Sad news from Hollywood, as a Silver Screen beauty and Playboy Playmate from the ’50s was found dead in her Beverly Hills home last week by a concerned neighbor, her body in a mummified state.
According to the LA TIMES, Yvette Vickers’ body was found April 27th, five days ago, but “…its mummified state suggests she could have been dead for close to a year.”
If so, it would be a tragically anonymous end for a woman whose lust for life was so apparent on film and in print.
Here’s the movie trailer from the 1958 B-movie classic Attack of the 50 Foot Woman. She does not play the title “monster” (that would be the one and only Alison Hayes); rather, Yvette took the role of Honey Parker, the sexy, slatternly babe that makes her first seductive appearance at about the 1:10 mark:
Yvette burst to fame in 1959 as one of Hugh Hefner’s earliest Playboy centerfolds. Photographed by the legendary Russ Meyer, her first centerfold pose was reportedly so hot for the times that Hefner’s lawyers begged him to not publish them. He got away with it, probably because potential censors were blinded by what they saw! Standards have changed in the decades since then, but one thing remains the same: Miss Vickers was scorching hot.
(NSF Work: Click the image for the rest of the revealing shot!)
One of her biggest breaks in a film where she didn’t share billing with a 50 Foot Woman or a Giant Leech was a minor role in Hud, the classic starring Paul Newman. Unfortunately for her, the role was made even more minor when nearly all her work made its way to the cutting room floor. Apparently, the on-screen chemistry between her and Newman was a little too much for the actor’s wife, Joanne Woodward!
Looking back at a reel of some of her movie highlights, all I can say is, what a dame!
Here are some more photographs from Yvette’s time as one of Hollywood’s sultriest sexpots, in a series photographed on the grounds of the home where she would be found dead decades later:
The rest of the article reads like a very sad story of a woman left alone with nobody to look into her wellbeing.
Vickers had lived in the 1920s-era stone and wood home for decades, and it served as the background for some of her famous modeling pictures. But over time it had become dilapidated, exposed in some places to the elements.
Susan Savage, an actress, went to check on Vickers after noticing old letters and cobwebs in her elderly neighbor’s mailbox. After pushing open a barricaded front gate and scaling a hillside, Savage peered through a broken window with another piece of glass taped over the hole. She decided to enter the house after seeing a shock of blond hair, which turned out to be a wig.
The inside of the home was in disrepair and it was hard to move through the rooms because boxes containing what appeared to be clothes, junk mail and letters formed barriers, Savage said. Eventually, she made her way upstairs and found a room with a small space heater still on.
She was looking at a cordless phone that appeared to have been knocked off its cradle when she first saw the body on the floor, she said. Savage had known Vickers but the remains were unrecognizable, she said.
She lived in the Hollywood Hills, down a winding street in Benedict Canyon where neighbors are merely feet away, yet she went at least several months without anyone noticing anything amiss until Savage went above and beyond the call of duty to seek her out. Here is a street view of the Vickers estate – click image to enlarge:
Of course, no matter the circumstances of her death and discovery, she will always be remembered as a beautiful blonde that lit up the screen in her few, but memorable appearances.
Here’s lookin’ at you, Yvette…
Yvette home photo: Sharky / Splash News