Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Collaborator Odyssey, Part 18 by Greg Dziawer

Think you can name this mystery starlet?

High school days.
Let's play a game. I'll think of someone with a connection to Edward D. Wood, Jr., and you try to guess who it is. Sound good?

We have a wide variety of candidates to consider here. After all, among the multitude of creative talents who crossed paths with Eddie during his three tumultuous decades in Hollywood, some are instantly recognizable cult icons, including CriswellVampira, and Tor Johnson. Legends all. Most were like Ed, though, working on the fringes of the industry in near-anonymity. While Ed's obscurity evolved into a beyond-the-grave infamy, others in his orbit have been all but forgotten by time.

One of those obscure performers intrigued me, though her connection to Ed was both fleeting and speculative. We can safely say that "maybe" she worked with Ed. I happened to find her high school graduation photo, showing a pert, smiling brunette with a sensible hairdo and outfit. You wouldn't guess there was anything even vaguely scandalous in her future. Something about this rather benign image captured my imagination and made me want to know more.

Another photo revealed that this young lady was in her school's Spanish Club. It's a typical yearbook group shot: a lot of awkward Caucasian kids, some wearing sombreros, grinning for the camera. A couple of wisenheimers in the back row clutch a poster advertising the Plaza de Toros de Madrid. Our girl stands off to the right, looking perhaps a bit more self-satisfied and confident than her peers. Perhaps she did or said something noteworthy right before the photo was taken. Indeed, a few other members of the club seem to be looking her way. They, like me, want to know, "Who's that girl?"

One of the people in this Spanish Club will eventually work with Ed Wood.

Any ideas yet?

Well, I'm feeling charitable, so I'll give you a few additional hints about our mystery woman:
  • She stripped under a stage name, dubbed The Wow Girl.
  • Her sole feature film credit is a movie Ed is believed to have scripted.
  • She appeared in some explicit-for-their-era peepshow arcade shorts (or loops), as well as some skin mag photo features.

Do you know who she is?

Join us here in one week to find out. The next installment in this series will feature the first-ever published index of her work across various media.