❤ My Tribute to My Mom ❤
Victoria Taft was nice, generous, social, independent, honest, trustworthy, caring, facetious, dependable, sarcastic, modest, smart, stubborn, and loyal. She cared about other people more than herself. She always thought the world was better than it was. She was liked by whoever knew her. She mostly went by Vicki. We had lived together in Paradise for 10 years. She loved the community, had volunteered in it, and did not want to leave it.
Victoria “Vicki” Taft was born November 11, 1951 in Norristown, PA, the daughter of Larry Debaun and Marian Bradford Taft, and died November 8, 2018 in Paradise, CA. Vicki spent the majority of her life in Los Angeles and grew up in the world of the film industry. Her friends called her an elegant, effervescent “golden girl” and “extravagant beauty” with a stunning presence.
Vicki remained modest about her accomplishments which included working as an actress, stunt-doubling, working in real estate, and authoring a book called “Tara,” based on her travels in Europe with a best friend and meeting people in Hollywood.
Vicki grew up visiting her father, a cameraman, on sets for Paramount Pictures, Columbia Studios, MGM and later of the classic American television show “Happy Days.” In Scottsdale, AZ she started acting at six-years-old in the play, “Gentleman Jane,” with her real life dad, Larry Debaun, who was the male lead. Her paternal grandfather, Everett Debaun, had been a screenwriter for television. In the late 1960s, she was a publicity agent and rock groupie for The Doors. Vicki followed in her family’s entertainment industry footsteps.
Victoria was involved in over 25 movies, television shows, and plays. Her acting roles mainly mirrored her interest in comedy. A short list of her roles include: “Checkered Flag,” a small part in “Rocky III,” and a role in “Malibu Hot Summer” (an early Kevin Costner film that website Rotten Tomatoes lists as a “b-movie classic”). A 1978 casting sheet from the American Services of the Arts of Southern California states that she was cast in “Survival Skills” and in “Flying High” as a stewardess. One resume states she was in “The Dating Game,” “Love Boat,” “Lady in Red,” “Black Stallion,” and “Scarface” among 20 roles. On IMDb, Vicki is listed as being an associate director of “Two Top Bananas,” associate producer of “Heat,” and assistant to the producer of “The Johnny Cash Christmas Special.” Vicki was further involved with commercials and modeling, according to her brother, Donn. She was a stunt double in the 1990 film adaptation of the classic comic, “Dick Tracy,” where she doubled for Glenn Headly.
Vicki loved spending time socializing and partying in Beverly Hills, Laurel Canyon for the rock scene, Hollywood Hills, and Palm Springs with her friends – like Michelle Diamond and Lori Mattix. Vicki accompanied tennis star Roscoe Tanner on his tour in Europe, met rock stars, and was involved in the Hollywood scene. She traveled the world, went to Europe in the summers, and visited the South of France, Italy, England, Spain, Greece, Morocco, and Egypt. She attended Los Angeles Valley College, real estate school, and film training. As a realtor, she was proud of a Doheny Drive listing in Beverly Hills with Par Realty.
After her career in film, Vicki became a protective stay-at-home mom in Arizona, dedicated to raising her only daughter, Christina, and volunteering in her daughter’s schools. In her daughter’s childhood, Victoria raised her on a ranch in Kingman, AZ. A loving parent, she purchased art, tennis, and horseback riding lessons.
In 2008 Vicki returned to California, moving to Paradise with her daughter to support her step-mother, Marjorie Norvell Hilley. In 2012, Vicki volunteered with the Paradise Lion’s Club. Her mother, Marian, had also been involved with the organization. Vicki kept her mother’s poetry book and wanted to pass on memories.
Vicki was facetious, independent, honest, trustworthy, caring, dependable, sarcastic, intelligent, modest, stubborn, social, positive, and loyal. She cared about others more than herself and always thought the world was better than it was. She held high standards. Vicki is remembered by her neighbors and friends for her warm smile and generosity.
