Born 1925 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, American model and actress Martha Vickers began her career as a model and cover girl. She moved to Hollywood when her father, an automobile dealer, assumed control of an agency in Burbank, California. Vickers was 15 at that time.
Vickers’ first film role was a small uncredited part in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). She played minor roles in several films during the early 1940s, working first at Universal Studios and then at RKO Pictures. She next went to Warner Bros., where “they gave her the star push, rearranging her surname to ‘Vickers.'” Her work there included the role of Carmen Sternwood, the promiscuous, drug-addicted younger sister of Lauren Bacall’s character in The Big Sleep (1946). She also starred in a musical, The Time, the Place and the Girl, followed by two Warner Bros. comedies, Love and Learn and That Way with Women (both 1947).
During the 1950s, however, Vickers’ film career stalled. She continued to act in television. One such appearance was in the 1959 Perry Mason episode, “The Case of the Jaded Joker,” in which she played Sheila Hayes. Her final two performances, in 1960, were on The Rebel.
Vickers died of esophageal cancer at Valley Presbyterian Hospital, in Los Angeles, California in 1971, at the age of 46.
Take a look at these glamorous photos to see the beauty of Martha Vickers in the 1940s.