Guest Author - Amber Grey
Recent conflicting headlines regarding the passing of one Hollywood actress has left classic film fans baffled and confused. In regards to the unfortunate and gruesome passing of Yvette Vickers, former Playmate and B-film siren of "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" (1958), many news reports have mixed up her identity with her co-star "50 Foot Woman" co-star Allison Hayes. The reports have either noted that Ms. Vickers was the 50 Foot Woman or played "Honey Parker", the town flirt that invokes the 50 Foot Woman's rage. We would like to pay tribute to the two women who made sci-fi history with their memorable beauty and presence on screen. We feel that we should set the facts straight and give them the credit where it is due.
The woman who played the 50 foot woman in one of the classic B-movies "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" (1958), otherwise known by the appropriate character name, "Nancy Archer" was actress Allison Hayes. Born on February 22, 1930, before Ms.Hayes went to Hollywood, her beauty earned her the Miss Washington title in 1949 and was participated in the Miss America Pageant the same year. Once Hayes made it to Hollywood, she was contracted to Universal Studios who cast her in their "B" films. Regardless of the genre, Hayes was cast in diverse roles, as diverse as she could get for being a woman in B-Films. In Roger Corman's "Gunslinger" (1956) she played the villain, "Erica Page" and in "The Unearthly" (1957) in which she played a witch. The shining moment of her career was "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" (1958) but her final film was in "Tickle Me" (1965) with Elvis Presley. Ms.Hayes passed away on February 22, 1977 but her legacy lives on.
Meanwhile, Yvette Vickers, her co-star and former pinup model, was born on August 26, 1928. Her death was discovered on April 27, 2011, of which up until recently on Wikipedia had her death date as Hayes' date. If there is a lesson to be learned from all this, never trust Wikipedia. Ms.Vickers was born on August 26, 1935. At the tender age of 15, she was discovered by director Billy Wilder, who cast her a uncredited part in his film "Sunset Boulevard" (1950). The following year, while attending UCLA for a degree in Journalism, she was bit by the acting bug and changed her degree to theater arts. Ms. Vickers eventually graduated with a Bachelor degree in Theater Arts. After a short career in commercials in New York, Ms.Vickers returned to Hollywood where she would play "Honey Parker" in "Attack of the 50 Foot Woman" (1958). Because there is no wrath like that of a woman's scorn, Vicker's character is the catalyst to Hayes' "Nancy."
In 1959, she was Playboy Playmate of the month for the July issue. In the same year, she also starred in another B-film "Attack of the Giant Leeches' (1959) In her later years, when the film was premiered on the classic Mystery Science Theater 2000" television series, Ms. Vickers made a guest appearance. It is said that at the time of her death, Ms. Vickers was planning on writing a memoir.