remember waking up one morning in San Francisco (no comment), and hearing the
news that Fred Gwynne was terminally ill.
That was in May of 1993.
Fred's agent made a statement to the press, "He's decided to retire
from doing anything."
She also said that Fred is healthy, happy and working his herd of Angus
cattle on a Virginia farm.
What a smoke screen.
Here's the scoop.
owe a sincere debt of gratitude to two brand new friends of Findadeath.com, Rob
Hoehn and Greg Williams.
These guys took part of their Thanksgiving weekend, to travel to
Hooterville (or thereabouts) to get the photographs for this story.
Thank you so much guys.
Fred wasn't healthy at all.
Within 2 months of that statement, he was dead.
He was best known to all of us - as Herman Munster, head of the clan on
that fantastic television show.
He tried like hell to get away from the image, but it would never leave
cares about Car
54, Where Are You?, My
Cousin Vinny, or even Pet
Sematary (okay, we liked that one.)?
The Munsters were IT.
Fred was asked in 1982 about his favourite roles.
He mentioned a lot of plays and Cat
on a Hot Tin Roof, then he paused.
"And I might as well tell you the truth, I love old Herman Munster.
Much as I try not to, I can't stop liking that fellow."
he died in peace.
Update Dec 99 - Findadeath.com friend Nora Lee Liederbach from the Hilton U. Brown Branch Library reminded me that Fred also penned a few children's books. Most notably, "A Little Pigeon Toad," "The King Who Rained," "Pondlarker," and "Chocolate Moose for Dinner." Nora tells me that his books were and still are popular with families. Thanks Nora!
discovered he was ill in January of 93.
A CAT scan on February 3 confirmed the illness, and he underwent surgery
at the famed John Hopkins Medical Center, in Baltimore.
They found that the cancer had spread to his liver, and the doctors were
unable to get it all.
He was put on a chemo program.
Not very long before he got the bad news, he and his wife Deborah bought a farm in a place called Taneytown, Maryland, about 40 miles Northeast of Baltimore.
farm was located on Stone
Road, near Bert Koontz (?) road, in Taneytown.
Fred succumbed to the cancer at 8am, on Friday July 2nd, in this
the house from another
angle. He was 66 years old.
This is the Universal Studios Tour. I want to do this tour. The was it was then, right now.
next day, July 3rd, Fred was taken to the Sandymount
Methodist Church, for a brief service.
The funeral was private, probably only attended by his wife and four
children. Afterwards, he was buried in an unmarked grave, in
Could be anywhere.
June 2007 - my friend Kathleen sends this:
Steal Herman Munster's Identity
Insane couple build the Munsters house! I envy them. How cool are they?
for the rest of the cast:
DeCarlo played Lily Munster.
I really don't know much about what she has been up to.
There was that dreadful new Munsters "grouping" for television,
and she showed up in that.
I do have a funny story about a guy I know calling Yvonne late one night,
pretending to be Carol Channing.
I guess that really doesnt count.
He had her fooled though.
Thanks to Ronnie Couch for the following info: She reprised
the role of Lily in "The Munsters' Revenge," a 1981 NBC made-for-TV movie. DeCarlo's most recent film appearance was in "Oscar" (1991). In
the past few years, she has made many television appearances and written her autobiography, YVONNE.
Thanks to Ronnie Couch for the following info: She reprised the role of Lily in "The Munsters' Revenge," a 1981 NBC made-for-TV movie. DeCarlo's most recent film appearance was in "Oscar" (1991). In the past few years, she has made many television appearances and written her autobiography, YVONNE.
Al Lewis died in 2006, at the age of 82. Turns out he lied about his age for so many years, claiming he was OLDer. Wild old lunatic. RIP Grampa.
Pat Priest played Marilyn Munster. What a groovy chick. She's retired now and living on some farm in the middle of nowhere. She has got wise, and her son manages her autograph sessions now, and she makes a decent wage doing that. Here's her photo catalogue.
Butch Patrick -
What a handful.
He played Eddie.
He's been in and out of so much trouble.
In 1979, he was busted and did time, for having more than 200 quaaludes
on him. My friend Bun and I had an opportunity to meet him on
As you can see, he disturbingly donned his Eddie garb. He was arrested a
day or so later, for not paying a limo driver and hitting him because he kept
getting lost. Can't
say I blame him.
Butch, not the driver.
Butch received a 30-month probation sentence for the mishap.
He moved to Georgia.
In 1996 - he was driving with a suspended license, and failed to yield,
hitting a car.
He got in to trouble.
Trivia: Do you remember the episode where Eddie wins a trip to see his favourite TV idol, Zombo? Then he discovers that Zombo isn't really a monster after all, and Eddie exposes the hoax. I love that one. An actor named Louis Nye played Zombo. I met Louie once, when I was hanging out with the Beverly Hillbillies (its a long story, and when I do a Nancy Kulp/Irene Ryan story, I'll fill you in.). Anyway, here's Louis and myself. A very nice man.
just so you don't go away thinking you haven't learned anything useful, here is
marker from outside the church.
there are The
Thank you again, Rob and Greg.
Anyone have anything to add?
Please feel free to get in touch!
October 2000 - Findadeath.com friend Joe Gardner sends this in:
In 1980, NBC was thinking to themselves, "Hey, let's
make a Munsters TV movie. If it is successful, maybe another series!" They wanted to bring back Fred
Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, and Al Lewis, all from the original series. I suppose they didn't want it to be a
When they called up Gwynne, he of course was still trying to live down his
Herman Munster image. His wife told him to name some astronomical figure for the part, so that perhaps, if
he was going to play Herman, he was going to get paid! The producers accepted! Fred was promised his original
make-up artist from the TV show as well. They felt like it was old times on set, but sadly the movie
didn't hit it off, when it aired in February of 1981.
September 06 My pal Steve Cox has a new updated version of his Spectacular Munster's book!
Butch Patrick - who played Eddie - has his own website.