Monday, October 26, 2009

Yvonne De Carlo

Before she was Lily Munster on the televison show The Munsters (1964-1966), Yvonne De Carlo graced the silver screen in such classics as McLintock (1963), The Ten Commandments (1956), Brute Force (1947) and Criss Cross (1949).

Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The daughter of an aspiring actress, Marie De Carlo, and a salesman, William Middleton.

She chose her own stage name by using her middle name and her mother's maiden name of De Carlo.

She was three years old when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet. Yvonne's mother wanted her to be in the entertainment field and enrolled her in a local dance school and also saw that she studied dramatics.

Yvonne was trained in opera and was a former chorister at St. Paul Angelica Church in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, when she was a little girl.

Before she was a successful actress, she was a dancer and had worked at various nightclubs in Vancouver, British Columbia.

In 1937, when Yvonne was 15, her mother took her to Hollywood to try for fame and fortune, but nothing came of it and they returned to Canada.

They returned to Hollywood in 1940, where Yvonne would dance in chorus lines at night while she checked in at the studios by day in search of film work. Yvonne's first film appearance was as an uncredited extra in the film I Look at You (1941). She went on to have many more uncredited roles in such films as Road to Morocco (1942), This Gun for Hire (1942), and For Whom The Bell Tolls (1943).

Yvonne De Carlo's first credited role was as Princess Wah-Tah in The Deerslayer (1943).

Yvonne's first title role was in Salome Where She Danced (1945) for Universal Pictures. Her next film was the western comedy Frontier Gal (1945). She went on to star in such films as Song of Scheherazade (1947), Brute Force (1947), Slave Girl (1947), Black Bart (1948), Casbah (1948), River Lady (1948), Criss Cross (1949), Silver City (1951), The Ten Commandments (1956), Band Of Angels (1957), McLintock (1963), The Power (1968) and The Seven Minutes (1971).

Yvonne's final film appearance was in 1991 in the comedy Oscar.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s Yvonne De Carlo appeared on such TV programs as Bonanza (1959), The Virginian (1962) and of course, The Munsters (1964).

Yvonne De Carlo took the part of Lily on The Munsters (1964) to help pay her husband Bob Morgan's medical bills. Morgan, an actor/stuntman, had suffered near-fatal injuries while filming How The West Was Won (1962). By her own admission, Yvonne De Carlo never imagined, at the time, that Lily Munster would become her most famous role.

Her last TV movie appearance was as Norma, in the 1995 Disney remake of The Barefoot Executive, opposite Eddie Albert.

On January 8, 2007, Yvonne De Carlo died at the age of 84.

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