Ed Wood

Ed Wood

A surviving non-fiction manuscript, supposedly written by Wood, about working in Hollywood was published as "Hollywood Rat Race" in December 1998.

At the time of his death, the industry newspaper, Variety, failed to run his obituary.

Born October 10th, the same day that his idol Orson Welles died many years later.

Enlisted in the US Marine Corps in May of 1942. His claims to wearing women's underwear beneath his uniform in battle never seemed to distract him from his duty: In addition to taking part in combat in the Marshall Islands and Naumea, he also survived the bloody battle for Tarawa. By all accounts he was fierce in combat. During the invasion he had most of his front teeth knocked out in hand-to-hand combat with a Japanese soldier. Wood later served in a G-2 (intelligence) unit in the South Pacific, until he was shot by an enemy machine-gun in his legs, which became gangrenous. He served out the remainder of his time as an office typist, and was honorably discharged in 1944. He was decorated with the Silver and Bronze Stars, two Purple Hearts, and Sharpshooter's Medal. By all accounts, Wood was an exemplary combat soldier.

Executor of "B"-picture actor Kenne Duncan's estate. Duncan and Wood were good friends and longtime drinking buddies. Wood held Duncan's wake (a BYOB event) at the pool of his apartment building and invited guests to give their recollections of his friend on the diving board.

Had a daughter named Kathleen Emily Wood.

Hired Lyle Talbot and Bela Lugosi at the nadir of their careers. Both actors would be paid off daily in cash, not necessarily by their demands (although Lugosi was often insistent due to his heroin habit). Wood habitually paid off everyone, cast and crew, in cash. In the last few years of his life this habit led to him being rolled stumbling out of liquor stores in the seedy neighborhood he lived in.

His first wife, Norma McCarty, kicked him out of their house on their wedding night when she discovered he was wearing women's underwear. The marriage was never consummated, serving as grounds for an annulment less than six months later.

Is portrayed by Johnny Depp in Ed Wood (1994)

Noted actor George Zucco, whose career had hit the skids and who was trying to recover from a recent stroke, approached Wood about working for him in 1953. Zucco literally begged him for work, but Wood had nothing in the casting stage at the time.

One of his regular cast members was Lyle Talbot, who also played Commissioner Gordon in one of the first Batman serials. The biopic of Ed Wood was directed by Tim Burton, who also directed two Batman films.

Profiled in Tom Weaver's book "It Came from Weaver Five" (McFarland & Co., 1996).

The AKA Akdov Telmig was used for one film only, and that name read backwards denotes the mood in which One Million AC/DC (1969) was filmed: Vodka Gimlet.

The continued interest in Wood led to two of his steamy adult paperbacks being reset and republished. They included "Death of a Transvestite" (1967, aka "Let Me Die in Drag") republished in 1995 and 1999, and "Killer in Drag" (1965) that was republished in 1999.

Three of his films have been lampooned on the television series "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988): Bride of the Monster (1955), The Violent Years (1956) and The Sinister Urge (1960). MST's producers considered including Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959), but found it had too much dialog for the show's format, and that it would make too obvious a target, stating that "Everyone's made fun of 'Plan 9 From Outer Space'." Series regular and head writer Michael J. Nelson would, however, go on to do an audio commentary for a 2006 DVD release.

Upon returning to the US following WWII, he briefly attended Northwestern University in Chicago before joining a travelling carnival (he started out as the Geek, biting the heads off of live chickens, before becoming the Half Man, Half Woman).