A 1950's writer/director who, after his death in 1978, became a cult icon as a contender for "Worst Director of All Time." Though often showing flashes of invention (Plan Nine from Outer Space
, his magnum opus, featured aliens attempting to invade the earth by reanimating the dead), his films were marred by bad writing, bad acting, and a stunning depth and breadth of technical ineptitude. His only skill as a director seemed to lie in convincing investors that his next picture was going to be a smash hit (or, at least, make its money back), even though everything about his track record suggested otherwise.
When his string of failures as a Hollywood director became too great to ignore, Wood wound up in the adult entertainment industry, writing and occasionally directing soft- and hard-core pornography films.
Writer, director, decorated WWII combat veteran, and transvestite (Wood claimed to be wearing women's underwear while storming the beach at Tarawa), Wood was the subject of a 1994 biopic directed by (who else?) Tim Burton
, and was portrayed by (again, who else?) Johnny Depp