Advertisement

Auntie Fee, the South L.A. personality whose foul mouth and fried food made her an Internet sensation, dies at 59

Auntie Fee, the South L.A. personality whose foul mouth and fried food made her an Internet sensation, dies at 59
YouTube cooking sensation Felicia O'Dell, better known as Auntie Fee, shields herself from grease splatter while cooking pork cracklings in her home in South Los Angeles in 2015. (Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times)

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 early Friday at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, her brother June O'Dell said Saturday.

Advertisement

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 O'Dell 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 garnered her 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 Medical Center. On Tuesday night, TMZ mistakenly reported she had died and her fans mourned her on Facebook, where she has more than 700,00 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 black folks. 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."

Felicia O'Dell, better known as Auntie Fee, became a YouTube personality after her son posted a video of her cooking. Her language -- foul-mouthed and hilarious -- earned her appearances on TV with Jimmy Kimmel and Steve Harvey.

Millions have tuned in to watch her homemade videos. From Texas to Norway, viewers have thanked her for keeping it real and making them laugh.

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.

"It turns out she took after our mother, who struggled with high blood pressure and diabetes," O'Dell said.

Almost every day, Fee's kitchen has been a revolving door of hungry friends and family. They all loved to watch her cook and looked forward to the hilarious things she'd say.

Her love for one ingredient in particular was always apparent.

"I'll marry lard," she told The Times. "Lard is the Lord."

Times staff writer Christine Mai-Duc contributed to this report.

Advertisement

Twitter: @LATBermudez

ALSO

UPDATES:

3:36 p.m.: This post was updated Saturday with confirmation of Auntie Fee's death.

This article was originally posted on March 15 at 2:15 p.m.

Advertisement
Advertisement