Auntie Fee, food video star, dies at 59

Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Auntie Fee, a South L.A. homemaker who became an Internet sensation for her foul mouth and fried food recipes, has died, according to a family member.

Felicia O'Dell, 59, who won viral fame in 2014 after her son posted a four-minute clip of her cooking some dough-covered "sweet treats for the kids," died Friday at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, her brother June O'Dell said Saturday.

In a Facebook post, O'Dell's son Tavis Hunter wrote that "God made the decision to take my mother home," and added that "she can finally be happy."

Thousands of condolences have poured in from friends and the hundreds of thousands of people who followed Fee on Facebook.

O'Dell, who had been in critical condition after suffering a heart attack, had landed in magazines, newspapers and on television shows, including "Jimmy Kimmel Live." after her kitchen antics attracted attention. She was even cast for a reported role in an upcoming film.

On Wednesday, June O'Dell said the family was in pain as Fee remained unresponsive at Harbor-UCLA. On Tuesday night, TMZ mistakenly reported she had died and her fans mourned her on Facebook, where she has more than 700,000 followers.

Fee's fame has come with no small amount of criticism. Some have called her illiterate, unsanitary and unscripted -- a bad example for other blacks. They have said her dishes -- loaded with butter, sugar and grease -- will send people to an early grave.

Despite the criticism, Fee stayed true to her style.

"I'm gonna keep it 100 and be me," she said in a 2015 Los Angeles Times profile. "Ain't nobody gonna tell me I gotta do this, I gotta do that."

On Wednesday, O'Dell said Fee refused to change her eating habits. She liked to say she took after her father, who ate everything he ever wanted and lived to be 99.


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