Conrad Brooks, the actor who appeared in many a "B movie," including Plan 9 From Outer Space and five other collaborations with cult writer-director Ed Wood, has died. He was 86.
Brooks died Wednesday after a series of health problems at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia, family spokesman Edward Hopf told The Hollywood Reporter.
Survivors include his daughter Constance, grandchildren Geneva and Garrett, brother Ted and sister Irene.
Brooks and Wood first met in 1947 while Brooks was on a trip to Hollywood with his brothers. He then played four characters in the cross-dressing/transsexual docudrama Glen or Glenda (1953), which marked Wood's directorial debut.
The duo worked together in Jail Bait (1954), Bride of the Monster (1955), Night of the Ghouls(1959), Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) — which was seen as Wood's "masterpiece" and took mere days to make — and The Sinister Urge (1960).
In Plan 9 From Outer Space, Brooks played a bumbling police man, Patrolman Jamie. In 1987, Brooks told Herald-Mail Media that he was "proud" to have played a supporting role in what is often considered the "worst movie ever."
Brooks had a brief scene as a bartender in Tim Burton's 1994 biopic Ed Wood and was portrayed in the film by actor Brett Hinckley. Martin Landau won an Academy Award for playing Bela Lugosi in that film.
Brooks later became a writer-director, beginning in 1960 with his nine-minute film Mystery in Shadows, in which the actors only appeared by way of their shadows.
After relocating to West Virginia, Brooks wrote, directed and/or produced the straight-to-video Jan-Gel and Gypsy Vampire trilogies and co-starred with his late wife, Ruthie, in the feature Grandparents From Outer Space (1996).
He racked up nearly 100 rotten movie acting credits, according to IMDb — like A Polish Vampire in Burbank (1983), I Woke Up Early the Day I Died (1998), Max Hell Frog Warrior (2002) and Invasion of the Reptoids (2011) — and traveled the country talking about Wood at conventions.
Brooks told the Baltimore Post-Examiner in 2015 that he and Wood, who died in 1978, grew very close over the years.
"I took care of his bills, I mean, he didn't have much money," he said. "You can't expect to make a low-budget film and make a ton of money. It don't work that way."
"There were times when he couldn't pay his rent and was evicted; I had to help him out with rent money and cigarettes and booze. I'd come to see him and he'd be shaking like a rabbit and say, 'Connie — have you got some extra money?' I couldn't say no to the guy. He was like part of the family," he continued.
"He had it rough, but he enjoyed it. For a guy that didn't have any real background in pictures, you know, he came out of the Marines and went to Hollywood and hoped to strike it rich. He did a few plays that weren't successful at all, but the movies he did — people will remember those," Brooks said.