Dolores Fuller, the muse to the “worst director of all-time” Ed Wood, passed away on Monday from complications of a stroke, according to the New York Times. She was 88. Fuller had been a small-time television actress when she answered a casting call from an unknown director in the early 1950s. Wood was immediately smitten by her beauty — and her angora sweater — and the couple went on to live together for four years, during which the cross-dressing filmmaker turned his fetish into the film, Glen or Glenda. “The first time I saw the whole film, I wanted to crawl under the seat,” Fuller, who hadn’t been allowed to read the entire script, recalled to the Kansas City Star in 1994. “I wasn’t crazy about our private life becoming public.”
Wood and Fuller eventually split up, after Wood gave the female lead in 1955’s Bride of the Monster to the wealthy Loretta King in order to secure financing. Fuller went to New York and began a more successful second career as a songwriter, penning songs for Elvis Presley, Peggy Lee, and Nat King Cole.
In 1994, Wood and his collection of misfits finally received the recognition he always thought they deserved when Tim Burton and Johnny Depp collaborated on Ed Wood, a tender black-and-white biopic that won Martin Landau an Oscar for his performance as Bela Lugosi and featured Sarah Jessica Parker as Fuller. “Ed always said he’d make me a star,” Fuller, said that year. “I just didn’t realize it would take 42 years. “