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?
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.
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.
Marilyn Munster: Why all the formality,
Aunt Lily? It almost seems like the reading of a will...
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.
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.
Death Hag Johnny on the Findadeath Forum sends this:
Tony Curtis tells a funny story about Yvonne:
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.
Thanks David Scott for these great images -