Dolores Fuller  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Dolores Fuller (born Dolores Eble; March 10, 1923 – May 9, 2011) was an American actress and songwriter best known as the one-time girlfriend of the low-budget film director Edward D. Wood, Jr. 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

According to Fuller, the female lead in Bride of the Monster was written for Fuller but Wood gave it to Loretta King instead. King denied the allegation.

In August 1954, Fuller was cast in Wood's The Vampire's Tomb, to star Béla Lugosi. Frank Yaconelli was named as her co-star and 'comic killer'. The film was never made. She ended up making a cameo appearance in Bride of the Monster (1956), also with Lugosi. 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.

According to Fuller, as quoted in Wood biography Nightmare of Ecstasy (1992), she first met Ed Wood when she went to a casting call with a friend for a movie he was supposed to direct called Behind Locked Doors. 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

Fuller had already had earlier experience on television in Queen for a Day and The Dinah Shore Show. As Fuller remembers, 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."

She lost her job on The Dinah Shore Show when, as she has 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."Template:Cite quote

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.

Private life

As Fuller says 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."

Dolores 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.

Ed Wood

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


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 Uncredited
This Is My Love Uncredited
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
Year Title Role Notes
1955 The Great Gildersleeve Miss Carroll 1 episode
It's a Great Life Girl 1 episode
1956 Adventures of Superman Lorraine 1 episode


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.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dolores Fuller" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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