Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Yvette Vickers R.I..P.

The mummified corpse of former Playboy Playmate and B-movie actress Yvette Vickers was discovered by a neighbour last week in her home in Los Angeles. Based upon the state of her corpse, it is believed that she could have been dead for up to one year. It is not believed that she died due to foul play, although the official cause of death has yet to be determined by the Los Angeles County coroner's office. Yvette Vickers was one of the earliest Playmates, as well as the star of such movies as Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) and Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959).

Yvette Vickers was born Yvette Vedder in Kansas City, Missouri on 26 August 1936. Her parents were jazz musicians whom she often accompanied on tour. In 1950, when she was only 16, she began performing small local theatre productions. It was also in 1950 that she made her screen debut in an uncredited role in Sunset Boulevard. She also appeared that year in The Sound of Fury. She also adopted the stage name Yvette Vickers in 1950 as well.

In 1951 Miss Vickers enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1953 she appeared in episodes of I Led Three Lives  and The Red Skelton Show. It was in 1954 that she received her big break, appearing in television adverts for White Rain shampoo. In 1956 Yvette Vickers' career began to take off. She guest starred on The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp that year. From 1957 to 1960 Yvette Vickers appeared in such films as Reform School Girl (1957), Short Cut to Hell(1957), The Sad Sack (1957), I Mobster (1958), Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, The Saga of Hemp Brown (1958), and Attack of the Giant Leeches. She appeared in such TV shows as Mike Hammer, The Texan, Bat Masterson, Northwest Passage, Dragnet, and One Step Beyond. In July 1959 she appeared in Playboy as Playmate of the Month.

From the Sixties into the Eighties she appeared in such films as Pressure Point (1962), Hud (1963), Beach Party (1963), What's the Matter with Helen (1972), and Evil Spirits (1990). She appeared on the TV shows The Rebel, The Asphalt Jungle, The Bob Cummings Show, Tales of Well Fargo, My Three Sons, Emergency, and Switch.

In the Seventies Yvette Vickers would go into real estate and in the Nineties would begin singing jazz, recording CDs and appearing in cabarets.

I cannot in all honestly say that Yvette Vickers was a great actress, although she was certainly beautiful. That having been said, she was perfectly suited to the roles she played and she played them with a good deal of sincerity. It is perhaps that sincerity which makes Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Attack of the Giant Leeches more memorable than many other B-movies. It is also perhaps the reason that Yvette Vickers remains remembered.

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