She was 13 years old when she stepped on to a stage for the very first time.
It was at Baker High, a school that no longer exists in an auditorium that was taken down by a wrecking ball.
She was Vicki Morales, a self-professed Army brat who could sing, dance and play the piano. Her father, Mario, played trumpet in the Fort Benning band and her mother, Ruby, sold real estate. Together, they had dreams.
Those dreams ended Saturday.
Never miss a local story.
That little girl from the southside of Columbus died in New York City. Her stage name was Victoria Mallory. Her married name was Victoria Lambert. But back home, she was always Vicki Morales.
Her death came 25 days after her mother's unexpected death and 19 days after the feisty redhead was laid to rest at the Main Post Cemetery.
They would have been proud to read Vicki's final reviews. She was praised on websites devoted to Broadway and on ones that cover soap operas.
She was a working actress most of her adult life. She won nine Tony Awards, was an Emmy nominee and at the age of 64 she was remembered by her peers.
Friends also remember.
Betty Auten was musical director of "The Fantasticks" in 1963. Parts were cast, Except for one. Charles Jones, the director of the Columbus Little Theater, asked Bryan Grant, who taught French and directed the chorus at Baker High, if he knew someone who might sing that important role.
"Indeed he did. He sent 13-year-old Vicki and we were speechless," said Auten, a friend of more than 50 years.
Raymond Campbell taught her English at Baker and was in that play at the Columbus Museum.
"She was extremely talented even then," says Campbell, a veteran of the Springer theater stage. "She had a gorgeous voice with a special timber. I remember us celebrating her 14th birthday during the play."
Vicki and her singing partner, Kurt Peterson, came home to the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts last year to present a show they intended to take on the road.
Health interfered. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July and chose not to undergo typical treatments.
Friends in New York remember her for her work in Stephen Sondheim musicals and TV viewers remember her six years on "The Young and the Restless," a long-running soap opera on CBS.
Memories here go deeper.
"She was a special person," Campbell says. "She never thought she was more talented than anyone else."
Broadway diva Betty Buckley would disagree.
"When I saw her in 'Little Night Music,' hearing her and seeing her sing changed my life. I had never seen anyone sing with such effortless ease and grace. I loved Vicki so very much. She was an angel person."