord_snot

It is erroneous to say "the case was decided" if you're talking about the aspect of the case that deals with Elvira's original producers developing a new Vampira series with Nurmi, Nurmi's departure over creative differences, and the subsequent creation of Elvira by the same producers. If you read the court's findings, this claim was dismissed on a technicality. It was a trademark infringement charge, and needed to be refiled in a federal court, rather than the local one where it had originally been filed. Nurmi was unable to pursue this claim for financial reasons. Speculating that the lawyers would have pursued it pro bono anyhow assumes a great deal that isn't in the record, not the least of which is that Nurmi would have wanted to continue the case with the legal team that misfiled her claim in the first place. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:01, 23 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, the decision for the case can be found online. Even if she did run out of money, I doubt that a law firm would have dropped such a potentially lucrative case. —Preceding unsigned comment added by RFoglio (talkcontribs) 04:28, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

The article says: "The name Vampira was the invention of Nurmi's husband, Dean Riesner." While Mr. Riesner may have chosen this word as a name for the character (and may have even believed that he "invented" it), in fact, "vampira" is the feminine form of the Romanian word "vampirul" (a male vampire), as well as the feminine form of the Italian word "vampiro" (a male vampire). It is, therefore, simply the Romanian and Italian form of the idea expressed by the English word "vampiress." - una vampira anonima, 25 Jun 2009

Vampira and James Dean[edit]

I had been under the imprression Vampira made her friendship with James Dean out to be much more than it was after his death. Citation on his quote about her? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:23, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

The article quoted James Dean as saying he had a "knowledge of satanic forces" and was curious to see if Nurmi was "obsessed with such a force." The only reference citation for this quote was a website article about Dean that lists no references; so the quote had no definitive citation. I have edited this to not only include the actual quote in its entirety, but also its original source. Cyoso (talk) 00:48, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Surviving footage[edit]

As far as I know there is no surviving footage of The Vampira Show. The cited kinoscope is an advert for the station. MartinSFSA (talk) 06:20, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually it is an episode of the show, not an advert. It was shot to be included with a sales film that showcased clips from each of the station's current shows. It was the August 14th 1954 episode.

Thank you Mr. Anonymous, but no. It is not an episode of The Vampira Show, it is a re-recording of that date's script. I don't see how you can say it's not an advert; it was filmed, not broadcast, with the intention of promoting the station's advertising potential. MartinSFSA (talk) 04:48, 23 December 2007 (UTC)


Is that picture not copyrighted? brob (talk) 10:43, 14 January 2008 (UTC)


This article states:

Nurmi herself claimed that Vampira's image was in part based on the Charles Addams New Yorker cartoon character "Morticia Addams", though she told BOXOFFICE Magazine in 1994 that she had intentionally deviated from Addams' mute and flat-chested creation, making her own TV character "campier and sexier" to avoid plagiarizing Addams' idea.

While the The Vampira Show article states:

Ten years after The Vampira Show's first broadcast, ABC aired The Addams Family. The character of Morticia Addams (portrayed by Carolyn Jones), was modeled on Nurmi's Vampira character.

Is this a contradiction? Was the character of Vampira based on Morticia Addams or was it the other way around? Devil Master (talk) 14:17, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Devil Master you're mistaking something. Vampira claimed to base her character partly on the New Yorker cartoon, not the television show. The cartoon preceded the show by many years. Then when the show was created, they took the cartoon and Vampira's rendition and merged them into a new Morticia who wasn't thin and flat, but wasn't bosomy either, somewhere in-between.Wjhonson (talk) 22:17, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
A timeline:
1938: The character who will eventually be called Morticia Addams first appears in Charles Addams's cartoons in The New Yorker.
1953: Maila Nurmi creates the character who will eventually be called Vampira.
1954: The Vampira Show debuts on television.
1964: The Addams Family debuts as a television show, with Carolyn Jones playing Morticia Addams.
Walloon (talk) 23:15, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

The contradiction I saw on the page was the claims as to using diet to get her claimed measurements and having gotten to this page via a link from the corset page. While this page is internally consistent it contradicts other wiki pages. Am I asking to much for all of wiki to be consistent? (I am guessing the truth is somewhere in the middle as the measurements giving on this page (38-17-36) don't look anything like the vid the other page points us too. 34-19-32 tops. (talk) 04:45, 20 February 2009 (UTC)


I notice that the infobox states she was married to Dean Riesner from 1949-2002, and Fabrizio Mioni from 1961-?. Presumably she was not engaged in polygamy; does anyone have more data on this?DigiFluid (talk) 05:31, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Answer: She and Reisner divorced in the mid-1950s. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Vampira on Drak Pack?[edit]

I just put the following under "In Popular Culture":

The cartoon series, Drak Pack included a vampiress named Vampira, who seems to have been drawn to look like Maila Nurmi's Vampira.

I wasn't sure if it was okay, given that it's an opinion (hence "seems"), but considering that the two characters look alike, and had the same name, I thought it was at least worth a mention.MysticOrbot (talk) 17:22, 29 January 2011 (UTC)

Her TV show[edit]

It's hard to tell from this bio how long her show was on TV. Was it only two seasons, each on a different local station? I thought she had a longer TV career than this. Newjerseyliz (talk) 21:42, 5 August 2013 (UTC)