Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Forgotten Sex Symbol

Happy New Year, everyone!

Lately, a lot of websites have been talking about the greatest "this" and "that" from 2011. Last year brought us several shocking news stories that shook the world. It was pretty eventful.

One of the news stories which rattled me was on a smaller scale. It was a story which brought my biggest fear to life before my eyes.

As an only child, I grew up with the fear that I would one day end up completely alone. This thought haunts me, constantly. I know it's silly, because I'll probably end up getting married and having kids one day. And lord knows, I'll always have a friend or two in my life. But, still. The thought lingers.

From April, you may remember the story of Yvette Vickers.

She was the elderly woman found decomposed in her Beverly Hills home. Neighbors had become extremely concerned when they noticed mail piling up on her porch and spiderwebs in her doorway. They had not seen her in a long time.

When her neighbors finally entered her bedroom, they discovered her rotted body. She had been dead for almost a year, and nobody had even noticed. Her heater and computer were even still on, untouched.

I think what shocked the world the most was that this decomposed, forgotten old lady was once the sexiest starlet in Hollywood.

Yvette Vickers had been a Playboy centerfold. She was also the star of some of the most memorable low-budget horror films of the 1950s.

Yvette was born in Kansas City to a jazz saxophonist and his wife. They moved to Los Angeles when she was a little girl.

At 16, Yvette entered UCLA to study journalism, but got distracted by the glittering lights of Hollywood.

She shot to fame in 1954, when she was cast as the White Rain girl in a national shampoo commercial.

In the mid-50s, she started doing films, but it wasn't until her supporting role in the cult-classic, Attack of the 50-Foot Woman, that people started to take serious notice.

The blue-eyed starlet would go on to star in other low-budget horror films, most notably Attack of the Giant Leeches.

Her popularity with men was so high, she became Playmate of the Month with a very sexy spread for Playboy in 1959.

As the new It Girl in Hollywood, she went on to have scandalous affairs with several Hollywood insiders, including Cary Grant. She would remain close friends with the legendary movie star until his death.

But in the late 1970s, the only child dutifully took a break from her career to care for her ailing parents.

In the late 1980s, Yvette released a jazz album, much to the delight of her fans. She also started working on her memoirs.

After a couple of divorces and several failed romances, the now overweight alcoholic became a recluse. She rarely ventured out of her home and she had very few friends. So few, in fact, that they didn't even notice when she stopped returning their calls or e-mails after a year.

And as you know, she was found dead in her home in April. She had died some time in 2010, of heart failure.

Staring at these photos of the vivacious blonde, I simply can't believe she suffered such a dismal demise. It's chilling to think that a girl who was so full of life and so intensely adored at one point, could be utterly alone only a few decades later.

Isn't that sad?

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