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This a strange and sad story, perhaps the strangest and saddest you’ll read this week. Yvette Vickers the star of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and many other notable, ridiculous, and fun B-movies from the 50s was found dead last week in her home. She was 82 and the circumstances of her death sound like something out of one of the B-movies she was once famous for.
Vickers was a blonde bombshell and a Playboy Playmate before making a career in the movies. She appeared in more than 40 different films and television programs, the last one in 1990. She worked most in the 50s doing edgy, tawdry cult films like 50 Foot Woman or Attack of the Giant Leeches, which in their own way shaped the modern film era but were mostly a lot of completely trashy fun. Even if you’ve never seen any of her films, you’ve almost certainly seen this now iconic poster:
Here are the facts of Yvette’s death, as presented by the LA Times: Her body was discovered in her home by a neighbor, who pushed open a barricaded gate and went to check on her after noticing that her mailbox was stuffed full of old, unopened letters. Reports indicate the body was in a mummified state. That’s right, she’d actually been dead so long she’d mummified. Police believe she was dead for close to a year. Other area residents say they hadn’t seen her since last summer. Her body was discovered in a room with a space heater still on.
A few things we can take away from this. First, apparently you don’t need to pay your electric bill. Yvette Vickers hadn’t paid hers in at least a year, and the heater in her house kept right on pulling power out of the grid. I plan to stop paying mine immediately. Second, even though your mailbox will probably fill up with letters after about a week, your neighbors will find a way not to notice for at least a year. Finally, fame doesn’t last forever. Enjoy the people in your life while you have them. Some day, no matter what your status in life, you may end up alone.