Movie star and director MEL WELLES has died at a hospital in Virginia after suffering heart failure. He was 81.

The character actor appeared in many movies and directed B-movies in Europe, but he's best known for his role as florist GRAVIS MUCHNIK in Roger Corman's 1960 movie THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, in which he starred opposite an aspiring actor called Jack Nicholson.

Welles also wrote the UNABRIDGED HIPTIONARY to help film fans follow the dialogue of another Corman classic, ROCK ALL NIGHT, in which he also starred as SIR BOP.