Back when I was in college, me and a couple of buddies fancied ourselves as authorities on vintage Playboy playmates, and one of my favorites was a lady named Yvette Vickers, mainly for a shot of her on a sofa in a scene set up to make it look like she’d just come off a bender that one friend had up on his dorm room wall (As a little bonus, I’ll embed the SFW part of the pic taken by photographer Russ Meyer at the end of this post). It was, and still is, one of my favorite vintage Playboy shoots. Besides taking her clothes off for Playboy, she was also an actress in B-movies — one of the stars of “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman,” in fact, a movie that still today inspires the occasional meme.
So news last night that Vickers’ had died didn’t surprise me — she was in her 80s after all — but the way she died came as a bit of a shock: utterly and completely alone.
Reports the LA Times:
Yvette Vickers, an early Playboy playmate whose credits as a B-movie actress included such cult films as “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” and “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” was found dead last week at her Benedict Canyon home. Her body appears to have gone undiscovered for months, police said.
Vickers, 82, had not been seen for a long time. A neighbor discovered her body in an upstairs room of her Westwanda Drive home on April 27. Its mummified state suggests she could have been dead for close to a year, police said.
The official cause of death will by determined by the Los Angeles county coroner’s office, but police said they saw no sign of foul play.
Mummified?! How does that even happen? Too much MSG in her diet near the end of her life? Jesus.
And how crazy is it to think that this woman, who men would have given a pinky toe to go on a date with 50 years ago or so, died so painfully alone that she dropped out of society for a year and no one thought anything of it. It’s a sad reminder of how much of a rollercoaster life can be, and the extremes to which our looks and personality can fluctuate over the course of our lives.
Anyway, here’s Vickers in her heyday…
And here’s the trailer from one of her classic cheesy films, “Attack of the Giant Leeches”…
And finally, someone put together an Yvette Vickers tribute video a couple of years ago…