Girls of Summer: Yvette Vickers, Miss July 1959

edit 5/3/11: Welcome, Yvette Vickers fans! For those unfamiliar with the site who are just swinging by to take a gander at Ms. Vickers’ Playboy spread, a quick heads-up — clicking on any picture enlarges it. Have fun!


Photographed by the one and only Russ Meyer.

I know it isn’t technically seasonally appropriate anymore, but as it’s going to hit 99, Fahrenheit, where I am today, and as I did not get around to all my saved up Girls of Summer, and as I promised to cover Ms. Vickers when discussing Fifty Foot Woman, I figured you wouldn’t mind if I made the summer a little more endless around here.

Ms. Vickers’ spread appeared after her part as Honey Parker in Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and some other delightful B-flicks, but the Playboy write-up does not report this and focuses instead on her early love of coffeehouses and the bohemian lifestyle. It’s an interesting glimpse at her life outside of stardom, especially given that she was sort of stuck in these roles as a sexy blonde starlet which belied her active intellect and charming, offbeat personal interests. Of course, there was a lot of that going around back then: ask Ms. Monroe and Ms. Tate, right?


When [Playboy] spied Yvette Vickers at a small table in Hollywood’s Cosmo Alley, that question became an affirmative, exclamatory statement. Yvette — though possibly a mite more attractive than most — is representative of the girls who inhabit the beat coffee houses of Hollywood.

(“Beat Playmate.” Playboy, July 1959.)


She’s interested in serious acting, ballet, the poetry of Dylan Thomas, classical music (“Prokofiev drives me out of my skull!”). She has strong opinions and is more than a bit of a rebel, frowning prettily on conformity. She is also reckless and uninhibited enough to race a Jag in the desert for kicks.

(Ibid.)

Right on! Big ups to Prokofiev (Peter and the Wolf, “The March of the Three Oranges”) and dragging Jags! And of course, mad props to going ungently into the night with Dylan Thomas.


She confesses to being “somewhat of a nut” about health food: she’s often to be seen stowing away vitamins and minerals at an “organic food restaurant” called The Aware Inn.

(Ibid.)

So for 1959, she was well ahead of the health food curve. Don’t you love how “organic food restaurant” is in scare quotes? It’s cute. This write-up just tickles me. I think it is really cool and neat that Yvette Vickers was a beatnik.

It’s not a total surprise — Ms. Vickers was raised by two jazz musicians, Charlie and Iola Vedder (she went by Maria), with whom Yvette traveled the country and also recorded. They later settled in Los Angeles, where Ms. Vickers attended Catholic high school. (You know we Catholic girls start much too late!) Before catching the acting bug, she took classes at UCLA to become a writer. She then earned her B.A. in Theater Arts.

Films in which Ms. Vickers appeared include Reform School Girl, Shortcut to Hell, Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and Beach Party (she played “Blonde Yoga Girl — recall our previous discussion of the AIP beach flicks?). She also had small roles in Sunset Blvd and Hud, but you know I’m far more in love with the wonderful B-credits.

Ms. Vickers was also featured in a slew of television parts, with roles on highly popular shows like Mike Hammer, Bat Masterson, the Rough Riders, The Texan, Northwest Passage, and Dragnet. In his book Stephen King: On Writing, Stephen King listed Yvette Vickers as one of his “matinee idols.”

The photographer of this spread, Russ Meyer, has had a long and (in my book) illustrious career which must really deserve its own entry one of these days. As this is Ms. Vickers’ entry, I will wind down by saying that the lovely and talented singer, model, and actress has continued to work in the arts and keeps on rocking in the free world. You can hear Yvette on the audio commentary track of the 2007 DVD release of Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and pick up her CD “Tribute to Charlie and Maria,” a jazz album she dedicated to her parents in the late 90′s — and keep your eyes peeled for her forthcoming autobiography.

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9 Responses to “Girls of Summer: Yvette Vickers, Miss July 1959”

  1. Rincewind Says:

    hot diggity, she is a stunner..

  2. Girls of Summer: Yvette Vickers, Miss July 1959 « Erotixx photoblog Says:

    [...] September 29, 2010 Girls of Summer: Yvette Vickers, Miss July 1959 Posted by Rincewind under Reblogs, Sexy pictures | Tags: actress, attack of the 50ft woman, boobs, breasts, model, movie, naked, nsfw, nude, photo, playboy, playmate-of-the-month, russ meyer, sexy, tits, yvette vickers | Leave a Comment  Hot diggity, this is one sexy minx. Great post from E. about Yvette Vickers… Ms. Vickers’ spread appeared after her part as Honey Parker in Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman and some other delightful B-flicks, but the Playboy write-up does not report this and focuses instead on her early love of coffeehouses and the bohemian lifestyle. It’s an interesting glimpse at her life outside of stardom, especially given that she was sort of stuck in these roles as a sexy blonde starlet which belied her active intellect and charming, offbeat personal interests. Of course, there was a lot of that going around back then: ask Ms. Monroe and Ms. Tate, right? Read more… [...]

  3. Alan H. Says:

    So sad she was discovered in a room in her house after a neighbor finally realized she hadn’t been seen in quite a while. She had passed quite a while earlier, maybe up to a year ago. What a lovely woman and good soul. Rest well, Yvette.

  4. Jim Fox Says:

    I knew Yvette back in the ‘50s, in fact I’m one of the young men in the photos in her July 1959 Playboy centerfold spread. I’m the barefoot one.

    Yvette was a very sweet young lady, and a lot of fun to be around. It is very sad that she died alone with no one knowing or caring. I wrote to her a few years ago but received no reply. She will be remembered.

    Jim

  5. Anonymous Says:

    We were ALL beautiful 50 years ago. Hope you young’ns remember that!

  6. willie j. ford Says:

    I was nine when i first saw her in the 50 ft woman even then i could tell she was hot.

  7. Alan Bacon Says:

    She certainly looked great in July 1959, one month before I was born. Very sad to die along the way she did. We all need friends, I guess.

  8. Jed Leyland Says:

    Wild Child

  9. John Felix Koziol (@Gigantuous_Guy) Says:

    Life in the fast lane didn’t bode well for Ms. Vickers, thats for dadgum sure! To see a photo of her taken shortly before she perished and see what she looked like in the days of her being one of the earliest of Playboy centerfolds you would think they were two totally different people. One would have to look closely at her face to see what resemblance of her that was left. I’ve read where she was involved in a heavy-duty affair with 1960s actor Jim Hutton. Hutton, is probably best known for being the tall, gangly guy who hooks up with his female counterpart, played by the amazonian Paula Prentiss.he father of Academy Award winning actor, Timothy Hutton, most recently known for his work in the just discontinued (Most unfortunately as I loved the show!) TNT television series, “Leverage,” and this affair went on for the better part of Jim Hutton’s life right up to just before he died in 1979 at the age of 45. Oftentimes when you play you pay and Ms Vickers obviously never learned that lesson and it wound up costing her her life. Moral to this story I am taking from a tried and true saying which would is most appropriate since one of Hollywood’s nicknames is “Tinseltown”: “All that glitters isn’t gold.” If only Ms. Vickers had learned this and took it to heart then she would still be alive today and not look the way she did at the end.

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