Marvel, having once been part of the Hollywood crowd, was always very interested and supportive of my own aspirations. Once, right after I had made a new voiceover demo, she asked me to bring it to a party she and Vic were throwing at their home. At one point later in the evening, Marvel announced, “Come upstairs, everyone, we’re going to listen to Kelly’s voiceover demo!” A crowd of us marched upstairs where their sound system was, and Marvel popped the cassette in and we all listened to the 3 ½ minute demo, which consisted of straight and character voices. “Isn’t she wonderful,” Marvel beamed, while everyone applauded. Feeling a combination of pride and embarrassment, I took a small bow, and then we all headed back downstairs for more games and festivities.
Marvel loved theme parties and casually mentioned that she had once attended a party where the theme was high-top sneakers. She had glued tiny rubber penises all over her sneakers, and won first prize.
We had cats at the time, and one afternoon she was lamenting how she had at one time had a beautiful Angora cat, but when she and Vic had started dating, he started sneezing. “Turns out he was allergic to my pussy,” she said wryly.
“Only the 4-legged kind, dear,” Vic quipped, not missing a beat.
Chuck and I once threw a Valentine party where couples had to come as famous lovers (we were Darla and Alfalfa). Vic and Marvel came dressed as a Chinese couple, he with a sign that said, “Foo Q,” while hers said, “Foo Q, 2.”
It wasn’t just parties where we would see this delightful couple; there were numerous times the four of us would go to restaurants or perhaps take a drive out to see a project Vic was working on.
Vic, Chuck and me, out at brunch at Cano’s in Newport Beach
(Marvel took the picture)
There was a 9-month period of time where I was abstaining from alcohol. It had nothing to do with pregnancy; I just needed a break, as it was getting in the way of my life and work at the time. Vic and Marvel invited us to a brunch at their home, and I brought a bottle of nonalcoholic champagne. Marvel seemed somewhat puzzled and even put off by this, as if I was trying to reform people, but that was not at all my intention; I simply wasn’t drinking, and had brought the bottle so I could still enjoy some bubbly. A couple months later they came to a party at our house, and Marvel brought the half-drank bottle of flat champagne, saying something like, “You left this at our house last time. I thought you might want it back,” or something like that. She wasn’t at all rude or condescending, but it still felt a bit odd. However, being somewhat familiar with her particular brand of quirk, I let it go (later pouring it down the drain, as, by that time I was back on “the real stuff”).
It’s hard to believe that we really only knew Vic and Marvel as a couple for a little over three years; the times we spent with them were so laden with great conversations, fun and festivity, that it felt as if we had known them for so much longer. One of our last get-togethers with them was in 1992, at the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk not far from their home. Numerous shops and boutiques in the neighborhood were offering food and cocktails to festive pedestrians, and we were invited to join Vic, Marvel, Armando and Lynn.
Marvel, moving in on some kid’s Santa time
Lynn and Armando
Vic and Marvel
There was a lovely model-type woman standing out in front of one of the boutiques (perhaps she worked there), and I suggested Vic pose with her, while Marvel made a face in the background. They more than happily obliged. It’s one of my favorite pictures of them.
Vic, Marvel and model
Less than two months later, on the evening of Monday, February 22nd, 1993, Chuck came home and solemnly broke the news to me that Vic and Marvel had been in a car accident over the weekend. They were driving back from seeing a movie around 11:30 p.m., and a 17-year-old female drunk driver going about 70 mph, rear-ended them at a stoplight. Vic survived, and was still in the hospital; Marvel was killed instantly.
I crumbled to the floor, and it felt like the whole world was crumbling down with me.
To be continued.