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Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily Munster

Right: Credits from the regular series

Lower Right:
Film credits

Below: The many personalities of Lily
Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily Munster
Lily in dress

Lily in Russian fur coat

Lilly in hat

Closeup of Lily in Russian furs

Lily Munster is played by Yvonne DeCarlo.

Yvonne was born on September 1, 1922. She passed away from natural causes at the age of 84 on January 8, 2007 Her film credits include:

pic of LilyOscar (1991)
American Gothic (1988)
Nocturna (1979)
Arizona Bushwhackers (1968)
Hostile Guns (1967)
Munster, Go Home (1966)
A Global Affair (1964)
Mclintock (1963)
Band of Angels (1957)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Death of a Scoundrel (1956)
Magic Fire (1956))
Flame of the Islands (1955)
Border River (1954)
The Captain's Paradise (1953)
Hotel Sahara (1951)
The Desert Hawk (1950)
Criss Cross (1949)
Calamity Jane and Sam Bass (1949)
The Gal Who Took the West (1949)
Black Bart (1948)
Casbah (1948)
Brute Force (1947)
Frontier Gal (1945)
Lily puckered

Lily in romantic garb
 Lily flying

Lily on the phone

Yvonne De Carlo, 'Munsters' star, dead
POSTED: 3:40 p.m. EST, January 10, 2007
De Carlo

Actress Yvonne De Carlo, dressed for her role as Lily Munster in the film "Munster, Go Home," poses in her car in the parking lot outside Universal Studios on March 25, 1966. De Carlo, the beautiful star who played Moses' wife in "The Ten Commandments" but achieved her greatest popularity on TV's slapstick comedy "The Munsters," died Monday, Jan. 8,2007, in suburban Los Angeles. She was 84. (AP Photo/Mike Smith)

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Yvonne De Carlo, the beautiful star who played Moses' wife in "The Ten Commandments" but achieved her greatest popularity on TV's "The Munsters," has died. She was 84.

De Carlo died of natural causes Monday at the Motion Picture & Television facility in suburban Los Angeles, longtime friend and television producer Kevin Burns said Wednesday.

De Carlo, whose shapely figure helped launch her career in B-movie desert adventures and Westerns, rose to more important roles in the 1950s. Later, she had a key role in a landmark Broadway musical, Stephen Sondheim's "Follies."

But for TV viewers, she will always be known as Lily Munster in the 1964-1966 slapstick horror-movie spoof "The Munsters." The series (the name allegedly derived from "fun-monsters") offered a gallery of Universal Pictures grotesques, including Dracula and Frankenstein's monster, in a cobwebbed gothic setting.

Lily, vampire-like in a black gown, presided over the faux scary household and was a rock for her gentle but often bumbling husband, Herman, played by 6-foot-5-inch character actor Fred Gwynne (decked out as the Frankenstein monster).

While it lasted only two years, the series had a long life in syndication and resulted in two feature movies, "Munster Go Home!" (1966) and "The Munsters' Revenge" (1981, for TV).

At the series' end, De Carlo commented: "It meant security. It gave me a new, young audience I wouldn't have had otherwise. It made me 'hot' again, which I wasn't for a while."

"I think she will best remembered as the definitive Lily Munster. She was the vampire mom to millions of baby boomers. In that sense, she's iconic," Burns said Wednesday.

"But it would be a shame if that's the only way she is remembered. She was also one of the biggest beauty queens of the '40s and '50s, one of the most beautiful women in the world. This was one of the great glamour queens of Hollywood, one of the last ones."

De Carlo was able to sustain a long career by repeatedly reinventing herself. A longtime student of voice, she sang opera at the Hollywood Bowl. When movie roles became scarce, she ventured into stage musicals.

Her greatest stage triumph came on Broadway in 1971 with "Follies," which won the 1972 Tony award for best original musical score. She belted out Sondheim's showstopping number, "I'm Still Here," a former star's defiant recounting of the highs and lows of her life and career.

Image: Yvonne De Carlo, Jimmy Stewart
AP file
Yvonne De Carlo and Jimmy Stewart are shown between scenes while working on separate movies in the same studio in Los Angeles on July 19, 1948.

Much romance

Over the years, De Carlo augmented her stardom by shrewd use of publicity. Gossip columnists reported her dates with famous men. In her 1987 book, "Yvonne: An Autobiography," she listed 22 of her lovers, who included Howard Hughes, Burt Lancaster, Robert Stack, Robert Taylor, Billy Wilder, Aly Khan and an Iranian prince.

The Canadian-born De Carlo began her career with a parade of bit parts in films of the early 1940s, then emerged as a star in 1945 with "Salome -- Where She Danced," a routine movie about a dancer from Vienna who becomes a spy in the wild West.

She recalled her entrance in the film: "I came through these beaded curtains, wearing a Japanese kimono and a Japanese headpiece, and then performed a Siamese dance. Nobody seemed to know quite why."

