Actress Yvette Vickers, who starred in two late 1950s cult horror films, “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” and “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” was found dead Wednesday at her Benedict Canyon home. She was 82.
The condition of the body, police said, suggests that Vickers may have been dead for close to a year. An autopsy will be conducted, but foul play is not suspected.
The voluptuous Vickers was a Playboy playmate of the month in 1959; the pictures were shot by Russ Meyer. She had her first leading role in 1958 low-budgeter “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.” Her character has an affair with a married man — drawing the wrath of a wife who turns into a 50-foot-tall she beast after an alien encounter. The next year Vickers made “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” whose title creatures kill her promiscuous character.
She was discovered by director Billy Wilder, and for her first film role, which was uncredited, she appeared briefly in Wilder’s 1950 classic “Sunset Blvd.” That same year she also appeared fleetingly in film noir “The Sound of Fury.”
In 1957, she had a substantive role in the bigscreen crime drama “Short Cut to Hell,” directed by James Cagney, but the film flopped, and she subsequently went the B movie route.
In the late 1950s and early ’60s, Vickers had a number of guest roles on TV, appearing on Westerns including “The Rough Riders,” “Bat Masterson” and “Tales of Wells Fargo,” on two episodes of “Dragnet” and on many other shows.
In 1963 she returned briefly to the realm of A pictures with a small role in the Paul Newman starrer “Hud.”
She also did stage work, including in the play “Grand Guignol.”
Her last film role was in the 1990 horror movie “Evil Spirits.”
Late in her career Vickers sang on a couple of jazz albums.
The actress was born Yvette Vedder in Kansas City, Mo., to parents who were jazz musicians. She entered UCLA at age 16, discovered acting and pursued a career.
She had relationships with actors Jim Hutton and Ralph Meeker, was married twice and was longtime friends with Cary Grant after the two had an affair, according to Glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com, but had no immediate survivors.