Ed Wood Biography


Birthday: October 10, 1924 (Libra)

Born In: Poughkeepsie, New York, United States

Edward Davis Wood Jr. was a filmmaker, actor, and author from America who garnered notoriety for the campy aesthetics, technical errors, unsophisticated special effects, ill-fitting stock footage, eccentric casts, idiosyncratic stories, and non sequitur dialogue in his films. He was largely unknown until he posthumously received a Golden Turkey Award for Worst Director of All Time in 1980. Afterwards, his movies became the subject of renewed public interest. A New York native, Wood developed interests in performing arts and pulp fiction quite early in his life. In the 1950s, Wood directed numerous low-budget science fiction, crime and horror films. In the 1960s and 1970s, he started making sexploitation and pornographic films. He authored more than 80 pulp fiction crime, horror, and sex novels. After Rudolph Grey's oral biography ‘Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood Jr’ was published in 1992, a biopic on his life, titled ‘Ed Wood’, was made by Tim Burton, with Johnny Depp portraying Wood. The film earned two Academy Awards.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Edward Davis Wood Jr., Ed Wood Jr.

Died At Age: 54


Spouse/Ex-: Kathleen O'Hara (m. 1956), Norma McCarty (m. 1955–1956)

father: Edward Wood Sr.

mother: Lillian Wood

children: Kathleen Emily Wood

Born Country: United States

Quotes By Ed Wood Actors

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

Died on: December 10, 1978

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

U.S. State: New Yorkers

Childhood & Early Life
Born on October 10, 1924, in Poughkeepsie, New York, USA, Ed Wood was the son of Lillian and Edward Sr. His father served as a custodian at the US Postal Service.
When he was a child, his mother used to dress him up in girls’ clothes, as she wanted to have a girl. Wood subsequently became a crossdresser, drawn by how angora felt against his skin.
As a child, he was an avid collector of comics and pulp magazines and harboured a deep love for movies, especially westerns, serials, and anything involving the occult.
He got his first movie camera, a Kodak "Cine Special", as a gift on his 12th birthday. One of his earliest employments was as a cinema usher. Wood also served as a singer and drummer in a band.
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Military Service
A few months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour (Harbor), Wood joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942. He took part in the Battle of Tarawa and several other battles and rose through the ranks to become a corporal before being discharged.
Entertainment Career
In 1947, Ed Wood relocated to Hollywood, California, where he started writing scripts for films, TV pilots, and commercials. His first project as a writer, director, and producer was the television short film ‘The Sun Was Setting’, which first aired in 1951. In 1953, he made his debut as an actor in the film ‘Glen or Glenda’.
Throughout his career, Wood used several professional names, including Daniel Davis, Ann Gora, Adkov Telmig, and his birth name Edward Davis Wood Jr.
Some of his notable works are ‘Jail Bait’ (1954), ‘Bride of the Monster’ (1955), ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ (1959), ‘The Sinister Urge’ (1960), and ‘Night of the Ghouls’ (1984).
In 1963, Wood served as the scriptwriter for the exploitation film ‘Shotgun Wedding’. Another script by Wood was turned into the 1965 transitional film ‘Orgy of the Dead’.
In 1970, he wrote and directed the soft-pornographic film ‘Take It Out in Trade’. A year later, he made ‘Necromania’, one of the initial entries to the then-new subgenre of hardcore pornography.
Ed Wood started writing lurid crime and sex novels sometime in the early 1960s and published over 80 books alongside hundreds of short stories and non-fiction pieces for magazines and daily newspapers.
In 1965, he authored the quasi-memoir ‘Hollywood Rat Race’, which was released in 1998.
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Family & Personal Life
Ed Wood and actress and songwriter Dolores Fuller were in a long-term relationship. They became acquainted in late 1952. She worked in several of his films. They also lived together for a considerable period. The couple parted ways in 1955.
During the filming of ‘Bride of the Monster’ (1955), he exchanged wedding vows with Norma McCarty, who later played Edie, the aeroplane stewardess, in ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’. They sought and were granted an annulment in 1956.
He tied the knot with Kathy O'Hara in 1959. Their marriage lasted until his death in 1978.
According O’Hara, Wood’s cross-dressing was not sexual in nature, but rather a neo-maternal comfort that he drew from wearing angora fabric. His female alter ego’s name was Shirley, who often made public appearances and was featured in many of Wood’s screenplays and stories.
Death & Legacy
Ed Wood suffered from depression, and both he and O’Hara were alcoholics. In the last few months of his life, he was living in total poverty and did not have a place of his own.
Wood and O’Hara were residing in the North Hollywood apartment of their friend, actor Peter Coe, when Wood died of a heart attack on December 10, 1978, at the age of 54. After cremation, his ashes were dispersed at sea.
Reverend Steve Galindo, who is from Seminole, Oklahoma, established a religion with Ed Wood as its official saviour in 1996. Although it was set up as a joke, it is a legally recognized faith now. At present, it has over 3500 baptized followers or Woodites.
October 10, Wood’s birthday is celebrated as “Woodmas”. In 1997, the University of Southern California started hosting the annual Ed Wood Film Festival, where students are encouraged to showcase Ed Wood-inspired short films.

See the events in life of Ed Wood in Chronological Order

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