Movie Stars Memorabilia Martha Vickers
Vintage Magazine Cut Out Martha Vickers
Actress and Model, she is best remembered for her role of Carmen Sternwood, actress Lauren Bacall's younger nymphet sister in "The Big Sleep" (1946). Born Martha MacVicar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the daughter of James S. and Frances MacVicar. She attended schools in Florida, Texas, and California before her family settled on the west coast. A beautiful young woman with auburn hair, she became a model for photographer William Mortenson, and soon came to the attention of movie director David O. Selznick. Selznick had her sign a contract, but her first acting job was to play an uncredited role of a corpse in "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" (1943). She continued to be seen in such forgettable films as "Captive Wild Woman" (1943) and "The Mummy's Ghost" (1944), while posing for pin-ups in GI magazines such as "Yank." Changing to Warner Brothers Studios, she gained celebrity notice with her role of the sexy younger sister of Lauren Bacall in "The Big Sleep" (1946), which led to other B-role movies, not all of them being the bad girl type of roles. She was again noticed in two films, "The Time, the Place and the Girl" (1946) and "The Man I Love" (1947), which led to her leading role in "That Way With Women" (1947). In March 1948, she married movie producer A. C. Lyles, but they were divorced in May 1949, and the next month, she married actor Mickey Rooney (she was his third wife). They would have a son, Teddy, but in 1950, Rooney had hit the bottom of his career and she was not offered any roles, so their marriage quickly hit the rocks, ending in divorce in September 1951. Martha married again, in 1954, to Chilean polo player turned actor Manuel Rojas, and soon returned to the screen in "The Big Bluff" (1955). She and Rojas had two children: Tina and Tessa, and during the next several years, she continued to make movies while moving into the new medium of television. In 1960 she made her last film, "Four Fast Guns" (1960), and after two episodes as a guest star on television's "The Rebel," she ended her acting career. Very little was heard from her until 1971, when she died in Hollywood from cancer of the esophagus.
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