With initial plans to become a writer, Yvette Vickers took an acting class at UCLA and enjoyed it so much, she switched her major to drama. While still a student, she began making commercials. During a trip to New York, she was cast as “The White Rain Girl” in hairspray ads and commercials. She soon returned to California to pursue a career in films.
Her blond hair and blue eyes no doubt helped to land her a small, uncredited role in Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard in 1950. This led to a part in James Cagney’s directorial debut Short Cut to Hell. The next year, she starred in the B-movie classic Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, the first of a string of low-budget films that would define her career. In 1959, Yvette was featured in Attack of the Giant Leeches, in which she was attacked by giant leeches. She was cast in guest spots on a handful of cop and cowboy shows on television around the same time. She appeared in Playboy magazine as “Miss July 1959” in a pictorial photographed by “sexplotation” director Russ Meyer.
After several failed marriages, she began a fifteen-year on-again/off-again relationship with actor Jim Hutton (father of Oscar winner Timothy Hutton).
By the time of her uncredited role in Hud with Paul Newman in 1963, her career was on a decline. With her acting demand dwindling, she faded into obscurity. Aside from the occasional personal appearance at collector shows to sign autographs, Yvette became a recluse.
On April 27, 2011, a concerned neighbor noticed a large, untouched pile of mail jammed into Yvette’s mailbox. A large portion of the letters had begun to yellow from age and there were undisturbed spiderwebs across the home’s front door. Police were summoned and an investigation yielded the discovery of Yvette’s remains. The combination of a still-operating space heater and the dry air in the home’s second floor had mummified what was left of the 75-year old actress. It is believed that Yvette had died almost a year earlier.