You would think my time spent around Kenneth Anger over the years would have prepared me for the news I was about to find on facebook on May 4th, 2011. I logged on as I always do only, this time there were more than a couple of emails regarding the passing of my friend Yvette Vickers. Now Yvette and I went back a number of years all the way to 1980 in fact, but I had not really been in touch with her since 2005 when our paths crossed in Burbank at Ray Courts’ Hollywood Collector Show. Yvette was selling her autograph as usual along with a CD she self-produced, a jazz tribute to her parents.
My partner of 20 years had just died in December and Yvettte and I needed to catch up as Chris had been close to her as well. She did not look well and I expressed concern but as always with Yvette she had a real talent for getting on with it regardless of the reality of any given situation depending on her sunshine personality to shake all the blues away.
|Yvette's home where she was found.|
|Yvette had a juicy role in "Attack of the 50 Ft. Woman."|
The more I re-read these sordid accounts of her death, the more I began to think of another talented blonde actress I used to know who also ended her life alone in a neglected house in Hollywood, the late Joyce Jameson. Both of these ladies put aside their own careers to act as faux trophy wives for selfish men who took their love for granted, all the while, pursuing successful careers of their own. Joyce spent over 12 years with Robert Vaughn while Yvette lived with Jim Hutton from 1964 until his premature death in 1979.
|"The Giant Leeches" poster, with Yvette prominently featured.|
|Yvette and I during happier times.|
|Yvette, as she looked during her early 'Playboy' photo shoot days.|
|Shimmying for us in Silver Lake, Yvette was channeling her younger self.|
|Yvette Vickers, the beautiful movie star we will all remember her as.|
I do have a few more similar anecdotes regarding Yvette but they all have this dark side as a common denominator. Yvette was a beautiful woman in her youth and achieved success in both her public and private life. However, nothing lasts forever and as I have pointed out in chapter after chapter in my book, sometimes it is important to know when it’s time to let go and just be happy with what life has given you, rather than dwell on how or why the glow has left the rose. The worst thing Yvette did to herself was to use alcohol as an alternative to facing her demons and casting them aside. Her real beauty was within and always was, if only she could have understood this sooner rather than later.
It took her passing for me to open up about my time with her and I do this with the objective that anyone reading this, who has a eye on a career in this business, will take heed to stay focused on what is real and never ever believe your own publicity, especially when YOU are the one doing the PR.
Watch the marvelous Yvette in her classic shindig scene from, “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.” I love how she lifts up the back of her hair when she walks toward the camera as if to say, “You see, I am something special.”