"I'd walk across Death Valley in stilettos."
They say behind every good is a good woman. Hollywood has seen many a power couple rise and fall. From as far back as I can remember loving Tim Burton and his work, I remember being entranced by the hauntingly beautiful Lisa Marie. They met in 1991 and in 1994 she made her first of many appearances in his work in the film ED WOOD as Vampira, a no brainer as far as casting. To research the role, she sought out the original Vampira, Maila Nurmi, to pay her timeless character the proper respect.
She came to also play in MARS ATTACKS, SLEEPY HALLOW, PLANET OF THE APES, the short film THE WORLD OF STAIN BOY, and was the inspiration for THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS' Sally. It appeared to be a fairy tale romance until their relationship came to an abrupt end during the making of PLANET OF THE APES when Tim Burton left Lisa Marie for Helena Bonham Carter. What took place? Was it a case of love lost or rather infidelity? There's no way that we'll ever know for sure, but regardless, for a time, Lisa Marie was both a muse for and a vital part of Tim Burton's life and art.
Lisa Marie grew up in New Jersey attending Catholic school. She was raised by her father and her grandparents. Her grandmother died when Lisa Marie was four. She moved to New York at age 16 to study theatre, dance and music. For eight years she studied ballet which contributed to the lovely way she moved and would carry herself. Already in highschool she began modeling for the Click Agency. Infamously even then her measurements were listed at 34D-25-35. She has modeled for photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Bruce Weber and has been featured for Calvin Klein.
She appeared in LET'S GET LOST, a 1988 documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. She also had a small role in one of Woody Allen's lesser films, 1990's ALICE.
On New Years Eve of 1991, a 23 year old Lisa Marie met Tim Burton at a club. She had just quit modelling for Calvin Klein.
According to a Boston Herald article, Tim Burton and Lisa Marie claimed to have bonded over mutually witnessing two UFO sightings in California. At the time, Tim Burton was married and reportedly having trouble with his four year marriage. He divorced and became engaged to Lisa Marie from Valentine's Day 1993 to 2001.
It's bitter sweet to write about Lisa Marie. Her and Tim Burton's romance was one of those that I would look to to solidify that their is such a thing as true love in this world. Dark and dreary Tim matched with the intoxicating beauty Lisa Marie, it seemed like something out of a fairy tale or a Tim Burton film. Who knows what happened, but it seems that both parties were deeply upset by their separation. As we all know, there are no true fairy tales in this life. After their break up, Lisa Marie took a break from the screen. Living in the public eye makes having those personal moments ever more difficult to have and she took some much needed personal time. She is slated to return to the silver screen and I, for one, couldn't be happier.
And Lisa Marie is returning to film by working with one of my favorite bad boy rockers and horror directors. None other than Rob Zombie in his upcoming THE LORDS OF SALEM. It's, not surprisingly given the title, about a coven of witches. It's currently filming.
It's not easy to recover from such a public heart break, but I anxiously await her return. It takes a lot of balls, especially with the whole world watching.