Auntie Fee, a South L.A. homemaker who became an Internet sensation for her foul mouth and fried food recipes, was in critical condition Wednesday after suffering a heart attack, her family said.
Felicia O’Dell, 59, won viral fame in 2014 after her son posted a four-minute clip of her cooking some dough-covered “sweet treats for the kids.”
Ever since then, her kitchen antics have landed her in magazines, newspapers and on television shows, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” She was even cast for a reported role in an upcoming film.
On Wednesday, brother 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.
“She’s in pretty bad shape,” O’Dell said. “But we’re praying she pulls out of this.”
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 you to an early grave.
Despite the criticism, Fee has 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.”
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 years old.
“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.”