The Inspiration Behind Jessica Rabbit, Vikki “The Back” Dougan.


Black and white photo of Vikki "The Back" Dougan Colorized

I remember my father taking me to see “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in the movie theater when it first came out. I was about 9 years old at the time and like many kids that age that saw the film, I was blown away by the odd and original way of mixing the adult themes  of the real world with the animated cartoons I had known and loved.

As an adult I look back at that film and realize that there are some really dark undertones and parallels to real world issues. The fact that the toons worked in night clubs but were not allowed to fraternize is reminiscent of the cotton club in Harlem where some of the greatest black jazz players performed for a whites-only audience, Eddie’s alcoholism playing a prominent role in the plot and, of course, the sexed up Jessica Rabbit. 

Vikki Dougan was the primary inspiration behind the Jessica Rabbit character, although some suggest she is an amalgam of Vikki and Veronica Lake. Vikki Dougan or “The Back” as she was nicknamed, was never really known for her movie roles but more for modeling and crashing Hollywood parties in her backless dresses. Vikki faded out of the limelight in 1959 and hasn’t been heard from since. 

My full size colorization is below as well as the full size black and white photo. Feel free to share this colorized photo on your social network of choice or leave a comment or question in the comment section below. 

Black and white photo of Vikki "The Back" Dougan Colorized

Black and white photo of Vikki "The Back" Dougan Colorized

All photo colorization found within Metacolor is completed by hand using a Wacom Graphic Tablet and Adobe Photoshop CC software. All website design, writing and photo colorization/restoration found within is the sole work of Wayne Degan.


  1. David
    August 6, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Hey Wayne, looking at this photo and realizing there are millions of colors available, how many layers, roughly, did you have for this image?

    • MetaColor
      August 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Hey David, I would say I used about 50 to 60 layers for this photo, perhaps a bit more.

  2. Shae
    September 17, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    You are absolutely amazing. What stunning work, to pump life back into Ms. Dougan’s shot. It feels like I am stuck on the diving board and in awe of her beauty. Such a moment in time that was captured here…way to bring it to life.

    • MetaColor
      September 18, 2015 at 1:07 am

      Thank you! I am glad you like it.

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