Today is the 93rd birthday of Yvonne DeCarlo. Reinvention. I love it. There are risks and challenges, but also great rewards. One being the confusion of others. It is not only in Hollywood that people get typecast. People love to attach quick descriptors to people, to categorize them for easy processing. When you do something that appears to be out of character, it messes with people’s heads and is brilliant. Moses’ mother and Lilly Munster? What? That is the same women? The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.
NAME: Yvonne DeCarlo
OCCUPATION: Film Actress, Television Actress, Pin-up
BIRTH DATE: September 01, 1922
DEATH DATE: January 08, 2007
PLACE OF BIRTH: Point Gray, Canada
PLACE OF DEATH: Woodland Hills, California
BEST KNOWN FOR: Actress Yvonne DeCarlo was Moses’ wife in DeMille’s The Ten Commandments, but is better known for playing the matriarch on TV’s The Munsters.
Yvonne De Carlo was a Canadian-born American actress of film and television. During her six-decade career, her most frequent appearances in film came in the 1940s and 1950s and included her best-known film roles, such as of Anna Marie in Salome Where She Danced (1945); Anna in Criss Cross (1949); Sephora the wife of Moses in The Ten Commandments (1956), starring Charlton Heston; and Amantha Starr in Band of Angels (1957) with Clark Gable. In the early 1960s, De Carlo accepted the offer to play Lily Munster for the CBS television series The Munsters, alongside Fred Gwynne and Al Lewis.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Yvonne De Carlo was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6124 Hollywood Blvd. and a second star at 6715 Hollywood Blvd. for her contribution to television.
The year 1964 was a rocky one for De Carlo, as she was deeply in debt. After having worked for over 30 years, her film career came to a sudden end, and she was suffering from depression. She signed a contract with Universal Studios after receiving an offer to perform the female lead role in The Munsters opposite Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster. She was also the producers’ choice to play Lily Munster when Joan Marshall, who played Phoebe, was dropped from consideration for the role. When De Carlo was asked how a glamorous actress could succeed as a ghoulish matriarch of a haunted house, she replied simply, “I follow the directions I received on the first day of shooting: ‘Play her just like Donna Reed.’
In her autobiography, published in 1987, she listed 22 intimate friends, including Prince Aly Khan, Billy Wilder, Burt Lancaster, Howard Hughes, Robert Stack and Robert Taylor.