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January 15, 2023

Vikki ‘The Back’ Dougan Photographed by Ralph Crane for LIFE Magazine, ca. 1957

Throughout the 1950s model, actress and It girl Vikki Dougan (born 1929) was most famous for appearing at social events in a series of daring low-cutbackless dresses.

In 1953 publicity man Milton Weiss had the idea of promoting Vikki using the backless dresses to garner publicity. The idea was to gain a contrast with the fashion for models and actresses with large bosoms, such as Jayne Mansfield.

In the 1950s she scandalized more respectable Hollywood society with her appearances in her daring backless dresses. In 1953 photographer Ralph Crane photographed her extensively for Life Magazine. Their edition of October 26 featured her on the cover.

In the 1980s she got another claim to fame as the muse for cartoon pin up Jessica Rabbit.

1 comment:

  1. She was not the muse for Jessica Rabbit. The claim took off on the internet after an article about Vikki was posted by a blog, in 2013. The article based its assumption on a 2009 video interview of Vikki where the interviewer claimed that without any proof.

    From the Wikipedia entry for Jessica Rabbit:

    The film version of the character was inspired by various actresses. Richard Williams explained, "I tried to make her like Rita Hayworth; we took her hair from Veronica Lake, and Zemeckis kept saying, 'What about the look Lauren Bacall had?'" He described that combination as an "ultimate male fantasy, drawn by a cartoonist."

    Richard Williams was the animation director on the film and Robert Zemeckis was the director. says the inspiration was:

    Classic divas from detective movies

    Lauren Bacall

    Veronica Lake

    Rita Hayworth

    "Red" from Tex Avery's MGM shorts

    While Wikipedia doesn't mention "Red" for the film version it does say:

    Author Gary K. Wolf based Jessica primarily on the cartoon character Red from Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood.

    Also, if you search youtube for red tex avery you can definitely see some similarity.




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