Vicki enjoyed tennis, swimming, yachting, skiing, and spoke conversational french. She preferred the beach, shopping, colors, outdoors, travel, culture, and sunshine. In music, she enjoyed soft rock, a variety, and her radio was frequently on in her home. Her favorite singer was Paul McCartney of the Beatles. She also liked Rod Stewart, Elton John, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles and more. She often was on her laptop reading on the internet. Loving to write, Vicki wrote long notes in birthday cards, letters, and also left notes around her home of her thoughts. She could talk to her friends for hours on the phone. In her last year, she socialized at lunches and enjoyed watching sitcoms such as “Love Boat,” “Malibu CA,” “Happy Days,” “Cheers,” “Newhart,” and other comedies from mostly the 1970s and 1980s.
Vicki has a daughter, Christina A. Taft, living in California, and a brother, Donn L. Debaun, living in Sedona, AZ.
Vicki’s northeastern maternal grandparents were Jerome Bradford Taft, Vice President of an advertising agency, and Edith Baldwin. Vicki was named after her step-grandmother, Victoria Bornemann. Her paternal grandparents were Edna Snedeker and Everett Debaun. Her mother, Marian Taft, did some modeling in Los Angeles before moving to Oregon to a ranch and practicing business.
Victoria Taft became spirit with us far too early in the devastating November 8, 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise, California at age 66. She is dearly missed by her beloved daughter, brother, friends, neighbors and admirers.
A former actress, stuntwoman and model, Victoria Taft partied with rock stars in the 70s and 80s and traveled the world before motherhood became her focus and she settled in Paradise.
“I always thought of her as the Golden Girl,” said Joseph Triscari, who met Taft in Studio City, California in 1970. “She was so physically beautiful, she took my breath away.”
Taft had small parts in TV shows like “The Love Boat” and was a winning contestant on “The Dating Game,” according to an old resume that cites film appearances in “The Black Stallion” and “Rocky III.” She worked as a stuntwoman in the 1990 film, “Dick Tracy,” doubling for Glenne Headly. It was her last film, due to injuries suffered on the set that left her with neck and back troubles, her daughter said.
Taft grew up in Los Angeles, where several family members worked in the film industry. She knew from a young age she wanted to act.
In the 1970s, Taft was a fixture on the Beverly Hills party scene, said Lori Mattix, a girlfriend of Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page at the time.
“She was the life of the party. Very bright, very funny and very stunning. When she walked into the room, you would notice her,” said Mattix who saw Taft regularly at the Playboy Mansion for Sunday movie nights. “You had to be invited to these parties, and she was always there.”
Taft traveled in Europe, Egypt and Greece in the 70s and 80s, touring with Rod Stewart, Elton John and Led Zeppelin, said her brother Donn DeBaun. She worked for The Doors briefly as a publicist for their fan club, said DeBaun, who remembers Oliver Stone interviewing Taft while researching his 1991 film “The Doors.”
“A picture of her and Elton John playing pinball together at his house in Malibu made it into Circus magazine,” DeBaun said.
Song – “The Stuntwoman”
We remember the stuntwoman
Flying across the cosmos in Steve McQueen’s mustang
That’s when they tried to call Vicki
The phone it never rang
Before Dick Tracy made her fall
Hollywood was her home
Taking falls for the lead actress
Her life was polychrome
The stuntwoman crashed into Heaven on Steve McQueen’s bike
Sent angels back to her daughter so she could fly like a kite
Although there was sorrow and wailing and gnashing of teeth
The feats she performed she made us believe
Vicki was always exploding
Through one wall or another
In Kingman pulled her biggest stunt
When she became a mother
Built Lego rockets with her baby so she could fly to the moon
Fended off other Dick Tracy’s
Built trenches in typhons
She was built for the sun and beaches
But moved to the mountains
Fettered by life, wanted more
Missed the castles and fountains
The stuntwoman crashed into Heaven on Steve McQueen’s bike
On the way battled the devil but she won the fight
Told God me and my daughter are exactly alike
Not afraid of explosions and crashing through walls
Fended off other Dick Tracy’s who would make her fall
The stuntwoman crashed into heaven on Steve McQueen’s bike