The Strange And Troubled Life Of A Classic Sex Kitten!
Here’s a wild story: a promising new Star avoids being murdered by Charles Manson and his gang, is touted as the “star of the future”, takes on a second persona in order to appear as a Playboy Playmate…goes to the Moon and ultimately goes to prison for shooting her husband!
The Wild Life Of Actress Victoria Vetri!
You can’t make this story up: she was an incredibly talented Sex Kitten in the 1970’s whose real life went far off track…my “2022 Sex Kitten Countdown” has her career highlights and personal strife.
Ready for a wild ride? Buckle Up!
The Compelling Story Of Victoria Vetri AKA Playmate Angela Dorian!
This is a crazy tale. Victoria Vetri was born in San Francisco. Her father was a restaurateur from Sicily and her mother a Broadway singer from Rome.
She had the look that seems to ensure she would be a star!
Victoria began Modeling, and it was no time before Playboy reached out to have her pose – yet she chose not to use her real name.
Victoria Becomes Angela Dorian!
Victoria changed her name to Angela Dorian when she posed for Playboy. She was chosen Playboy’s Playmate of the Month for September 1967 issue and was the 1968 Playmate of the Year.
Vetri won $20,000 and a new car – an all pink 1968 AMC AMX – when she was selected Playmate of the Year.
But an even wilder honor was ahead!
Victoria AKA Angela was about to go to the moon!
Angela’s “Out Of This World” Trip!
Ready for this? Dorian went to the moon!
A nude photo of her (along with fellow playmates Leslie Bianchini, Reagan Wilson, and Cynthia Myers) was inserted into Apollo 12 Extra-vehicular activity astronaut cuff checklists by pranksters at NASA.
That photo was pasted into astronaut Charles Conrad’s Apollo 12 lunar-surface checklist by the Apollo backup crew. Conrad wore the checklist on his spacesuit cuff and first found the photo during his walk on the moon. The caption read, “Seen any interesting hills and valleys?”
Her Playboy photo shoots were the first instance where it seemed drama would follow her. During one of her “Playboy” photo sessions, she was being photographed while reclining in a hammock that gave way. She suffered two broken ribs!
A Dangerous Movie Debut…
In another example of the real life drama in her life, Vetri made her film debut in one of the most shocking films ever!
She had one scene in the classic horror film “Rosemary’s Baby”, directed by Roman Polanski. Because of that, she became close friends with Sharon Tate, wife of the Director Roman Polanski. On the night of August 8 and 9, 1969, Tate invited Vetri to her house while the director was away. Victoria didn’t go.
That was the night Tate and four others were massacred by Manson’s sick followers!
With that near tragedy behind her, Victoria scored a plum movie role – one that was designed to make her a star!
In January 1969, Vetri signed a multi-picture contract with Warner Bros.-Seven Arts and was given a starring role in “When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth!”
This was in the wake of the success of “One Million Years BC” starring Raquel Welh, and it seemed that every studio was looking for their own sexy cave girl!
Check out this vintage trailer:
The film was pretty goofy, but it did give Vetri a chance to show herself off onscreen – and the blonde beauty too full advantage…but was she really blonde?
It turns out that she refused to have her hair turned blonde from its natural auburn for the film. The story required a blonde, so Vetri demanded a wig instead!
Next up, another film that gave Victoria a chance to show it all off!
Here’s the plot of this 1973 sex farce:
Chris has an affair with Dennis. Dennis invites the couple to dinner with his ex-girlfriend Jan. Jan meets Phil, who later sleeps with Chris. Phil brings in Elaine. It becomes a “group marriage!”
Check out the trailer:
Strangely, the poster misspells Vetri’s name – it says VERTI!
Also, did you see that Claudia Jennings also appeared in this? You remember her from the classic exploitation film “Gator Bait!”
You can see more about this Cult Movie Queen’s revealing career by clicking on my story here:
Next up, Vetri appeared in a classic slice of sexploitation!
“Invasion Of The Bee Girls”
This 1973 sci-fi gem is pure cult fun!
A powerful cosmic force is turning Earth women into queen bees who kill men by wearing them out sexually!
Check out this wild trailer!
Victoria plays a research Assistant who gets caught up in the mysterious deaths of men in a town where a secret lab is located. It turns out they are mating with men – loving them to death!
Victoria finds herself being prepped to become a killer bee woman!
A horrified Hollywood newcomer, Screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, tried to have his name removed from the screen credits but was talked out of it by his manager. Meyer went on to direct two “Star Trek” films as well as the cult classic “Time After Time” among many other hits.
Anitra Ford was also in the film:
This Actress went on to have a unique career as well…see all of her career highlights here:
So Vetri was on a roll – with cult movies, Playboy pictorials and more!
But with all of that, it was suddenly over – after a role in a TV series a year later, that was it for Victoria’s acting career!
In fact, one of her biggest roles was one that she didn’t do!
Vetri has been incorrectly identified as playing the role of the “human form of a shape-shifting cat” in the Star Trek episode “Assignment: Earth”!
Vetri emphatically states she never appeared on Star Trek, saying:
“I was never in an episode of STAR TREK. I know that people think I was […] I am not sure who she was. Look close enough and you can see that she has blue eyes and I, of course, have brown.”
From here, Vetri’s story takes more dangerous turns.
Here is some trivia from the terrific website IMDB.com:
“She was the victim of a brutal attack in her house in Hollywood in 1980, suffering a broken nose and broken ribs. The perpetrators were never caught.”
Vetri was seen again however: she posed topless for the April 1984 Playboy pictorial Playmates Forever! Part Two.
She was married several times, but her life took another wildly dangerous turn when She married Bruce Rathgeb in 1986.
Victoria’s Notorious Shooting Incident…
Victoria made headlines worldwide when she was charged with attempted murder after allegedly shooting Rathgeb from close range inside the Hollywood apartment they were sharing after an argument on Saturday, October 16, 2010.
The Los Angeles Police arrested Vetri, and a Judge denied her Attorney’s request for a reduction of the charge of attempted murder. She was ordered to stand trial – but sometime between January and September 2011, the charge against Vetri was reduced to attempted voluntary manslaughter. She entered a plea of no contest. The judge sentenced her to nine years in state prison.
According to an online report:
“Rathgreb describes how former Playboy playmate wife Victoria Vetri shot him in the back because she ‘became delusional and believed he was Charles Manson’ after he killed her best friend Sharon Tate.”
Such a sad end to her career – after serving time, she was released on parole in April 2018.
At very sad ending to a wild True Hollywood Story. She has said she wants to act again, but we will see…I choose to remember her halcyon days of the 70’s…
As you saw, Hollywood attempted to make her a sex kitten in a dinosaur movie – and she wansn’t the first:
Julie Ege was called “the new Raquel Welch” as well – and you can see her wild career by clicking on my story here:
There will only be ONE Raquel:
She is an icon, with so many great films to her credit…you can see more of her revealing work by clicking on my story here:
Raquel made it through this wild decade intact, and so did this Cult Actress:
Susan George was “Dirty Mary” and had other wild roles as well!
See them all here:
I began this story with her “trip to the moon” – well, a few other Playmates went along pictorially as well:
Cynthia Myers was not only one of those involved, but she was a finalist for “Playmate Of The Century” as well!
See her story here:
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Categories: 70's Films, Books / Media, Camp Cult Classics, Classic Horror, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites