After successful various splendor pageants including Miss out on Coney Island and the eighth annual New York Skate Queen contest, she started modeling as a teenager. The first agent she spoke with liked her photos but informed her to improve her title. She selected Vikki as a homage to the actress Vickie Lester Dougan was her mother’s maiden identify.
In 1953, she appeared on the address of Life magazine as portion of a tale on functioning mothers, with her 3-year-outdated daughter, Deirdre, the solution of a short relationship at age 19.
She was signed as a model by Eileen Ford and appeared in adverts for Maybelline, Cutex and Charmin, and was on the covers of Harper’s Bazaar, Seventeen and Collier’s magazine, in addition to a quantity of other far more lowbrow titles, like Modern Romance. She made upward of $100 an hour doing the job as a product, she reported, but normally harbored dreams of acting. She took classes with environment-class coaches like Stella Adler and Eric Morris, and appeared as an announcer on “The Jackie Gleason Clearly show.”
Ms. Dougan stated she was made available a agreement by Paramount but declined simply because it was not enough revenue. “They made available me for a 7 days what I was producing in an hour as a product.” Rather, she signed with Batjac, a shift she came to regret. “I should really have just signed with Paramount due to the fact at least they had been earning motion pictures.”
She put in the entirety of 1957 attending movie premieres and setting the tabloids on fireplace but was not identified as for any auditions. She claimed the agent who signed her to William Morris Expertise Agency, Phil Kellogg, forgot her contract in a desk, which is why she was never ever despatched any scripts. Soon after voicing her displeasure about not working to Batjac, “they made available to set me in a movie with one line, but I reported, ‘Forget it.’”
#MeToo in Midcentury
Ms. Dougan’s brief time in Hollywood was marred by a amount of unwelcome overtures from well known guys, which she routinely rebuffed. Jerry Lewis, whom she describes as “a incredibly big offer,” the moment known as her into his business office to browse for a section. The script in no way arrived, but a bucket of champagne on ice did. Sensing the direction the interview was likely in, Ms. Dougan designed up an excuse about possessing a different appointment to get to. “He experienced a thing solely various on his brain,” she stated.