Every once in a while you just need a Tor Johnson fix. I'm sure you all know that feeling, right?
Johnson, a literate and tenderhearted 387-pound former wrestler who shaved his blond hair to look more intimidating, began transitioning into movies as early as 1934 in uncredited roles as a thug, a strongman, a wrestler, and so on. His first important credited role was in 1950's Abbot and Costello in the Foreign Legion. From there he transitioned into television until he was chosen by Ed Wood to play Lobo in Bride of the Monster. Wood later cast Johnson in Plan 9 from Outer Space and The Beast of Yucca Flats. (The last movie helped end his acting career.) Through his association with Wood, Johnson became good friends with Bela Lugosi and once talked Lugosi out of suicide by threatening to throw him out a window -- or so the legend goes. Johnson also achieved posthumous fame in the comic book Tor Loves Betty, Betty being cult phenomenon Betty Page. (For the record, I once owned and treasured that comic book.)
Bride of the Monster stars Lugosi as Dr. Eric Vornoff, a mad (naturally) scientist trying to turn people into super-beings through atomic radiation. Tor Johnson got second billing as the mute Lobo, a character he reprised in Wood's Night of the Ghouls. Eye candy Loretta King played inquisitive reporter Janet Lawton.
As a special bonus, the post below includes the MST3K comments. Enjoy:
As an extra bonus, here's Tor in a 1959 episode of You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx: