September 1, 1922 - January 8, 2007
"I'm going into the kitchen and see to it that the
cheese dip doesn't crawl out of the dish."
Lily rocked. She was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver in 1922 and will forever be remembered as Lily from one of the greatest television shows of the
60's, The Munsters, which only ran for 2 years. 2 years. Yvonne had a long
career before that, appearing in loads of projects such as The Ten Commandments and Salome, but she pretty much defined the term B actress. She could have
been A. But she didn't. She made an amazing
B. How hot was she?! Nice too. I wrote her a fan letter and
she sent me the photograph above.
Off screen she had a very interesting love life. Flings with Howard Hughes, Burt Lancaster, Robert Stack, Billy Wilder,
and Aly Kahn
were among her many trysts. You can read more about Yvonne
in her autobiography, and on the IMDB.
By the way, I just watched a film that Yvonne did
in 1987 called American Gothic. Young people get stranded on
an island of homicidal maniacs. Those kids got everything they deserved.
Yvonne was married once to a stunt man named
Robert Morgan, and had two sons named Michael and Bruce. During a stunt
gone wrong while working on How The West Was Won, Bruce lost a leg
and was facially disfigured. According to some sources, this is why Yvonne
took the role of Lily Munster and became one the the coolest TV moms ever.
Lily Munster: [slightly annoyed]
What is so funny?
Herman Munster: It's this joke book. Listen to this one, Lily, It'll
Lily Munster: Well, it's a little late for that, but go ahead.
Yvonne's mother and son Michael died in 1997, and Yvonne suffered a stroke the
following year. According to an interview, her surviving son Bruce claims that
Michael's death was ruled natural officially, but he himself thinks he may have
been done in by "a drug dealer living in a half way house where he was
recovering from alcoholism."
At the end of her life, Yvonne was living in the
Motion Picture & Television
Hospital in Woodland Hills, Ca. She was in such poor health, she was
placed in long term hospital care.
Son Bruce was apparently with Yvonne when she died. In her final moments, according to Bruce, Yvonne looked to him and said,
"What's happening to me?" He told her to go to the light. She replied,
"Okay, I am" and died.
Notice gangrene is mentioned on the death certificate. Youch.
She died on January 8th 2007. She was 84.
Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant -- who himself would be dead a year and
two days later -- had flowers placed on
one of Yvonne's two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A memorial service was held on the 20th of January in the Louis B. Mayer
on the campus. My friend vendredi braved the self
important security guards to photograph the theater
(with a bust of the man himself in front) for me.
Afterward there was a reception in the Country House, hosted by her son Bruce. They showed old clips and movies from Yvonne's career. Vendredi
approached Bruce and asked if there were burial plans for
Yvonne. He mentioned trying to raise the money to have her cremains
scattered in her birthplace in Vancouver. According to his Myspace page,
he changed his mind and wanted her here in a "famous Hollywood
cemetery" probably meaning Hollywood Forever, though I think he's changed
his mind again. He also hawks Yvonne's old stuff at autograph
shows. I wouldn't mind having a little piece of Yvonne's
history. I do hope she
ends up at Hollywood Forever, though. I'd love to have her as my forever
Marilyn Munster: Why all the formality,
Aunt Lily? It almost seems like the reading of a will...
Lily Munster: I'm afraid it's not that happy an occasion.
A couple of years ago, I was passing George
Barris' shop in North Hollywood and decided to stop in and have a
peek. Super nice people, I asked them if they had the Munster Koach, as I heard. They said yes, and invited me back to have a look. This
is the way it looked during the run of the show, and this is me sitting in it.
Laugh, I thought I'd die.
Things you might not know: Yvonne sang opera and really did play the harp.
The Munsters home on the Universal
backlot was the home of the gay couple on Desperate Housewives.
Heres a shot I found somewhere online of The
Munsters at Marineland
Yvonne worked as a showgirl at the Florentine Gardens where Marilyn Monroe had her first wedding reception.
Thanks Vendredi and Kevin Hassell for your help.
I will leave you with one of my favorite Munsters moments - Grampa and
Lily enter a posh country club, genuine hilarity ensues.
Woman: Excuse me deary, I was just
admiring your ring.
Lily Munster: Oh, thank you.
Woman: Oh, it's simply gorgeous. Rhinestone?
Lily Munster: Oh, no, no, tombstone.
Death Hag Johnny on the Findadeath
Forum sends this:
Tony Curtis tells a funny story about Yvonne:
"When I left the Navy, I used the GI Bill to get into the Dramatic
Workshop, which was located at the President Theatre on Forty-eighth Street.
Walter Matthau and Harry Belafonte were students there, too. We were all just
trying to make it. Later on, I went out to California, and good things started
happening for me. When I came back to New York to do a promotion for City Across
the River, they gave me a suite at the Sherry-Netherland and a huge black limo.
I took it around to show my buddies in the Bronx and then went by the Dramatic
Workshop. It was a terrible, rainy afternoon, and who do I see out in front?
Walter Matthau. He's got a long, heavy coat on with a Racing Form sticking out
of the pocket, and he's looking down at the gutter. Here I am in this nice, warm
limo. And there he is, this grumpy guy surrounded by a cold, miserable world.
The look on his face says, "What's ever going to happen for me? Nothin'!"
So I tell the driver to pull alongside him and stop. Now Walter's watching the
limo. I roll the window down, look at him, and say, "I fucked Yvonne De Carlo!" Then I roll the window back up in a hurry and tell the driver to
get the hell out of there.
No, no, no, he wasn't mad! For years, Walter
loved to tell that story at parties. He'd make it last twenty minutes."
There is a house in Texas... a married couple
built it... a replica of the Munsters' home. No shit.
Here's the Story - Munster Mansion from Tracey Crooks on Vimeo.
Thanks David Scott for these great images
How about Fred