Who’s That With My Name?

Until I had a book published/about to be published, I had only ever Googled my name a handful of times. But once

A possible publicity photo of actress Vicki Fee from the campy 1966 movie, "Out of Sight."
A possible publicity photo of actress Vicki Fee from the campy 1966 movie, “Out of Sight.”

I knew my name was “out there” on blogs, online retailers, in reviews, and such, I started Googling my name more regularly.

Every time I Googled my name, someone else always popped up in the search results, as well. I spell Vickie with an “e” on the end. An actress, Vicki Fee, whose name is spelled with just an “i”, turns up on Google whenever I type in my name.

I naturally had a certain curiosity about her. Although she shows up in any Google search, there’s actually very little information about her.

She was born Astrid Allwyn Fee in Los Angeles in 1945 and died in Santa Monica when she was just 30 years old. Vicki with an “i” has only two screen credits listed in IMDb (the International Movie Data Base). She appeared in one episode of The Munsters, “Herman’s Sorority Caper” (Season 2, Episode 30), as the “first girl”. And she appeared as “Janet” in a 1966 beach/spy spoof movie titled “Out of Sight”.

My husband and I watched The Munsters episode she is credited in and still weren’t sure who “first girl” was. We also watched the movie “Out of Sight” and could only make a guess as to which girl was Vicki. While her character was given a name, no one ever identifies her by name in the dialogue. In the credits, her name is listed beneath Bob Eubanks, who doesn’t even appear in the movie, just his voice.

There is no photo included in her IMDb listing. The caption with the photo I’ve included here – the only one I could find online purporting to be of her – reads “possibly Astrid “Vicki Fee” Steele, daughter of actress Astrid Allwyn.” This picture appears to be a publicity photo for “Out of Sight”.

Her mother Astrid Allwyn had a distinguished career, appearing in films throughout the 1930s and ‘40s, including

A photo of golden age movie actress Astrid Allwyn, mother of actress Vicki Fee.
A photo of golden age movie actress Astrid Allwyn, mother of actress Vicki Fee.

“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Follow the Fleet” and “Love Affair.” She played mostly supporting roles, often as the other woman, but did have lead roles in “Mystery Liner,” “International Crime” and “City of Missing Girls.”

Her IMDb bio says Astrid Allwyn married Charles O. Fee and decided to retire from show business to raise a family, which included Vicki and her sister, Melinda O. Fee, who also became an actress.

I still think about this woman with the name so similar to mine, who died tragically young, every time she pops up in my Internet search results. I wonder how she died and what her acting career might have looked like if she’d lived longer – plenty of actors have had inauspicious early roles. I place this photo of Vicki next to photos of her mom – of which there are an abundance – looking for a family resemblance.

For now, at least, she remains a mystery. As a mystery writer, it bothers me when I come across one I can’t unravel.

Definitely for The Birds

My husband and I recently traveled to the San Francisco area to visit my father-in-law for his 80th birthday. While there, we made a day trip to Bodega and Bodega Bay, which were filming locations for The Birds.

I won’t argue that it’s Hitchcock’s best film, but The Birds is still a favorite of mine, one I can watch over and over. For me, it has that perfect Hitch blend — surface beauty and a creepy undercurrent, with a dash of romance and dark humor.BirdBrain

I’m a big Hitchcock fan so this was kid-in-the-candy-store territory for me. We took lots of pictures, including some of me goofing around in front of the school building like I was being attacked by birds. My husband is a patient man.

The iconic Potter School in Bodega was used for several exterior scenes in the movie. Today it’s a private residence that is occasionally opened for tours by the owner.

Outside the Bodega Country Store, we posed with a mannequin that sported an Alfred Hitchcock mask, although hubby thought it looked more like Rodney Dangerfield. (It sorta does!) The owner of the store has amassed a huge collection of Hitchcock and Birds memorabilia that we enjoyed wandering through, and some items were for sale. We brought home a black and white movie still autographed by Tippi Hedren as a souvenir.

The Bodega Bay Visitors Center on Highway One provides information, including a m20150417_223856227_iOSap marked with the various locations used in the film, and at least on the day we visited, a helpful and chatty tourist guide.

Across the street from the Visitors Center at Tides Wharf is a scenic spot where you can look out across Bodega Bay and imagine Tippi Hedren riding in a motorboat as a seagull fiercely pecks at her finely coiffed hair!