Thursday, January 11, 2007

R.I.P. Yvonne DeCarlo

Our first major celebrity passing of the new year is actress Yvonne DeCarlo—better known as the matriarch of "The Munsters"—who died yesterday at age 84.  That character was perfect for her—Lily could rag on Herman a lot and be a bee-yatch sometimes, but overall she was alright in my book, and as TV moms go, I’d put her right up there with Mrs. C. and Shirley Partridge.  A lot of people don’t know that Yvonne DeCarlo was a fairly serious movie actress (and singer) back in the ‘40s and ‘50s, and was quite the hottie in her day, often playing seductresses and femme-fatales.  She initially was reluctant to even do Lily Munster, but her husband was a Hollywood stuntman who was seriously injured while filming How The West Was Won long about that time and they really needed the paycheck, thus a legend was born.  If nothing else, you have to admire her stamina in doing that show day-in and day-out—didn’t it look as if that wig she wore weighed more than she did?  Unfortunately, she was typecast by Lily after "The Munsters" went off the air, and was reduced to roles in crappy B-movie schlock like Blazing Stewardesses and Satan’s Cheerleaders, the occasional "Fantasy Island"/"Love Boat" spot, and doing denture commercials on TV, but bless her heart for being the most delightfully ghoulish housewife of all-time—now reunited with Herman and Grandpa in that Great Crypt in the Sky!