Dolores Fuller, who starred with Ed Wood in that famously cross-dressing director’s 1953 cult classic “Glen or Glenda,” died Monday of complications from a stroke. She was 88.
Fuller, who was also a lyricist who penned the words to a number of songs performed by Elvis Presley in his films, was romantically involved with Wood, often described as the world’s worst director. She also appeared in Wood’s 1954 pic “Jail Bait” and 1955 film “Bride of the Monster.”
The publicity generated around the release of the 1994 Tim Burton biopic “Ed Wood” brought some attention to Fuller as Wood himself had died in 1978. Sarah Jessica Parker played Fuller in that film, with Johnny Depp as the irrepressibly strange Wood.
Wood cast Fuller in “Glen or Glenda” after she responded to a casting call in 1952. In the pic he played a furtive transvestite with a zeal for angora sweaters; Fuller played his fiancee.
After her relationship with Wood ended a couple of years later, she studied with Stella Adler at the Actors Studio in New York. Fuller also worked as a songwriter. Her credits include “Rock-a-Hula Baby” (with Benjamin Weisman and Fred Wise), from the 1961 Presley pic “Blue Hawaii,” and “Do the Clam” (with Weisman and Sid Wayne), from “Girl Happy.” She also co-wrote “Someone to Tell It To,” recorded by Nat King Cole, and “Losers Weepers,” which Peggy Lee recorded.
Fuller also served as a talent manager.
Dolores Agnes Eble was born in South Bend, Ind., and moved to California when she was 10. She made her first film appearance as an extra in Frank Capra’s 1934 film “It Happened One Night,” which was shooting at the motel where her family was staying.
Fuller’s autobiography, “A Fuller Life: Hollywood, Ed Wood and Me,” was published in 2009.
She is survived by her husband, film historian Philip Chamberlin; a son; three grandchildren; and numerous stepchildren and stepgrandchildren.