Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Yvonne De Carlo, R. I. P.

Okay, you might remember her for The Munsters or maybe for The Ten Commandments. What I remember her for is movies like Black Bart, Calamity Jane and Sam Bass, and The Desert Hawk. These were the B-movies of my kidhood, and I loved every minute of them, especially Ms. De Carlo.

AP Wire | 01/10/2007 | Yvonne De Carlo, star of TV's 'Munsters,' dies in LA at 84: "LOS ANGELES - Yvonne 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,' has died. She was 84.

De Carlo died of natural causes Monday at the Motion Picture & Television facility in suburban Woodland Hills, 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 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 scary household."


  1. Isn't the Motion Picture Home the celebrity equivalent to the Poor House? I know Larry Fine of The Three Stoges ended up there. I was never a Munsters fan, but I did like DeCarlo, and for the movies you cite. RIP

  2. She'd had a stroke, and I think she was in a care facility.

  3. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Man I remember her in those slinky costume epics of the late 40s and 50s. Always a babe. -Ed Gorman

  4. One of the studios (Universal?) used to promote her at one time as "the world's most beautiful woman".
    The kinda woman a hardboiled guy like Burt Lancaster would march into noir hell for gladly (Criss Cross).

  5. Lancaster was no dummy.

  6. I remember the story of how she came to be cast in the John Wayne movie McLintock! (still a guilty pleasure of mine - John Wayne's take on Taming Of The Shrew). She was married to a stuntman who had lost both his legs doing a stunt. Wayne had a long standing empathy for stuntmen going back to his day doing B (C and D) pictures so he hire Yvonne DeCarlo to play his housekeeper, and the object of Maureen O'Hara's red headed jealousy. She doesn't have that many scenes, but the drunk scene on the stairs is one of the best things in the movie.

  7. Yes, she was funny in that. I have a feeling the movie's not shown much now. Very un-feminist in its point of view.

  8. Anonymous12:29 PM

    I am one of her younger fans....I wanted to one day meet Yvonne DeCarlo.....what a shame I never got the chance to. She was one of the most beautiful actresses of the 40's & 50's. I love watching classic movies....