Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Death of a B-Movie Star

Today I learned about the death of Yvette Vickers. Actually, she died about a year ago, but she was just found in her home. Sadly, no one had checked around for her in a year. She was only found because a neighbor noticed cobwebs in Yvette's mailbox last month, and thought to investigate. Her body was described as mummified, although I don't know why it was in that state. Here's a pretty photo of her:

Yvette is probably best known for her role in "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman." She also starred in various B-Movies including, "Attack of the Giant Leeches." This movie came out in 1959 and is like various other sci-fi movies from this time. There's some mutated giant creature (that would have been gross even at a normal size) running around, and there's some romance thrown in. I saw this movie years ago on Svengoolie, and probably slept through some of it.

If you have some free time, and can stomach it, here is "Attack of the Giant Leeches" in its entirety!

Also, here is some trivia about the movie:

* It was produced on a budget of $70,000. (I can't believe the budget was that high)

* The giant leeches were played by actors in sack-like suits made of thin black plastic - complete with fake "suckers" sewn on.

* This film was also called Attack of the Blood Leeches, Demons of the Swamp, She Demons of the Swamp, and War of the Giant Leeches.

* The music score for this film was a stock score used previously in the film Night of the Blood Beast (1958), also produced by Roger Corman.

* Stretched out by the divers’ air tanks, the giant leech costumes split during production; that’s why we only get to see fleeting glimpses of the creatures!


  1. this is awful! no one discovered she was dead till a year later! I wonder if she had any family?

  2. Yeah, I know! I read that she did have some family but she was sort of estranged from them. It sounds like she had isolated herself away from her family and friends and had a hermit-like lifestyle. It's really pretty sad.

    I was discussing this with my mom and she was saying how it's interesting that someone whose career depended on her body so much (she was also a Playboy model) would end up dying in a way where her body was preserved forever.

    So, since you just learned a lot about mummification from that museum show, maybe you could give me a guess as to why she was preserved like this? I feel like I remember reading that she died near a space heater, so maybe that had something to do with it.

  3. That's very sad, and kind of odd... I wouldn't say I'm close to my neighbors but I can tell you I see them leaving their homes at least once a week; I'm assuming she lived in the country, or some place spacious? To have no friends or family contact you, it's a lonely way to end up :(
    I don't know much about mummification, all I know is in the drier climates it's more likely to occur. It would be interesting to find out how she was preserved...but how often does something like this happen?

  4. that is an awful way to end up! Dying, alone and no one knows. But with her mummifying, she had to of been in a dry climate with a good constant airflow. Being by the space heater, that could have helped. But it is ironic, a girl who was known for her body, and now it will be preserved forever.

  5. Hiyoko ~ Yes, it is both sad and odd! It's also sort of a fitting way for a B-Movie actress to die. Between the cobwebs in the mailbox, her disappearing for a year, and being found mummified. This story actually sounds like the basis for the kind of movie she'd have been in!

    She was actually living in Los Angeles! So she was not at all in the country. Maybe her neighbors were busy people who didn't socialize much? I'm with you - if I don't see my neighbors for a week to a month, I wonder. Well, I guess I would assume they were on vacation. But a whole year? I doubt I'd start my investigation by peeking in their mailbox, though.

    I would doubt that this happens very often, but who knows?

    Stacey ~ Yes, the thought of dying alone and being left in that way for a whole year is pretty sad. It makes me think she wasn't seeing much of anyone in her day to day life. You raise an interesting point - I wonder if her body will be preserved forever? I wonder what will be done with her remains!

  6. My wife brought this story to my attention (via TMZ) as well. Sad.

  7. I'm surprised that they talked about this on TMZ for some reason...