Universal Pictures exploited her slightly exotic looks and a shape that looked ideal in a harem dress in such "sex-and-sand" programmers as "Song of Scheherazade," "Slave Girl," "Casbah" and "Desert Hawk."

The studio also employed her to add zest to Westerns, usually as a dance-hall girl or a gun-toting sharpshooter. Among the titles: "Frontier Gal," "Black Bart" (as Lola Montez), "River Lady," "Calamity Jane and Sam Bass" (as Calamity Jane) and "The Gal Who Took the West."

In 1956 she veered from her former image when Cecil B. DeMille chose her to play Sephora, wife to Charlton Heston's Moses in "The Ten Commandments." The following year she co-starred with Clark Gable and Sidney Poitier in "Band of Angels" as Gable's upper-class sweetheart who learns of her black forebears.

Among her later films: "McClintock" (starring John Wayne), "A Global Affair" (Bob Hope), "Hostile Guns" (George Montgomery), "The Power" (George Hamilton), "American Gothic" (Rod Steiger) and "Oscar" (Sylvester Stallone).

De Carlo was born Peggy Yvonne Middleton in Vancouver, British Columbia, on September 1, 1922 (some sources say 1924). Abandoned by her father, she was raised by her mother in poor circumstances. The girl took dancing lessons and dropped out of high school to work in night clubs and local theaters. She continued dancing in clubs when she and her mother moved to Los Angeles.

Paramount Pictures signed her to a contract in 1942, and she adopted her middle name and her mother's middle name. Dropped by Paramount after 20 minor roles, she landed at Universal, which cast her as the B-picture version of the studio's sultry star Maria Montez.

In 1955, De Carlo married Bob Morgan, a topflight stunt man, and the marriage produced two sons, Bruce and Michael, as well as much-publicized separations and reconciliations.

During a stunt aboard a moving log train for "How the West Was Won," Morgan was thrown underneath the wheels. The accident cost him a leg, and for a time De Carlo abandoned her career to care for him. They later divorced.

In her late years, De Carlo lived in semiretirement near Solvang, north of Santa Barbara. Her son Michael died in 1997, and she suffered a stroke the following year.

Yvonne in her 80'sLOS ANGELES - Actress Yvonne De Carlo, who starred in films opposite Clark Gable and Charlton Heston but won enduring fame as wife of a Frankenstein monster-like character in the TV series "The Munsters," has died at age 84, her son said on Wednesday.

Bruce Morgan said his mother, who played Moses' wife in Cecil B. De Mille's 1956 epic "The Ten Commandments," died of natural causes on Monday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Retirement Home in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills.

"She passed away in my arms on Monday," Morgan said, adding that she had been in declining health for several years.

Born in Vancouver, De Carlo was raised in poverty and had to drop out of high school to work. But she won a beauty contest and used that as an entree to bit parts in movies, starting in the 1940s.

She had bit parts in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943) and "The Road to Morocco" (1941). But in 1945, she won a key role in "Salome, Where She Danced," about a ballerina who lands in a small Arizona town.

Paramount signed De Carlo, it was said, because she resembled its major star, Dorothy Lamour, and executives there wanted to warn Lamour that she could be replaced if she gave the studio trouble.

De Carlo appeared in such B-movie staples as "Frontier Gal," "Scarlet Angel" and "Shotgun," showing off an hour-glass figure that won her many fans.


While most of the films she made during that period were forgettable, she starred as one of Alec Guinness's two wives in the British comedy classic "The Captain's Paradise" and opposite Heston as Moses' wife in "The Ten Commandments." She also appeared with Gable and Sidney Poitier in 1957's "Band of Angels."

She dropped out of films in 1959 to raise a family, but returned to work in television, where she became a cult favorite as the heavily made-up, ghoulish Lily Munster on the popular sitcom "The Munsters."

From 1964 to 1966, she played opposite Fred Gwynne, who starred as her good-natured but scary-looking spouse, Herman Munster, the head of an oddball family who lived in a big, creepy house at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.

She made nearly 100 films in all, played on Broadway, most famously in Stephen Sondheim's "Follies," and made guest appearances on such TV series as "Bonanza" and "The Virginian."

In a 1987 autobiography, she claimed to have had affairs with several of Hollywood's leading figures, including Howard Hughes, Robert Taylor and Billy Wilder.

Before her death, she performed supporting roles in two independent movies that have yet to be released, playing a psychic who channels UFOs in one and an orphanage nun during World War Two in the other, Morgan said.

"So she's not done yet," he told Reuters.

Her last screen role seen before her death was as an eccentric apartment dweller in the 1995 TV movie "The Barefoot Executive," said her longtime agent, Scott Stander.

"She was quite a pistol," Stander said. "She aged gracefully, she was a beautiful lady."

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