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Edward Davis Wood, Jr. , better known as Ed Wood , (Poughkeepsie, New York State; October 10, 1924 – Hollywood, California; December of 1978) was a director, producer, scriptwriter, publisher and actor of American cinema, that was defined after his death in 1978 like the worse director of all the times, thanks to the disastrous direction of films like Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 from outer space. He is currently rated “cult director”. He is considered the precursor of the subgenre of class Z cinema. [Citation required]
In 1994 Tim Burton shot a film about his beginnings in the world of cinema, Ed Wood, with Johnny Depp as the protagonist.
Ed Wood’s Biography
Born in a secondary town in the state of New York, the young Ed was interested in the cinema from an early age, especially in horror films and the Far West. At eleven years of age his parents gave him a film camera, which initiated his passion for the film industry.
In the year 1942 Ed works as an usher in a theater when he enlisted in the marines and went to fight the Second World War. He entered combat in the Marshall Islands and Naumea, survived the bloody battle of Tarawa and lost most of his front teeth in a hand-to-hand combat with a Japanese. He then served in an intelligence unit in the South Pacific, the G-2, until his leg was gangrenous after being machine-gunned. Later he was working in an office as a typist until he graduated with honors. He received the stars of silver and bronze, two purple hearts and the right-handed shooter’s medal.
Debut in the cinema
Poster for the film Glen or Glenda from 1953. First film by Wood. After serving in World War II (where years later she confessed to having fought wearing women’s underwear), she settled in Hollywood in 1948, where she began acting in plays while trying to find willing producers to finance your projects.
Ed started working and wrote, produced, directed and co-starred in his first film: Crossroads of Laredo, also called The streets of Laredo, a kind of thirty-minute western that Ed intended to add music later, which ultimately never did. At the end of the 1940s he found work in Universal Studios and became friends with Lou Costello, Tony Curtis and Danny Kaye. He continued doing small jobs and fell in love with a blonde girl named Dolores Fuller. Dolores would act later in two films by Ed Wood, Jailbait and Glen or Glenda.
After several failed attempts, he finally met Alex Gordon, with whom he wrote some low-level scripts and that finally helped him meet Béla Lugosi, a famous horror film actor during the 1930s, whose roles include of Dracula and that already in its crepuscular stage and after befriending Ed, would participate in his first films.
In 1952 Wood was working on a film by producer George Weiss and this convinced him to write a script for him. Ed wrote a movie called The Lawless Rider (1954) directed by Yakima Canutt.
Wood’s first major film was Glen or Glenda, a semi-autobiographical docudrama, was Ed’s film debut in 1953 and the only film not produced by the legendary director. It dealt with the controversial subject of transvestism, at a time when this topic was not very topical.
His second film, The Bride of the Monster (1955), was the first incursion of the particular director in the horror genre, giving the leading role to Béla Lugosi and seconded by the Swedish fighter Tor Johnson. During the making of this film, she suffers a discussion with her partner, about her own starring role and that she was later replaced by a young actress named Loretta King.
Shortly after Bride of the Monster Bela Lugosi entered a detoxification center for her addiction to morphine. A long streak of pain, suffering and lonely nights in which his only ray of hope was that Ed Wood would be waiting for him with the great film of his return.
Plan 9 of outer space, your best movie
Promotional poster of the film Plan 9 of outer space, considered the worst movie of all time and is considered the first film of Subgenre Z.
In 1956 Bela Lugosi dies, a fact that meant a hard blow for Ed, who, after several incursions on television and projects of lesser category, finally rolls in 1959 which for many is considered his worst movie (or better, depending on how you look at it: Plan 9 of outer space. Starting from the last scenes that Lugosi filmed in his life (barely 5 minutes), Ed wrote the script in less than two weeks and used extra footage in studies of other films. The film narrated that some extraterrestrials set in motion Plan 9 to turn corpses into murderous zombies. The reason is that humans put the balance of the galaxy in danger with their warlike inventions, specifically with the atomic bomb and the “solaronite”, an explosive not yet invented that will destroy the sun and the rest of the galaxy. With a budget of less than $ 60,000, he shot a film with many holes and misfiring, which was hardly obtained by a distributor and, not profiting, was quickly removed from the cinemas and theaters where it was premiered.
Bela Lugosi in his last role in the legendary 1956 film Plan 9 of outer space. Lugosi was the fetish actor of Wood, with whom he worked and established a close friendship.
In 1959 he premiered the movie Night of the Ghouls, the sequel to The Monster Bride. In it we can see actor Criswell, an American psychic widely known for its imprecise predictions. This film has memorable moments like corpses that are plastic skeletons or the appearance of a demon that is a black man with a pith helmet.
After this film he dedicated himself to making films like Death of a travestite. These films were not as well known as the previous ones.
He kept writing, but all he earned was spent on drink. He moved to a neighborhood in Los Angeles and when he could not pay the rent he ended up at a friend’s house. He came to sell his typewriter to get alcohol. As he moved away from Hollywood his dream was lost. He died at age 54, sick from drinking and totally ruined. Wood was incinerated and his ashes were scattered in the sea. Wood’s wife, who never remarried, died on June 26, 2006.
At the time of his death, in 1978, Ed Wood had been forgotten, until that year a book was published, The Golden Turkey Awards, which defined him as the worst film director of all time.
More Facts about Ed Wood
The Ed Wood’s statistics like age, body measurements, height, weight, bio, wiki, net worth posted above have been gathered from a lot of credible websites and online sources. But, there are a few factors that will affect the statistics, so, the above figures may not be 100% accurate.