One of the Most Beautiful Women in the World: Yvonne De Carlo

I was sorry to read about the death of actress Yvonne De Carlo, star of The Munsters, who died on Monday of natural causes aged 84.

The Munsters, which ran for two seasons and enjoyed a couple of follow up movies never achieved the cult following of The Addams Family but it was a show I enjoyed as a youngster, more especially for the TV21 strip (panel for #71, right) that helped bring the comedy to my youthful attention.

With the death of Yvonne, the core cast of The Munsters has now passed on: Fred Gwynne (Herman) died in 1993, a versatile character actor typecast by his role in the offbeat comedy according to the Munsterland web site. The wonderful Al Lewis (Grandpa) died last year aged 82.

Butch Patrick (Eddie) is still very active – even making occasional Hallowe’en appearances at a reproduction of the Munsters famous 1313 Mockingbird Lane House in Texas. You may have seen him guest starring in a 1999 episode of The Simpsons. Beverley Owen was the first actress to play Marilyn Munster (but reticient to talk about it), while Pat Priest, her permanent replacement as the long suffering humans in the Munster family, often makes personal appearances. (There’s one more Marilyn, – in 1966, Debbie Watson played the role in Munster, Go Home! , replacing Pat Priest).

Strange that, as with some of the Star Trek guest stars featured in the Star Trek Magazine I’ve edited in the past, Carlo will be remembered for her Munsters role, “the vampire mom to millions of baby boomers,” according to her longtime friend and television producer Kevin Burns, rather than her work in films such as The Ten Commandments, Band of Angels or as one of the 1940s and 1950s top beauty queens, a lady Burns says was “one of the most beautiful women in the world., one of the great glamour queens of Hollywood, one of the last ones.”

Goodbye, Yvonne. You will be missed.

Categories: Television

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