If you’ve ever seen Ed Wood Jr.‘s Glen or Glenda (1953), you’ll understand how cool it was that we once got to pose for a picture with Dolores Fuller while wearing an angora sweater (we were wearing the sweater, that is—not Ms. Fuller).
Fuller, who died yesterday at the age of 88, led an interesting life well worth celebrating. Not only did was she once an “item” with the man some consider the most inept (but hardly the least interesting) movie director of all time, but she co-wrote songs for several Elvis Presley movies, among them “Do the Clam.”
Allow us to repeat that, so that it properly sinks in: Dolores Fuller was once Ed Wood’s paramour, appearing in two of his most (in)famous directorial efforts, the aforementioned Glen or Glenda and Jail Bait (1954) (not to mention her smaller role in Wood’s Bride of the Monster (1955), and she co-wrote “Do the Clam.”
Fuller also studied acting with Stella Adler in New York City, was a child extra in Frank Capra‘s It Happened One Night, a model on TV’s Queen for a Day and Dinah Shore‘s stand-in on Shore’s early-’50s television show.
Fuller also started a record company and served as a talent manager, even playing an instrumental role in Johnny Rivers‘ early recording career.
She even penned a memoir in 2008, A Fuller Life: Hollywood, Ed Wood, and Me.
Fuller was truly a glorious gal, one to whom we’re sad to be saying goodbye. Rest in peace, Ms. Fuller; here’s hoping you are, even as we write this, joyfully doing the Clam in a far, far better place.