Book Details Yvonne De Carlo’s Heartbreaking Reaction After Seeing Herself In ‘Munsters’ For First Time


Yvonne De Carlo’s most famous role as Lily Munster in the CBS sitcom, The Munsters came after she starred in the ‘40s “sex and sand” movies like Song of Scheherazade, Slave Girl, and Casbah, as well as Westerns where she played dance hall girl and sassy siren parts.

She also starred in The Ten Commandments in the mid-50s and Band of Angels in the following year, where she co-starred alongside Clark Gable. Amidst the iconic films Yvonne has worked on, former Toronto Star TV columnist James Bawden wrote that she spoke about her experience playing the lead role in the TV series The Munsters for his book, You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet.


Yvonne burst into tears over Lily Munster

THE MUNSTERS’ REVENGE, Yvonne De Carlo, 1981

In his chronicles of interviews with top stars from Hollywood’s golden era of filmmaking, John documented his chat with Yvonne in 1975 at the fall TV season preview in Los Angeles. “She said when they put her in the green makeup, she burst into tears. She said, ‘So it’s come to this?’” he said.


RELATED: Here’s What Happened To Actor Fred Gwynne, From ‘The Munsters’ To ‘My Cousin Vinny’

He also revealed how elated she was at the movie’s success which consequently topped the list as her biggest hit. “Everywhere I go, kids would be pointing at me and asking if I really was Lily Munster,” she had said. “In Hollywood, you have to roll with the punches if you want to keep working. Older women had to resort to monster movies. I played a monster, but it was a funny one.”

MUNSTER, GO HOME, from left, Yvonne De Carlo, Fred Gwynne, 1966

‘Munsters’ made Yvonne ‘hot again’

Yvonne, who changed her name from Margaret Yvonne Middleton for her career, said The Munsters made her “hot again” by giving her a new young audience. “It meant security,” she noted. The series, which aired from 1964 to 1966, told the story of a friendly monster family who sought to know why people reacted strangely to them.

THE MUNSTERS, Yvonne De Carlo, 1964-66

Yvonne was grateful to have played the glamorous ghoul wife of Fred Gwynne’s bumbling character, Herman Munster. “After a while, she came to like playing a monster because she wasn’t really able to do comedy until then…and glamor girls, by the time they’re 40, their Hollywood careers are usually over,” James recalled from their conversation.

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