Crime Files Network

Former Playboy playmate

and Attack of the 50 Foot

Woman star believed to be dead

for a year in her home

A classic image of Yvette Vickers from Playboy.A classic image of Yvette Vickers from Playboy.

May 4, 2011 – 1:47PM

Former Playboy playmate and B-movie actress Yvette Vickers kept to herself and tended her flowers on a quiet, tree-lined street perched above Beverly Hills that actors, producers and writers call home.

So it came as a shock when neighbours learnt a badly decomposing body had been inside the home for several months to a year.

Neighbour Susan Savage told the Los Angeles Times she saw letters and cobwebs in Vickers’s mailbox last week before going into the house and discovering the body in an upstairs room with a small space heater that was turned on. 

Ms Savage described her neighbour as an elegant woman with flowing blonde hair and warm smile.

“She kept to herself, had friends and seemed like a very independent spirit,” she said.

“To the end, she still got cards and letters from all over the world requesting photos and still wanting to be her friend.”

Terri Cheney, an author and entertainment lawyer who has lived in the street since 1994, said: “There is a feeling of safety on this street.

“You don’t feel like that would happen here – someone being neglected like that.”

It was still unknown if it was the body of Vickers, who appeared in Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches and other cult films of the 1950s.

It could take a week to determine the identity, coroner’s Lieutenant Cheryl MacWillie said.

By the looks of Vickers’s one-bedroom home, it might have been difficult to detect that anything unusual had happened inside.

The two-storey, brown dwelling is rustic and sits next to two modern homes that dwarf it. Ivy and bougainvillea are draped on a front window, and the grounds on a steep hillside are overgrown with foliage.

A handwritten note at the front gate reads: “Deliveries, please ring doorbell.” Guests had to climb a stone walkway that wrapped around the house.

Cheney, 51, said she did not know Vickers had been an actress or was a Playboy magazine playmate in July 1959. Cheney greeted Vickers only a few times and noticed the woman liked to water her flowers.

“She seemed lovely,” Cheney said.

“She went with the house, it was a little bit unusual. It has a fairy tale kind of charm to it.”

Born Yvette Vedder in Kansas City, Missouri, on August 26, 1928, she attended the University of California, Los Angeles, before discovering acting and leaving school to pursue it.

Her first film role was as a giggling girl in Sunset Boulevard in 1950. In 1957, she appeared in the James Cagney-directed Short Cut to Hell, but it flopped and she turned to B-movies.

It wasn’t immediately known if Vickers had any relatives.


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