Halloween Costumes- CLICK HERE!


Joan Marshall as Phoebe Munster

Credits from the pilot episode

Lower Right:
Biography and Film credits

Below: The many personalities of Joan
Joan Marshall as Phoebe
Joan 2

Joan as a brunette


Joan Marshall in her younger days

Phoebe was played by Joan Marshall

Joan was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1931 and began attending St. Clement School. She auditioned for the job of a showgirl at Chicago's Chez Paree nightclub and later appeared in Las Vegas productions. There she met her first husband. She had a son named Steven and a daughter named Shari who was born three years later.

She later moved to Beverly Hills. Her agent Jerry Lauren sent her to producer-director William Castle who cast her for Homicidal in 1961. After her character hacked its way to the film's finale - including chopping the head off a mute wheelchair woman - the thespian simultaneously appeared in the closing credits as both a man and a woman. For the part she had her blonde hair shorn and dyed black. To keep the audience unsure about her sex, she was billed as Jean Arless. She made a stunning performance as a wife AND husband. In 1963 she was cast as Phoebe Munster in the pilot for the up-coming TV series "The Munsters." She was replaced following the pilot by Yvonne DeCarlo. There were rumors she was secretly wed to Richard Chamberlain, but they were later determined to be only close friends.

After The Munsters pilot episode, she co-script TV sitcoms with her best friend from grammar school days, Dirk Wayne Summers. She later married director Hal Ashby. Her life became the inspiration for the film Shampoo, directed by her husband, Hal Ashby. For a year or so, late at night, Hal questioned her about her life before they were married. She told Hal her life story, who then co-wrote the screenplay of her life with Robert Towne. As a result, all of the film's characters were based on real people. The documentary filmmaker character in Shampoo, portrayed by actor Tony Bill, was based on Joan's brother. Joan appeared as Mrs. Schumann in the movie.

Joan divorced Hal and married business executive Mel Bartfield and settled in Jamaica. On June 28, 1992, she died in Jamaica. Her ashes were spread under her favorite tree on her property.
Joan Marshall

Date of birth (location)
9 June 1931
Chicago, Illinois, USA

Date of death (details)
28 June 1992

Mini biography
Born in Chicago in 1931, Joan attended St. Clement's School. Looking far... (show more)
Sometimes Credited As:
Jean Arless
Joan Marshall Ashby

Actress - filmography

  1. Shampoo (1975) .... Mrs. Schumann

  2. The Great Sex War (1969)
    ... aka Make Love Not War (Europe: English title)
  3. The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit (1968) .... Mimsey
  4. The Happiest Millionaire (1967) (uncredited) .... Maid
  5. Star Trek
  6. Looking for Love (1964) .... Miss Devine
  7. Tammy and the Doctor (1963) .... Pamela
  8. Homicidal (1961) (as Jean Arless) .... Emily

  9. "Bold Venture" (1959) TV Series .... Sailor Duval
  10. Live Fast, Die Young (1958) .... Judy Tobin

Miscellaneous Crew - filmography

A Star Is Born (1976) (assistant: Ms. Streisand) (as Joan Marshall Ashby)

 Happy and Phoebe

The Munsters- the unofficial website,  Copyright 2005
The Munsters is a registered trademark of Universal Studios

Back to the Munsters