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October 23, 2011

Attack of the 50ft Woman Star Playboy model mummified

  • Yvette Vickers, 82, could have lain there for a year
  • Former pin-up starred in B-movie classic as well as Attack Of The Giant Leeches
  • After decline of acting career she became estate agent

The mummified remains of the actress who played the femme fatale in Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman has been found in her rundown Beverly Hills home.

The state of the body indicates Yvette Vickers, 82, who was once a Playboy centrefold may have lain there for a year.

The badly decomposed corpse was discovered at the Californian home where Vickers had lived for decades.

For the actress whose film credits include Attack Of The Giant Leeches, the story of her final moments reads like a grisly plot from one of those films.

The mummified remains of former B-list actress and Playboy pin-up, Yvette Vickers, has been found in her home
Yvette Vickers at a Hollywood celebrities show in 2007

Yvette Vickers in her glamorous heyday in a 1959 playboy shoot, left. In later life she appeared at celebrity conventions including this one in Burbank, Clifornia in 2007, right.  She also starred in cult B-movies, including Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman

The grim discovery was made by neighbour Susan Savage who noticed that letters stuck in Vickers' mail box were yellowing around the edges and that cobwebs had gathered in the doorway.

Savage had to push her way through a mountain of uncollected fanmail and boxes to find the body; a small heater was still been running next to it. At least one window was broken at the home.

'She kept to herself, had friends and seemed like a very independent spirit,' Savage told the Los Angeles Times.

Enlarge   Found dead: B-movie actress Yvette Vickers, seen left as Honey in Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, was found in a mummified state at her Beverly Hills home

Found dead: B-movie actress Yvette Vickers, seen left as Honey in Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, was found in a mummified state at her Beverly Hills home

The body of B-list actress and Playboy pin-up Yvette Vickers was found at this home in California

Her body was found at this dilapidated home in California. The grim discovery was made by a neighbour who noticed that letters stuck in Vickers' mail box were yellowing around the edges and that cobwebs had gathered in the doorway

The overgrown and rundown home where the B-movie star's body was found

The overgrown and rundown home where the B-movie star's body was found

'To the end she still got cards and letter from all over the world requesting photos and still wanting to be her friend.

'We've all been crying about this. Nobody should be left alone like that.'

The official cause of death is being investigated by the Los Angeles county coroner's office, but police are not treating the death as suspicious. 

'We don't know if it's a Jane Doe or a John Doe,' Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, told the LA Times, using the generic named applied to unidentified bodies in the U.S.

Vickers was born Yvette Vedder in Kansas City, Missouri, to jazz musicians Charles Vedder and his wife Iola. Her precise date of birth is not known and she was variously described as being either 82 or 74.

B-movies: Vickers' film credits include 1958's Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, left, and 1959's Attack of the Giant Leeches, right
B-movies: Vickers' film credits include 1958's Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, left, and 1959's Attack of the Giant Leeches, right

Cult movies: Vickers' film credits include 1958's Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman, left, and 1959's Attack Of The Giant Leeches, right

Yvette Vickers in a scene from Attack of the Giant Leeches

B-movie classic: Yvette Vickers in a scene from Attack Of The Giant Leeches. Her first film role was an uncredited cameo in Billy Wilder's 1950 film noir classic Sunset Boulevard

Her first film role was an uncredited cameo in Billy Wilder's 1950 film noir classic Sunset Boulevard, but didn't make her big screen debut under her own name until, in 1957, she appeared in Short Cut to Hell. She was 'spotted' and picked for the part by Jimmy Cagney.

Her most memorable role was that of Honey Parker in Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman, the voluptuous mistress of the giant lead character's husband.

The following year she was named Playboy's Miss July 1959 - six years after the men's magazine was first published - and her centrefold photos were shot by Russ Meyer, something of a hero in the world of B-movies.

She was rumoured to have have had affairs with Hollywood leading men Lee Marvin and Cary Grant in 1961, and two years later was given a role in the acclaimed Paul Newman film Hud, only to have most of her scenes cut when Newman's wife Joanne Woodward objected to the onscreen chemistry between Yvette and her husband.

Allure: Vickers dated screen heartthrob Cary Grant, seen here in a famous shot from Alfred Hitchock's North By Northwest

Allure: Vickers dated screen heartthrob Cary Grant, seen here in a famous shot from Alfred Hitchock's North By Northwest

Romance: Vickers dated Lee Marvin early in her career
Cameo: Vickers was spotted by Hollywood star Jimmy Cagney and handed her big screen debut

She is also believed to have dated Lee Marvin early in her career and was 'spotted' by Hollywood luminary Jimmy Cagney, who gave her a big screen debut

Her screen career never exceeded those heights and though she enjoyed some success as a stage actress, in the 1970s she began working as an estate agent to supplement her income.

In 1989, as a tribute to her late parents, she self-released her debut album Yvette Vickers Sings! and performed on the LA cabaret circuit.

Her last feature role was in a 1990 horror called Evil Spirits where she played a 'neighbour.'

A former journalism student at California's University of Los Angeles (UCLA) university, she was understood to have been writing her autobiography at the time of her death. She was briefly married twice during the 1950s.

Yvette Vickers, 82, could have lain there for a year Former pin-up starred in B-movie classic as well as Attack Of The Giant Leeches After decline of acting career she became estate agent The mummified remains of the actress who played the femme fatale in Attack Of The 50 Foot Woman has been found i ...»See Ya