Nov 11, 1951 - Nov 8, 2018
Victoria “Vicki” Taft was born November 11, 1951 in Norristown, PA, the daughter of Donald Lawrence 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. She attended Beverly Hills High School and studied at UCLA before leaving early for a career. 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, “Gentlemen Jane,” with her real life dad, Larry Debaun, who was the male lead. Her paternal grandfather, Everett Debaun, had been a screenwriter for television. Vicki followed in her family’s entertainment industry footsteps.
Victoria’s acting roles mirrored her particular 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. An old resume states she was in “Scarface,” The Dating Game,” “Black Stallion,” “Love Boat, “Neon Maniacs,” “Lady in Red,” and involved in over 20 movies, television shows, and plays. On IMBD, 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. As a stunt double, her most notable film was the 1990 film adaptation of the classic comic Dick Tracy where she doubled for Glenn Headly.
After her career in film, Vicki became a stay-at-home mom in Arizona, dedicated to raising her only daughter, Christina, and frequently volunteering in her daughter’s schools. In her daughter’s childhood, Victoria raised her on a ranch in Kingman, AZ which she maintained herself.
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 Taft, had also been in the Lion’s Club. Vicki kept a copy of her mother’s poetry book from high school and wanted to pass on memories from the Tafts.
Vicki was facetious, independent, honest, trustworthy, caring, dependable, sarcastic, smart, modest, stubborn, social, and loyal. She cared about others more than herself and always thought the world was better than it was. She held high standards as a parent and socialized at lunches in the community. Vicki is remembered by her Paradise neighbors and friends for her warm smile and generosity.
Vicki preferred the beach, shopping, colors, culture, outdoors, 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 Steward, Elton John, The Doors, and the Eagles. In the late 1960s, she was a publicity agent and rock groupie for The Doors. Her resume states she enjoyed tennis, swimming, yachting, and spoke conversational french. She often was on her laptop browsing and 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 years, she 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 before moving to Oregon to her own ranch and practiced business, lending finances and once trying to open a hotel.
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