Few people knew Gloria Pall better in her last years than LA writer and documentary filmmaker R.H. Greene. He recorded a special Valentine’s Day 2011 tribute for KPCC’s Off-Ramp and conducted what would be her final interview for his 2012 feature documentary Vampira and Me.
Pall passed away at a Burbank hospital December 30 at age 85. Greene released a statement about Pall this past Friday and is quoted in this weekend’s LA Times obit. Pall debuted on KABC-TV as Voluptua December 15, 1954, eight months after Maila Nurmi‘s Vampira character on the same station. Her routine was a memorable one:
Between breaks, Voluptua shows us around her apartment. There’s the telephone (trimmed in mink, of course) that doesn’t ring, but sings softly, “Voluptua… Voluptua.” She has a large, heart-shaped Book Of Secrets from which she reads the experiences of great lovers of history and what women like Cleopatra, Helen of Troy and Madame DuBarry did to attract and hold their men…
The Eyeful Tower, as Voluptua is sometimes known, unfortunately was just a little too hot for the small screen. Seven weeks after she first appeared, she was fired, due to one community that got six hundred signatures on a petition demanding the program be cancelled. Maybe some of the wives got a little upset when she would only wear pajama tops on her show and coo, “I’ve been waiting for this moment all night so that I could seal our bedtime story with a kiss.”
Greene’s KPCC report includes Pall’s great recollection of how she basically barged her way into that 1954 TV opportunity as KABC’s glamor gal to Vampira’s glamor ghoul. Listen to it here. (The Finnish-born Nurmi passed away January 10, 2008.)
[Image courtesy: gloriapall.com]