One of Hollywood's first horror glamour girls, she starred in Ed Wood cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space.
She dressed up as a ghoul woman named Morticia for Charles Addams' cartoons and won a top prize at a masquerade ball.
Legend has it she was fired by Mae West from the production of Catherine Was Great because West feared the competition.
She worked as a dancer and singer around Hollywood, once crossing paths with a young Norma Jean Baker - who later became known as Marilyn Monroe.
She was born Maila Nurmi, in Petsamo, Finland. Her uncle Paavo Nurmi a multiple Olympic medallist in distance running.